Corn Kid

Not a lot of folks could have guessed this summer’s most popular tagline would be the two simple words –– “It’s kworn!” But there I was bringing food to my tables at work with the “It’s Corn! Song” on repeat in my head. 7-year-old Tariq –– his last name is undisclosed for privacy reasons –– went viral a few months ago for his hilarious interview with the Youtube channel Recess Therapy

Now, he is widely known as Corn Kid.

The phenomenon started when interviewer Julian Shapiro-Barnum was putting together an episode about “favorite things.” When Corn Kid was interviewed at a weekly food festival in Prospect Park with his grandma and older sister, he conveniently had an ear of roasted corn handy. 

“For me, I really like kworn,” Tariq says in the now-extremely-viral video, which has been watched over 8 million times on YouTube and even more on TikTok. He describes corn as “a big lump with knobs,” specifying, “It has the juice. I can’t imagine a more beautiful thing.”

But my personal favorite quote of Tariq’s is, “Ever since I was told that kworn was real, it tasted good.” Shapiro-Barnum then says, “Did you think corn wasn’t real?” Tariq casually ignores the question and replies, “But when I tried it with butter, everything changed!”

Now that summer is over, Corn Kid is back to business in elementary school. Tariq’s family has worked hard to maintain safety, fun and some normalcy while he “runs out his fame clock.” Soon after the video blew up, television shows started reaching out to his family. They quickly found a lawyer to ensure Tariq’s privacy and to make sure he receives the appropriate royalties.

Corn Kid really blew up when Michael Gregory released a song remix of the interview on TikTok which has now been viewed over 80 million times. Gregory’s music group then reached out to Shapiro-Barnum and Tariq to embark on a bigger project –– a full-length track that was released on Spotify. 

“Revenue is being split evenly among the three parties,” wrote Madison Malone Kircher for The New York Times. “Tariq is credited as both a writer and performer.” 

Tariq was a guest on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” United Airlines used the song in a TikTok, Dunkin’ posted a Corn Kid meme on Instagram, Chipotle posted a very successful TikTok with him and Chips Ahoy hopped on the bandwagon by posting a meme on Twitter.

But the most shocking result of Tariq’s love for corn is South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem declaring Sept. 3 “Official Corn-bassador Tariq Day.”

“In his capacity as official corn-bassador, Tariq and his family visited the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota,” wrote Kircher. “The trip was sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Tourism. ‘It is the size of an actual castle,’ Tariq said. The Corn Palace is not literally made of corn, he noted: ‘It’s made of metal that looks like corn.’”

Tariq has also been successful on Cameo, a platform where celebrities can record personalized video messages for a fee. Since he joined at the end of August, he’s been the most viewed profile on the platform with a current rate of $220 per video according to The New York Times.

But the new-found fame is starting to catch up to poor Corn Kid, as he mentioned he hopes people eventually stop asking him about corn. 

“I really want to go to the park, but I can’t until I’m done with this,” Tariq said to Kircher.

Follow Gianna Kelley on Twitter, @gianna_kelleyyy

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