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Sreyas Kodukulla

Sreyas Kodukulla smiling with his arms crossed

SK Finds Community Through Music and Twitter

By Wyatt Crosher, Assistant Director of Communications for Student Affairs

How does a second-year UNC Charlotte computer science student amass nearly 200,000 Twitter followers and end up backstage with Kendrick Lamar?

Sreyas Kodukulla is most known as SK, his name on the @raptalksk Twitter account where he primarily discusses his opinions on music, both in rap and various other genres.

Even with the size of the audience he’s earned, gaining a large Twitter following was not something SK ever had in mind.

"My intentions going into the account were not to blow up, because I knew Twitter is one of the hardest platforms to grow on,” SK said. “Even at the beginning, when I was getting a few followers, I didn't think it could go crazy the way it has. It's been really cool to see how many people enjoy what I have to say, and respect what I say about music."

SK came to the University from Westford, Massachusetts in Fall 2021. His decision to come to Charlotte was a combination of being the right distance from home while still having people he knew nearby.

“I wanted to get away from my hometown and go to a different part of the country,” SK said. “But I have family in Raleigh, so Charlotte felt like a good fit."

In a little over three semesters at Charlotte, SK has enjoyed his time with the University, as well as its location within the city.

"I've been loving it ever since I got here,” he said. “One of the biggest things for me is the city and how close it is to campus, but at the same time, our campus isn't in the city, so you get that campus feel.”

Far before SK made his journey to Charlotte, he had another passion outside his field of study.

SK said his love of music started young, when some older friends showed him songs that made him dive deeper into different artists. Eventually, his music taste expanded past what his friends listened to —SK brought up Drake, Radiohead, Paramore and Blink-182 as artists he enjoyed growing up — and he wanted to branch out.

That’s when SK went to Twitter, rebranding his personal account into what it is today. The initial goal was to get to know different people and communities by posting about the music he liked, and the follower numbers started going up from there.

“It was cool because I was making friends online, which I had never done before,” SK said. “I really enjoyed seeing all these people constantly interacting with me and liking my stuff, just reading and reacting to my thoughts.”

Sreyas Kodukulla smiling with rapper JID

Pictured above: SK (right) with rapper JID (left) at his Charlotte show on February 24. Photo courtesy of Sreyas Kodukulla.


All of the popularity SK earned online culminated in a highlight moment early last year.

On Feb. 13, 2022, he tweeted about that year’s Super Bowl halftime performance that featured, along with a variety of acclaimed hip-hop artists, 17-time Grammy Award winner Kendrick Lamar. 

Lamar is widely considered one of the best rappers of the 21st century, but at that time, he had not released an album since “DAMN.” on April 4, 2017. SK thought there was a chance Lamar would announce his newest album during the halftime performance. 

When there was no album announcement, he jokingly tweeted “Kendrick Lamar is officially retired.”

“I didn't think much of it because it was a joke, I bet thousands of other people made a similar joke,” SK said. “About two months later, I was in my dorm hanging out, and someone DMed me saying 'Did you see the Kendrick tweet?' Then my notifications were flooding in, so I was like 'What is going on?' I went to look at Kendrick's profile, had a moment where I was just dead silent, and then I started yelling.”

On April 18, Lamar quote tweeted SK’s joke about his retirement with a link that announced he would be returning with a new album. Lamar released his fifth album, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” on May 13.

SK said he was gaining hundreds of followers a second after the announcement. He later got to see Lamar perform in Boston, when he was given another major surprise. Thanks to Dave Free, Lamar’s partner for the company PGLang, SK got to go backstage after the show.

First, he met Tanna Leone, an opener for the show who is featured on “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.” After that, SK walked into a room and met both Lamar and his cousin, rapper Baby Keem.

It was a surreal moment for SK, who was impressed with how much he was able to stay composed next to one of his all-time favorite artists.

"When I realized it was Kendrick there, I froze and had no idea what to say, but I had to tell myself, 'I know you're thinking this isn't real. You are here right now, you have to lock in and get your [stuff] together,’” SK said. “I did a good job of keeping my cool, which I'm happy about. But man, there were like a million thoughts racing through my brain every second, it was just insane to even be sitting there with them. Even thinking about it now, it just doesn't seem real."

Sreyas Kodukulla between Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar

Pictured above: SK (middle) with Baby Keem (left) and Kendrick Lamar (right). Photo courtesy of Sreyas Kodukulla.


Despite all the increased attention on his social media accounts, SK remains focused on his degree, and said he’s dedicated to graduating with his computer science major. He then plans to utilize Charlotte’s Early Entry (4+1) Master’s program.

SK is also exploring his passion for writing by working for CLTure, an online music, sports, arts and entertainment publication based around the city of Charlotte.

“I've always loved to write. It's the best way to make sense of what I think about the music itself,” he said. “I was able to cover my first concert as a writer in January, and my first article got published. It was a really cool moment for me. I'm very excited to keep that going and get better at writing and pursue this different part of my life.”

SK’s passion for music started back in Massachusetts, but he’s taken it and has seen it grow, both in planned and unplanned ways. In less than two years at Charlotte, he’s found friends, enjoyed city and campus life and is excited to continue to find more individuals to connect with.

“I really just want to meet more people,” Kodukulla said. “I want to get more involved on campus and in Charlotte in general. Charlotte has felt like a second home to me, so I want to learn more about it, explore the city more and put myself out there."