Cody Ko, from Youtube fame to changing the music game

Nicole Surcel, asst. opinions editor

If you’re anything like me, stand-up comedy just isn’t your thing. I rarely find myself laughing to a comedic performance on television, and I can’t help but experience second-hand embarrassment when the jokes don’t land. Comedy is a hard career to go into, and it is becoming increasingly popular for individuals to take their performances to online social platforms. An example of this is comedian Cody Ko, whose fame on YouTube has allowed for his music to gain popularity over the past year.

With an average of 600,000 daily views, Ko has revolutionized what it means to pursue the art of comedy. His content ranges from commentary videos to parody-like skits of popular trends on the internet. In particular, he is well-known for his frequent release of comical songs, such as “Short Kings Anthem” and “Walk Man.” The lyrics are not meant to be taken seriously; rather, Ko uses comedy in his music to poke fun at people or ideas.

Within minutes of its release, Ko’s “Short Kings Anthem” reached the top of YouTube’s list of trending content. It now is one of his most viewed videos, led by “Walk Man,” another iconic song written and performed by him. “Short Kings Anthem” features Noel Miller, one of Ko’s close friends, as well as American artist Blackbear. Its catchy beat is accompanied by the rhythm of classic rap songs, while also sending a message of body positivity. It may seem a stretch, but the lyrics truly do encourage males less than six-feet tall to embrace their own height, regardless of what society offers to be ideal.

Ko’s “Walk Man” does just the same, minus the body positivity part. He and Miller switch between verses throughout the song, where Ko starts off with “We eatin’ good, I’m a fat man” and finishes with “You don’t wanna push my buttons, take a walk” before passing it on to Miller. “Walk Man” in it of itself is a play-on-words, since it may signify a walkman, a device used in the ‘90s to listen to music, or the main chorus of the piece. Either way, the fast-paced beat and engaging lyrics make the song even more memorable.

On the more emotional side of things, Ko released “Cuddle Bug,” a love song dedicated to his girlfriend, Kelsey Kreppel. He makes the video to mock the lovey-dovey relationships often seen on social media today while also keeping it more toned down. Its release showed Ko’s viewers a side of him that they’ve never seen before, especially through his use of soft and mellow tunes, such as, “Girl you know that you’re my cutie pie” and “I’mma hold you girl, till my arm falls asleep.”

This is one of the many things that make Ko’s music stand out. His songs stray from the typical rap genre, while also adding a level of comedy to the lyrics. Not to mention, his production and execution are phenomenal, considering that he does all the editing himself. When he isn’t too busy writing music, Ko films thoughtful YouTube videos that bring comedic performances to our own fingertips. If this isn’t enough to convince you of his raw talent, he also sports a degree in Computer Science from Duke University.

It’s clear that Ko is versed in many different areas, and he rightly deserves the recognition he’s received in the past couple of months. I often find myself listening to his different soundtracks while doing homework, completely forgetting the fact that his music is not written to be taken seriously. The beauty of Ko’s songs is that they are original and catchy, and the lyrics are perfect to sing along to in a car ride with your friends.

At just 28 years old, Ko has already reached half a billion views on YouTube, and his music was placed on Spotify’s top charts over five times. “Short Kings Anthem” and “Walk Man” are my personal favorites, not only because they are extremely fun to listen to, but they also put listeners in a good mood. It’s impossible not to feel empowered after playing one of his songs, especially after a hard day at work or school. Though I might not be versed in comedy and music, I recommend Ko’s content to all viewers, especially to those who want to have a good laugh.