CDK on the Mic discuss his path to #1 HBCU host

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Tanasia Moss, theCulture Editor

Chris “CDK on the Mic” Kornegay is a senior journalism student at N.C. A&T. The Raleigh native is quickly rising to the top of the Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) world with his hosting talent. 

After being a part of the NCAT Blue & Gold Marching Machine, he decided to pursue his passion for hosting. In just four years he has managed to travel across the country to host shows, grow his brand, and catch the attention of successful celebrities such as Terrence Jenkins and Nick Cannon. 

Kornegay began his journey of hosting when he used to sing at church every Sunday as a child. It was the first thing that gave him a voice. He started off hosting clubs which led to him expanding his talents to campus events at N.C A&T. 

Shortly after, he was hired as an intern at 102 Jamz. After four months of being an intern, 102 Jamz offered him a position to become an on-air personality. Following his time with the radio station, he also became an intern for Warner Music. 

Starting college inspired him to start his brand because he knew he had a gift. It started as a side hustle but as time went on it became a full career for him. 

“Taking a risk and pushing the limits is what worked for me. Being risky was the first thing. I had to really put myself in my own lane by putting in the work,” Kornegay said.

“I would put in 8-16 hours a day just to make sure I was building my brand. I knew that I had to be versatile in order for my business to grow.”

With Kornegay being named the #1 HBCU Host by HBCU Buzz and traveling coast to coast to host at different schools, The culture of each school stood out to him. 

“I learned so much from the different cultures of HBCUs around the country,” Kornegay said. “Seeing other cultures pushed me to keep going. It taught me that no matter where you go there’s always more room for people to grow. That was my motivation.”

Last month he managed to grab the attention of artist and television host, Nick Cannon. Kornegagy was invited to his daytime talk show The Nick Cannon Show and spoke on behalf of N.C. A&T. After learning that Cannon was going to pay off his student debts, he couldn’t believe it. 

“It made me feel great because now I’m able to give back to my mom,” Kornegay said. “It became a full circle moment to be financially stable and take that weight off her shoulders. The whole thing just feels unreal.”

Starting his brand at N.C. A&T proved to be a good decision for Kornegay. In his opinion, he has had the perfect college experience. Hosting so many parties gave him the opportunity to develop his craft on stage. 

“Being a student at N.C. A&T has helped me connect with so many different people,” Kornegay said. “The amount of support that I have is unbelievable from alumni to students to professors. That foundation of support is something that helped me grow as a person and in my career.”

Like any come-up story you hear, being a well-known host was not easy for Kornegay at first. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Korengay had to start all the way over. Being the host of HBCU Pulse’s “In the Spotlight” show gave him the inspiration to start his own. 

During quarantine, he created “Ice Breaking Interviews” a show that would give entertainers a platform to connect with their fans since everything was virtual. Some of the guests that appeared on the show were Pretty Vee, VEDO, and Sukihana. It was streamed on Instagram live but available on all streaming platforms. 

Kornegay is fueled by the people that came before him. When asked who he was inspired by, it was clear that Rickey Smiley became one of his biggest inspirations.

“Rickey Smiley is really someone that sticks out in my mind. Smiley went to an HBCU, had radio shows and more. He has always been real and honest throughout his whole career,” he explained.

Although he has reached a new level of success, Kornegay never forgot where he came from. He has big plans to give back to his community and open doors for others just like him. The first step in his plan is to start with the younger generation. He plans on using the proceeds from his upcoming book to give scholarships to children from the community. 

Kornegay also has big plans for the future post-graduation. Being a senior in college has given him perspective on his long-term plans.

“I want to have my own talk show after graduating. During that time I also want to be traveling and have a freelance entertainment business. Being tied down isn’t something that I’m interested in. For the next five years, my goals are to keep moving forward and growing my business.”

As he continues to grow and accomplish his goals, it is clear that Kornegay is invested in becoming one of the greats in the entertainment industry.

 

To keep up with Kornegay and all his business ventures, you can visit his Instagram and Twitter pages.