Friday morning was supposed to be a morning to sleep in for freshman Blake Mankin.
But that all changed when his roommate woke him up to tell him that his YouTube video was being featured on NBC’s “Today” show.
The week before, Mankin and some of his fellow Maddox Hall residents had filmed themselves rapping a drive-thru order at the Wendy’s on West End. The freshman had previously written out the rap’s rhyme and wanted to see if Wendy’s would participate in his stunt.
“I did it because I saw a McDonald’s video like this one and thought I could do it 100 times better,” said Mankin.
While he and his friends had gotten positive feedback around campus when the video was published, Mankin knew that it was going to get better.
“I expected it to go viral,” he said, “but my goal was to get it on The Ellen [Degeneres] Show.”
A week later though, when the video had gotten over 30,000 views and a feature on “Today” in their viral video contest, Mankin was still happy with the recognition.
“I couldn’t stop smiling,” he said.
Despite the national television coverage, he said this whole experience has also been humbling for him.
“It showed how popular social media can be, and a goofy video can have that much positive feedback, it made me want to start taking things more serious,” said Mankin.
Mankin is confident the video will be just a starting point for him in the successful music career he envisions for himself. He wrote his first song in the fifth grade and released his first album called “Life Out Loud” last May.
His second album titled “What the Funk?” will be available on February 15 on his website. Mankin hopes that this video will help get his name out there and make this album bigger than his first.