Awkwafina in 2018
|Birth name||Nora Lum|
New York City, U.S.
|Origin||Queens, New York City|
Lum was born in New York City to an ethnic Chinese American father, Wally, and a South Korean immigrant mother, a painter. She grew up in Forest Hills, Queens. One of her paternal great-grandfathers was a Chinese immigrant in the 1940s who opened the Cantonese restaurant Lum’s in Flushing, Queens. Lum's mother died when she was four, and she was raised and influenced heavily by her paternal grandmother.
Lum attended LaGuardia High School where she played the trumpet and was trained in classical and jazz music. At age 16, she adopted the stage name Awkwafina, "definitely a person I repressed" and an alter ego to her "quiet and more passive" personality during her college years. Lum majored in journalism and women's studies at the State University of New York at Albany. From 2006 to 2008, Lum attended the Beijing Language and Culture University in Beijing, China, where she studied Mandarin.
Lum says Charles Bukowski, Anaïs Nin, Joan Didion, Tom Waits, and Chet Baker were early influences. Prior to her career in entertainment, she was an intern at local New York publications Gotham Gazette and Times Union, and was a publicity assistant for publishing house Rodale.
Lum began rapping at age 13. In 2012, she gained popularity for her song "My Vag", a response to Mickey Avalon's "My Dick". The music video has garnered over three million views on YouTube. Her solo album Yellow Ranger was released on February 11, 2014. The EP includes a number of her previous singles released via YouTube, including the title track "Yellow Ranger", "Queef" and "NYC Bitche$".
She was part of the lineup at Tenacious D's Festival Supreme on October 25, 2014. In 2016, she collaborated with comedian Margaret Cho on "Green Tea", a song that pokes fun at Asian stereotypes.
She released an EP called In Fina We Trust on June 8, 2018.
She was part of the principal cast in the all-female spinoff to the Ocean's Trilogy, Ocean's 8, which was released on June 8, 2018. Also that summer, she co-starred in the film Crazy Rich Asians, by Warner Bros. She played Goh Peik Lin, a college friend of lead character Rachel Chu (Constance Wu).
Television and web seriesEdit
In 2014, Lum was added to the cast of the third season of Girl Code, appearing in six episodes of third and fourth season. In 2015, she served as a co-host with TV personality Nessa and comedian Carly Aquilino for the spin-off titled Girl Code Live on MTV.
Lum is profiled in the 2016 documentary Bad Rap, which was an official selection at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Produced by Salima Koroma and Jaeki Cho, the film puts the spotlight on her as well as upcoming fellow Asian-American rappers such as Dumbfoundead, Rekstizzy, and Lyricks. She hosted the 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs.
Lum has expressed support for Time's Up, a movement started by Hollywood celebrities against sexual harassment. She has also advocated for the need for more female directors and against the stereotyping of Asians in media. She has rejected roles that require accents.
Lum was honored as Kore Asian Media's Female Breakout of the Year in December 2017.
|In Fina We Trust||
|"My Vag"||2012||Non-album single|
|"NYC Bitche$"||2013||Yellow Ranger|
|"Mayor Bloomberg (Giant Margaritas)"|
|"Green Tea (feat. Margaret Cho)"||2016||Non-album single|
|"Pockiez"||2018||In Fina We Trust|
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2016||Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising||Christine||Nicholas Stoller|
|2016||Storks||Quail||Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland|
|2018||Ocean's 8||Constance||Gary Ross|
|2018||Crazy Rich Asians||Goh Peik Lin||Jon M. Chu|
|2018||Paradise Hills||Yu||Alice Waddington|
|2019||The Angry Birds Movie 2||TBA||Mark Thurop Van Orman|
- de Bertodano, Helena (June 17, 2018). "Awkwafina: 'I was always the crazy one, the funny one. I'd do anything for a laugh'". The Guardian.
says Lum, who has just turned 30.
- "Awkwafina is changing hip-hop one vulgar, hilarious lyric at a time". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- "Twitter". mobile.twitter.com. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- "Nora Lum – Immigration Paper, University at Albany, SUNY" (PDF). www.albany.edu. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Lee, Traci (26 August 2014). "How Nora Lum Became Rapper Awkwafina Instead of A Meat Inspector". NBC News. NBC UNIVERSAL. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "5 Things to Know About 'Ocean's Eight' Star Awkwafina". 25 February 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- "5 Things to Know About 'Ocean's Eight' Star Awkwafina". Us Weekly. 2017-02-25. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- "September Cover Story: Awkwafina Establishing Her Presence | KoreAm Journal". iamkoream.com. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
- Trinh, Jean (March 14, 2013). "Meet Awkwafina: an Asian Female Rapper on Vaginas, Tackling Racism & More". The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- "Awkwafina". New York State Writers Institute. University of Albany. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
- "Awkwafina Won't Let You Forget Her Name". The Ringer. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- "Oceans Eight Star Awkwafina On Her Makeup Essentials". Into The Gloss. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- "Awkwafina Got Fired From Her Office Job After Writing a Song Called "My Vag"". Galore. 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- "13 Awkward Questions With Rapper Awkwafina - Mochi Mag". www.mochimag.com. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- Court Dunn (2012-10-11). "Awkwafina "My Vag" (Official Video)". Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- "Awkwafina". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- Blistein, Jon (27 May 2014). "Tenacious D Combine Jokes and Jams for 2014 Festival Supreme Lineup". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- Awkwafina x Margaret Cho - GREEN TEA.
- Ting, Jasmine. "Awkwafina Announces New EP, 'In Fina We Trust'". PAPER. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
- "Rapper Awkwafina Joins 'Neighbors' Sequel". NBC News. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
- Lincoln, Ross A. "Indie Comedy 'Dude' Rounds Out Lead Cast With Trio Of Actresses". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
- N'Duka, Amanda (2018-04-02). "Milla Jovovich & More Join Emma Roberts In 'Paradise Hills'". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- "'Crazy Rich Asians' Adds Awkwafina". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
- Stedman, Alex (October 1, 2014). "Q&A: Girl Code Creator Ryan Ling on Season 3, Social Media and New Comedians". Variety.
- "5 Things You Should Know About 'Ocean's 8' Star Awkwafina". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- Spangler, Todd (2016-10-03). "Go90 Reups Awkwafina's 'Tawk' for Seasons 4 and 5, But Is Verizon's Service Struggling to Win Fans?". Variety. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- "Hulu's Future Man is fun but doesn't level up: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
- NBC.com http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/season-44/episode/2-awkwafina-with-travis-scott-296765. Retrieved 7 October 2018. Missing or empty
- Frydenlund, Zach (24 May 2014). "Premiere: Watch a Sneak Peek of the "Bad Rap" Documentary". Complex.com. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- "Jackie Joe movie 'Bad Rap' ... Life of Korean hip-hop musicians in documentary 재키 조 제작 영화 '배드 랩'…다큐로 보는 한인 힙합 뮤지션들의 삶 [LA중앙일보] 랩퍼 4인 활동과 고민에 초점 장편 완성 위한 후원 기다려". Korea Daily (in Korean). LA Joongang Daily. 23 May 2014. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- Lee, Cliff (22 August 2018). "'The summer of Awkwafina': The Crazy Rich Asians star on hosting the MMVAs". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
- "Awkwafina's Guide Book Shows the New York City You've Never Seen". NBC. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- "Rapper and Actress Awkwafina on Being a Rare Asian-American in Hollywood". Broadly. 2017-05-26. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- "Unforgettable Female Breakout of the Year: Awkwafina". Kore.am. Kore Asian Media. 2017-11-16. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- "Awkwafina Joins the "Now Generation" for Gap Logo Remix Campaign". vmagazine.com. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- "Nora Lum". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 2018-04-03.