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  • Meet Tariq, the TikTok star turned ‘corn ambassador’ in South Dakota

    Meet Tariq, the TikTok star turned ‘corn ambassador’ in South Dakota

    Tariq is a corn enthusiast who recently went viral for prattling about his love for corn. The 7-year-old has since been declared South Dakota’s “Official Corn-bassador.

    Governor of the state, Kristi Noem announced in a tweet naming Sept. 3 “Official Corn-bassador Tariq Day.” The Twitter post came with a picture of Tariq, whose last name has been withheld for privacy reasons, visiting the state’s corn-themed “Corn Palace” over Labor Day weekend. A similar post on Tiktok captures a montage of Tariq’s visit to the Corn Palace, where he met a corn mascot.

    “The Corn Kid came to South Dakota’s very own @Corn_Palace!!!” reads the tweet from Noem’s office. The official proclamation also noted that “Tariq’s a-maize-ing endorsement contains more than a kernel of truth and has reached ears across the world via social media.”

    Tariq became an internet sensation following his interview with YouTube channel Recess Therapy last month. He explained in the clip that his favourite thing is corn although he plays a variety of games like hide and seek.

    “For me, I really like corn,” he told Shapiro-Barnum, Today.com reported. “Ever since I was told that corn was real, it tasted good. When I tried it with butter, everything changed.”

    Shapiro-Barnum reportedly uploaded the video titled “The CEO of Corn.” The video has racked up over three million views on YouTube and a version reposted on TikTok has recorded some 23 million views.

    In the video, Tariq exclaimed “It’s corn” while munching the corn. It’s like “a big lump with knobs” when he was asked to describe corn to someone who’s never tasted it. “It has the juice. It’s the part that mostly makes me like the corn,” he added.

    Also, a song produced by music creator Shmoyoho featuring Tariq’s corn monologue has some 69.3 million views and has been used by more than 700,000 TikTok users.

    His fame has attracted celebrities, brands, and sports teams. For instance, he was tapped by Chipotle for an ad and according to Washington Post, Tariq is selling personalized videos on Cameo starting at $220.

    “Something that’s this infectious as the corn song is going to catch a whole lot of people,” Tama Leaver, a professor of internet studies at Curtin University in Australia, told The Post. “That’s part of the joy, part of feeling of being [on TikTok]. Part of the community of TikTok is being in on those audio memes.”

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