Columbia promotional video hits big

By Shardae Smith

Columbia’s Student Programming Board has begun to get the word out about its annual Biggest Mouth talent competition,to be held next April, by creating a promotional video starring Vice President of Student Affairs Mark Kelly, also known as emcee “Hell Yeah.”

Biggest Mouth is a student showcase in which 12 to 15 of Columbia’s top performers compete for cash and prizes. Next year’s event will be at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St.

This will be the second year the event will be off campus. Unlike its predecessor, Big Mouth, Biggest Mouth is audition-based and entry is limited to students who are 18 years and older due to the venue.

“Because of the buildings we have on campus, the capacities aren’t that big,” said Caralanay Cameron, junior arts, entertainment and media management major and president of SPB. “The 1104 Center [can only seat 300] and we wanted to make sure enough students could experience it. So we moved it off campus to a venue that could hold [more].

A video for Biggest Mouth is being shown online and features Kelly rapping under a stage name that stems from the speech he gives at the New Student Convocation, better known as the “Hell Yeah” ritual.

It has received 1,868 views since being uploaded to YouTube since Nov. 11.

“I had no idea what [SPB was] talking about or what they expected [of me for the video],” Kelly said. “But as I sometimes will do, I throw myself into what they hoped I

would do.”

Cameron said the SPB wanted to take its marketing and advertising approach to the next level and create an entire campaign around the event.

“We thought it would be a nice surprise for everyone to see the vice president of Student Affairs in a promotional video for one of the organizations,” Cameron said.

Kelly said he was taken aback when the board members asked him to help them out.

“It speaks to the brilliance of our students that they can make an old white-haired guy look at least respectable in a rap video,” Kelly said.

Students expressed to Kelly how the video has become a memorable moment in their experience at Columbia, Kelly said.

According to Cameron, it took 15 minutes for Kelly to record his vocals, two hours to shoot the video and one week to create the final video.

“We’re glad we are able to express our creativity [here at Columbia] and be able to put together a marketing campaign and have the support of the administration,” Cameron said.

Mark Kelly’s promotional video can be viewed at