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Awkwafina, 2018 (cropped).jpg
Awkwafina, in 2018
Background information
Nora Lum
Born (1988-06-02) 2 June 1988 (age 30)
New York City, New York, U.S.
OriginQueens, New York, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • actress

Nora Lum (born June 2, 1988),[1] known by the stage name Awkwafina, is an American rapper and actress. She appeared in the films Ocean's 8 and Crazy Rich Asians. She has released two studio albums, Yellow Ranger and In Fina We Trust. Awkwafina first gained popularity for her song "My Vag", a response to Mickey Avalon's "My Dick". The music video has garnered over four million views on YouTube.[2] Notable television appearances include Girl Code, Future Man, and Saturday Night Live.

Early life

Lum was born in New York City [3] to an ethnic Chinese American father, Wally,[4] and a South Korean immigrant mother, a painter.[5][6][7] 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.[8] Lum's mother died when she was four, and she was raised and influenced heavily by her paternal grandmother.[9]

Lum attended LaGuardia High School where she played the trumpet and was trained in classical and jazz music.[10][11] 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.[12][13][14] Lum majored in journalism and women's studies at the State University of New York at Albany.[11] From 2006 to 2008, Lum attended Beijing Language and Culture University in China, where she studied Mandarin.

Lum says Charles Bukowski, Anaïs Nin, Joan Didion, Tom Waits, and Chet Baker were early influences.[15] 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.[13]



Awkwafina began rapping at age 13.[14] In 2012, she gained popularity for her song "My Vag", a response to Mickey Avalon's "My Dick". The music video has garnered over four million views on YouTube.[2] Her solo album Yellow Ranger was released on February 11, 2014.[16] The LP 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.[17] In 2016, she collaborated with comedian Margaret Cho on "Green Tea", a song that pokes fun at Asian stereotypes.[18]

She released an EP called In Fina We Trust on June 8, 2018.[19]


Feature films

In 2016, Awkwafina played a supporting role in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising and starred in the indie comedy Dude.[20][21] She also voiced the role of Quail in the 2016 animated comedy Storks.

In April 2018, Awkwafina was announced as part of the cast of Paradise Hills, a sci-fi thriller directed by Alice Waddington and featuring Emma Roberts, Eiza Gonzalez and Danielle Macdonald.[22]

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).[23]

Television and web series

In 2014, Awkwafina was added to the cast of the third season of Girl Code, appearing in six episodes of the third and fourth seasons.[24] 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.[25]

Awkwafina was the host of a self-created short-form web series Tawk, which was an Official Honoree at the 2016 Webby Awards and was nominated for a 2016 Streamy Award in the News and Culture category.[26]

She has a recurring role in the Hulu original series Future Man, which was released in November 2017.[27]

Awkwafina hosted the October 6, 2018, episode of Saturday Night Live, with musical guest Travis Scott.[28]


Awkwafina 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.[29][30] She hosted the 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs.[31]


In 2015, publisher Potter Style, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House, released Awkwafina's NYC, Awkwafina's travel guide to New York City.[32]


Awkwafina 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.[33]

Awkwafina was honored as Kore Asian Media's Female Breakout of the Year in December 2017.[34]

Awkwafina was featured in Gap's "Logo Remix" campaign, which featured up-and-coming artists who "are remixing creative culture on their own terms," such as SZA, Sabrina Claudio and Naomi Watanabe.[35]

Personal life

Awkwafina lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.[36][37]


Studio albums

Title Details
Yellow Ranger
  • Released: February 11, 2014
  • Label: self-released
  • Format: Digital download
In Fina We Trust
  • Released: June 8, 2018
  • Label: self-released
  • Format: Digital download


Title Year Album
"My Vag" 2012 Non-album single
"NYC Bitche$" 2013 Yellow Ranger
"Mayor Bloomberg (Giant Margaritas)"
"Daydreamin'" 2014 Non-album single
"Green Tea" (feat. Margaret Cho) 2016 Non-album single
"Pockiez" 2018 In Fina We Trust



Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Director Notes
2016 Bad Rap Herself Salima Koroma Documentary
2016 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Christine Nicholas Stoller
2016 Storks Quail (voice) Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
2018 Dude Rebecca Olivia Milch
2018 Ocean's 8 Constance Gary Ross
2018 Crazy Rich Asians Goh Peik Lin Jon M. Chu
2019 The Farewell Billi Lulu Wang
2019 Paradise Hills Yu Alice Waddington
2019 The Angry Birds Movie 2 Films that have not yet been released Courtney (voice) Thurop Van Orman In production
2019 Untitled Jumanji third film Films that have not yet been released[38] Jake Kasdan Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2014-2015 Girl Code Herself 6 episodes of season 3, 4
2015 Girl Code Live Herself Co-host
2015 Regular Show Apple (voice) Episode: "Hello China"
2016 Mary + Jane Gina Episode: "Noachella"
2017 Future Man Woman at Video Game Store 3 episodes
2018 Animals. Annie (voice) Episode: "Roachella"
2018 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Awkwafina/Travis Scott"
2019 Weird City Charlotta Episode: "Below"
2019 The Simpsons Carmen (voice) Episode: "Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy"


Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2018 Hawaii International Film Festival Halekulani Maverick Award Herself Won [39]
2018 San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Comedic Performance Crazy Rich Asians Nominated
2019 Dorian Awards We're Wilde About You! Rising Star of the Year Herself Won
2019 SAG Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Crazy Rich Asians Nominated

See also


  1. ^ "Awkwafina Artist Biography". Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ a b Court Dunn (October 11, 2012). "Awkwafina "My Vag" (Official Video)". Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "Awkwafina is changing hip-hop one vulgar, hilarious lyric at a time". Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ "Twitter". Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Nora Lum - Immigration Paper, University at Albany, SUNY" (PDF). Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ Lee, Traci (August 26, 2014). "How Nora Lum Became Rapper Awkwafina Instead of A Meat Inspector". NBC News. NBC UNIVERSAL. Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ "5 Things to Know About 'Ocean's Eight' Star Awkwafina". February 25, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ "5 Things to Know About 'Ocean's Eight' Star Awkwafina". Us Weekly. February 25, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ "September Cover Story: Awkwafina Establishing Her Presence | KoreAm Journal". Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ 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 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Awkwafina". New York State Writers Institute. University of Albany. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ "Awkwafina Won't Let You Forget Her Name". The Ringer. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Oceans Eight Star Awkwafina On Her Makeup Essentials". Into The Gloss. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Awkwafina Got Fired From Her Office Job After Writing a Song Called "My Vag"". Galore. March 29, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "13 Awkward Questions With Rapper Awkwafina - Mochi Mag". Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ "Awkwafina". Discogs. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ Blistein, Jon (May 27, 2014). "Tenacious D Combine Jokes and Jams for 2014 Festival Supreme Lineup". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014.
  18. ^ Awkwafina x Margaret Cho - GREEN TEA.
  19. ^ Ting, Jasmine. "Awkwafina Announces New EP, 'In Fina We Trust'". PAPER. Retrieved 2018.
  20. ^ "Rapper Awkwafina Joins 'Neighbors' Sequel". NBC News. Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. "Indie Comedy 'Dude' Rounds Out Lead Cast With Trio Of Actresses". Retrieved 2016.
  22. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (April 2, 2018). "Milla Jovovich & More Join Emma Roberts In 'Paradise Hills'". Deadline. Retrieved 2018.
  23. ^ "'Crazy Rich Asians' Adds Awkwafina". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017.
  24. ^ Stedman, Alex (October 1, 2014). "Q&A: Girl Code Creator Ryan Ling on Season 3, Social Media and New Comedians". Variety.
  25. ^ "5 Things You Should Know About 'Ocean's 8' Star Awkwafina". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ Spangler, Todd (October 3, 2016). "Go90 Reups Awkwafina's 'Tawk' for Seasons 4 and 5, But Is Verizon's Service Struggling to Win Fans?". Variety. Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ "Hulu's Future Man is fun but doesn't level up: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2017.
  28. ^ "SNL Season 44 Episode 02 - Awkwafina". Retrieved 2018.
  29. ^ Frydenlund, Zach (May 24, 2014). "Premiere: Watch a Sneak Peek of the "Bad Rap" Documentary". Retrieved 2014.
  30. ^ "Jackie Joe movie 'Bad Rap' ... Life of Korean hip-hop musicians in documentary ? ' ?'... ? [LA?] 4? ". Korea Daily (in Korean). LA Joongang Daily. May 23, 2014. Archived from the original on May 31, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  31. ^ Lee, Cliff (August 22, 2018). "'The summer of Awkwafina': The Crazy Rich Asians star on hosting the MMVAs". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2018.
  32. ^ "Awkwafina's Guide Book Shows the New York City You've Never Seen". NBC. Retrieved 2017.
  33. ^ "Rapper and Actress Awkwafina on Being a Rare Asian-American in Hollywood". Broadly. May 26, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  34. ^ "Unforgettable Female Breakout of the Year: Awkwafina". Kore Asian Media. November 16, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  35. ^ "Awkwafina Joins the "Now Generation" for Gap Logo Remix Campaign". Retrieved 2018.
  36. ^ "Nora Lum". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 2018.
  37. ^ Dodes, Rachel (June 7, 2018). "Awkwafina Raps Her Way to Hollywood Fame". New York Times. Retrieved 2019.
  38. ^ Kit, Borys (January 3, 2019). "Awkwafina in Talks to Join Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart in 'Jumanji 2' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019.
  39. ^

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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