“Man, this song’s 10 years old now.” My friend turned her cell phone towards me to reveal the music video for “Gee,” The Song by SNSD/Girls’ Generation. As the song’s catchy tune flowed through the room, I gently leaned towards my friend, smiled and then shouted, “What?!” in total horror. No way could The Song be a decade old! With its official release on Jan. 5, 2009, “Gee” is definitely 10 years old. It took me more than half of its lifetime to fall in love with it. If the song were a person, she has the patience of steel because “Gee” is a song that works its way into your playlist and there’s nothing that can be done about it.

I first heard “Gee” during KCON Los Angeles in 2013 while roaming around the convention grounds. A crowd sprinted to a booth blasting the song with much enthusiasm and chants of “Gee, gee, gee, gee, baby, baby, baby!” and I didn’t like it. A bubblegum pop tune. My feelings meant very little compared to the impact the song made in the Korean music scene. Actually, I was exposed to the music video long before I ever heard the song because of a billboard in Koreatown L.A. promoting SM Town Live World Tour III. (I thought it was a music group with a lot of backup dancers. It was 2012 — just a few months before I became a K-pop fan — and I had zero knowledge about SM Entertainment‘s penchant for large groups.) Basically, the song continued to trickle its way into my surroundings. I mean, I learned the choreography through osmosis because I never made an effort to learn it on purpose. I believe I learned some of the words just from hearing coworkers singing it. I was even stuck in my car once with the song against my will. Entrapment!

Needless to say, I had to look more into the song. It was forcing its way into my world, so the least I could do was give it a try. What pulled me in was the distribution of the verses. Coming off their debut song, the team surrounding Girls’ Generation created “Gee” as a way for all the members to have a moment to shine that didn’t seem crowded or unfair. Even now, the groups that cover the song at live events use it as a way to display how well put-together an ensemble production it is. Also, the music video is fun and cheesy in all the right ways. (Thinking back, there were plenty of people cosplaying the video at KCON 2013 because those colorful pants were everywhere!) So, happy anniversary, “Gee,” and thanks for giving me time to become #Hooked.

(Universal Japan, YouTube.)

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