American celebrities appear to be embracing South Korean rapper Psy more than South Koreans are.
Take Will Smith for example, who is just wrapping up a tour of Northeast Asia promoting the release of his upcoming film, After Earth, with his son Jaden Smith, who is also in the movie.
At a recent press conference in South Korea Will Smith was asked: “In Korea, celebrities usually make a promise in hopes that their movies will be successful. Will you promise to do something if ‘After Earth’ is successful?“
“If this movie is successful in Korea, I may do a song with Psy. If it’s HUGE, I’ll do a record with Psy… So if we have success then we’re gonna come back to Korea and go to YG Entertainment and make 2 records… or one big record with our family and the YG Family.”
To the wild cheers of the reporters in attendance, Smith also incorporated Psy’s latest song “Gentleman” in his response. Will Smith’s son, Jaden, promised he’d do a record with Korean rapper G-Dragon.
Even as Will and Jaden Smith were touring Asia, Psy was in the United States to attend the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Gala event. He took full advantage of the star-studded events, posing for pictures with "World's Most Beautiful Woman" Gwyneth Paltrow and, most importantly, Beyonce. Psy has said that it was a dream of his to meet Beyonce and at a performance in Seoul last month, Psy danced to her single, “Single Ladies” in a red leotard.
He later posted the picture on his Twitter account accompanied by the “caption finally talked to @Beyonce about "single ladies" at #MetGala” He posted another picture of him with Beyonce on Wednesday.
Later in the night, Psy performed on stage with pop icon Madonna.
But even as American celebrities embrace the upstart rapper, South Koreans continue to stick with more veteran acts. That’s according to the latest poll from Korea Gallup which found that South Koreans would prefer to see singer Cho Yong-pil in concert over Psy by a margin of 54 percent to 38 percent.
On Thursday Psy will be in Cambridge, MA speaking at an event hosted by the Korean Institute at Harvard University.