I Got a Boy (song)

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"I Got a Boy"
Single by Girls' Generation
from the album I Got a Boy
Released January 1, 2013 (2013-01-01)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2012; S.M. Boomingsystem
Genre K-pop, hip hop, electropop, New wave music
Length 4:31
Label S.M. Entertainment, KT Music
Writer(s) Will Simms, Sarah Lundbäck Bell, Anne Judith Wik, Yoo Young-jin
Producer(s) Will Simms, Yoo Young-jin
Girls' Generation Korean singles chronology
"Dancing Queen"
"I Got a Boy"
Music video
"I Got a Boy" on YouTube

"I Got a Boy" is a song by South Korean girl group Girls' Generation, released on January 1, 2013, as the title track from their fourth Korean album, I Got a Boy. The song was co-produced by the group's long-time collaborator, Yoo Young-jin, as well as Will Simms. A predominately electronic-inspired song, the song contains elements of both hip-hop and rap, with the group exchanging between singing and rapping.

The accompanying music video was filmed in October 2012, with hip-hop-inspired choreography handled by renowned American choreographers, Nappytabs. The video became an instant hit on YouTube, gaining over 10 million views within 55 hours. Overall, it was well received by music critics, with Billboard calling it one of the "most-forward thinking lead pop singles heard in any country".[1] At the first YouTube Music Awards in 2013, "I Got a Boy" won the award for Video of the Year.[2][3] As of July 2014, its music video has achieved more than 100 million views on YouTube.[4]

Background and release[edit]

“I Got a Boy” was written by European composers Will Simms, Sarah Lundbäck Bell, Anne Judith Wik with additional writing by Korean composer Yoo Young-jin. The song was produced by Will Simms and Yoo Young-jin.[5] S.M. Entertainment emphasized the song as a "different song compared to the usual style that Girls’ Generation usually has shown, (the song) contains many musical styles and tempo changes.” They also stated that the group would not be wearing high heels during promotional performances and instead they would be focusing on the level performance they will be giving.



Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[6]

The Los Angeles Times' music critic Randall Roberts called it a "scattered" anthem and a "gleefully chaotic" song that could indicate pop music's future trajectory. He also described the accompanying music video as "wonderfully weird".[7] Billboard K-Town columnist Jeff Benjamin praised the song as “one of the most-forward thinking lead pop singles heard in any country” for its intense mix of different sounds and melodies, and commended Girls’ Generation for “[setting] the bar truly high for pop in 2013″ with “I Got A Boy”.[8]

Rolling Stone's staff contributor Nick Catucci described the song as a carefully plotted musical gymnastics routine and noted its "candy land" of pop sounds – from minimal R&B to high-BPM dance.[6]

On December 4, 2013, Time revealed that “I Got A Boy” came in as number 5 on the “Top 10 Songs of the Year“, placing higher than other popular artists, including Lorde and Miley Cyrus. The article describes the girls as “a ridiculously effective hook machine”, a pop phenomenon that rivals the likes of One Direction and Katy Perry.[9]


Following the release of "I Got a Boy", the song received an 'all-kill' on all real-time charts in South Korea within two hours of its release. I Got A Boy peaked at number one spot in Billboard K-Pop Hot 100[10] The single managed to top the Gaon Singles chart[11]


The key of the song is E major and it is based around the demo recorded by British pop artist Katy Tiz. [12] The tempo starts at 98 BPM, but eventually changes to 140 BPM.

Live performances[edit]

Girls' Generation initially performed "I Got a Boy", along with other tracks, on their MBC comeback special Girls’ Generation’s Romantic Fantasy on January 1, 2013.[13] They then started their promotional activities on various South Korean music shows. They appeared on Mnet's M! Countdown,[14] KBS' Music Bank, MBC's Music Core and SBS's Inkigayo,[15] performing both "I Got A Boy" and "Dancing Queen".

Music video[edit]


Choreography for the song was handled by renowned choreographers Nappytabs who also worked with label mates TVXQ and BoA.[16] The music video, directed by Hong Won-ki for ZANYBROS, was released on January 1, 2013 on SMTOWN's YouTube channel and on Mnet.


The group performing the choreography in the street wearing multi-colored outfits.

The clothes wore by the girls in the MV featured streetwear fashion such as Kenzo x Opening Ceremony, Adidas Collection by Jeremy Scott and printed leggings; Stussy's 'Good Vibe' t-shirt, Obey's 'OG Basic' crewneck, and Joyrich varsity jacket. In the sleepover scene the girls can be seen wearing clothes by UK independent label Lazy Oaf, such as Batman shirt, fruity t-shirt and pizza crewneck. The style is described by Liza Darwin of MTV Style as "a kaleidoscopic streetwear explosion" and that the MV is a "fashion whirlwind ... jam-packed with rad clothes".[17][18]

The video, running for five minutes and five seconds, begins in the same room as seen in the "Dancing Queen" music video, with the girls chatting in a pink-colored room; Tiffany and Yuri are sitting at a table drinking tea, Sooyoung is doing her homework, Sunny and Yoona are joking by the bed, Jessica is spraying Girl de Provence, Taeyeon and Seohyun are discussing clothing choices and Hyoyeon is blow-drying her hair. A man (Kim Ian) is then seen walking to the girls' apartment, who then rings the doorbell, the girls stop everything they're doing and rush to the door to look through the peephole, the man is then seen walking away with the words "That's weird" and "Is anybody home?" seen in speech bubbles. The camera then zooms in through the peephole to the girls and then back out again to a multi-colored room with the entire group dressed in military-inspired clothing, the sequence begins with a rap intro performed by Sooyoung and Yuri and then cuts to a street with the members dressed in hip-hop-inspired outfits with the members beginning to perform the choreography as Tiffany performs a spoken intro.

Sunny wearing the hat containing the words "Welcome Motherf★ckers" on it.

The video then cuts to several close-ups of each member, as well as scenes featuring the man flirting with each member. It then abruptly stops with the members throwing their hats toward the camera which then cuts to a second room with a strip of yellow and red triangles extending from behind the group and over them, following this, the video cuts between scenes of the members with the man as well as them in the three sets performing the song's choreography. Tiffany is then seen dressed in a pink trench coat and an orange-blonde wig singing into a retro-microphone in runway set with pink fluorescent diamonds in the back, as seen in the teaser, followed by Taeyeon wearing the same wig and a red trench coat, then, after a short close-up of Yuri in the same wig, the video then cuts back to close-ups of the group, scenes with the man and the three dance sets. The video ends with the group posing in the street with their Korean and English names seen above the "I Got a Boy" logo from the single and album covers.


Following the release of the "I Got a Boy" music video, a screenshot from the teaser imbedded in the "Dancing Queen" video became the center of controversy due to the wording. Sunny's hat in the video contained the words, "Welcome Motherfuckers," with a star in place of the 'U' as; "Welcome Motherf★ckers". The public openly criticized the use of offensive language.[19][20] SM Entertainment subsequently released an edited version of the video.[21]


Chart Peak
Gaon Singles Chart[11] 1
Gaon Monthly Singles chart[11] 1
Gaon Streaming Singles chart[11] 2
Gaon Download Singles chart[11] 1
Gaon Mobile Ringtone chart[11] 1
Gaon Karaoke chart[11] 5
Billboard K-Pop Hot 100[22] 1


Credits adapted from "I Got a Boy" liner notes.[23]


  1. ^ Benjamin, Jeff. "Girls' Generation, 'I Got A Boy': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "K-pop group Girls' Generation beats Miley, Lady Gaga at first YouTube awards". cnn.com. November 4, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  3. ^ "YouTube music awards make chaotic and messy debut". theguardian.com. November 4, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  4. ^ Girls' Generation's 'I Got A Boy' breaks 100 million views on YouTube Allkpop.com (July 27, 2014). Retrieved on July 27, 2014.
  5. ^ 소녀시대, 하이힐 벗는다... 퍼포먼스 난이도↑ (in Korean). news.naver.com. December 27, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Catucci, Nick. ""I Got a Boy" – Song Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Randall, Roberts (January 4, 2013). "'I Got a Boy' delivers a scattered anthem of the Girls' Generation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 January 2013. Critic's Notebook: In this age of short attention spans comes 'I Got a Boy' by Girls' Generation, a gleefully chaotic song that says much about pop music's trajectory. 
  8. ^ Jeff, Benjamin (January 4, 2013). "Girls' Generation, 'I Got A Boy': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Top 10 Songs". TIME Entertainment. December 4, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Billboard Korea K-POP Hot 100 2013.01.05". Billboard. January 9, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Gaon Search – Girls' Generation" (in Korean). Gaon. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  12. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJBqenH35Gs
  13. ^ "Girls’ Generation’s ‘Romantic Fantasy’ Comeback Program Airs on MBC". soshified.com. January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  14. ^ 소녀시대, '아이 갓 어 보이' 댄스 버전 티저 영상 공개 (in Korean). media.daum.net. December 28, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2012. 
  15. ^ "‘뱀띠 스타’ 소녀시대 효연·유리, ‘엠카’ 스페셜 MC 나선다" (in Korean). bntnews.com. January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  16. ^ "오늘(1일) 오후 5시 소녀시대 'I Got a Boy' 드디어 풀공개" (in Korean). news.nate.com. January 1, 2013. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  17. ^ Ho, Stewart (5 January 2013). "MTV Raves over SNSD’s Fashion in ‘I Got a Boy’ Music Video". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  18. ^ Darwin, Liza (3 January 2013). "Girls' Generation Turns "I Got A Boy" Music Video Into Fashion Show In Lazy Oaf, Stussy And More". MTV Style. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  19. ^ 소녀시대 뮤비수정 한다 '써니모자 논란에 결국…' (in Korean). news.nate.com. January 3, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  20. ^ Ho, Stewart (3 January 2013). "SNSD’s Sunny’s Profanity-Laced Cap in ‘Dancing Queen’ MV Draws Controversy". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  21. ^ Ho, Stewart (3 January 2013). "SM to Release Edited SNSD ′Dancing Queen′ MV Over Wardrobe Controversy". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  22. ^ Can the New Single from K-Pop Stars Girls’ Generation Challenge ‘Gangnam Style’? Time.com (January 11, 2013). Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  23. ^ I Got a Boy (Liner Notes [CD, Album]). Girls' Generation. SM Entertainment. 2013. p. 40.