Only Won

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Only Won
Only Won Sacramento California State Fair concert 2010.jpg
Only Won at a Sacramento California State Fair concert in 2010.
Background information
Birth name Baldwin Chiu
Genres Christian hip hop, hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, actor, stunt performer
Labels LOG Records

Only Won (born Baldwin Chiu, May 17, 1974 in San Francisco, California) is an American rapper, actor, producer and stunt performer. As a hip hop artist, he writes/performs rap, beatboxing, and singing. He is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild involved in acting and choreographing stunt work. Only Won started rapping professionally in 1991 after being influenced by hip hop pioneers Run DMC, Will Smith, dcTalk, and T-Bone. Because he started rapping in both English and Cantonese, some consider him to be the first Chinese American bilingual rapper.[1][2] "This Chinese American rapper has a refreshing and unique sound with a message born out of experience, having been in the game since '91."[3] At one point, he was labeled the "Christian" version of "Jin the MC" until Jin became a Christian as well.


Among these things, Only Won is also a professionally licensed mechanical engineer with a PE License deeming him the "Lyrical Engineer".[1][4] The title track of his LP (The Lyrical Engineer), provides an exposition of the life and livelihood of a professional engineer. It demonstrates Only Won's technological acumen as well as his lyrical wit and dexterity. Only Won is also a favored guest speaker at conventions, schools, and youth events challenging and encouraging the next generation to pursue their dreams and passions while maintaining an education and focus on God.[5][6]

Signed in 2009 under Los Angeles record label, LOG Records. Only Won has appeared as both a host and musical guest on JCTV and has been featured on collaboration albums. Only Won's release, "The Lyrical Engineer" is produced by Grammy nominated group Dynamic Twins,[7] Billboard winner Maximillian and Larissa Lam. The music video was directed and edited by Emmy Award-winning director, Marlon Jones. Only Won and Larissa Lam launched a viral music video title "Cantonese Boy"[8] which was a parody of the Grammy winning song American Boy by Kanye West and Estelle. After being seen performing "Cantonese Boy" in Chinatown, Only Won was asked to perform at the 2010 Green Globe Film Awards as they honored Asians in film and entertainment.

As an actor and member of SAG, he appears in many feature films such as The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, xXx2: State of the Union, Twisted, and Pursuit of Happyness.[9] He has also provided music for the soundtrack of Dead Man Down and the animated film, "The Monkey Prince".[10]

He is also an advanced level martial artists having trained under the lineage of Kanbun Uechi and Wong Doc-Fai. He is a 3 time UC Berkeley Wushu Champion in tai chi, weapons, and push hands [11] and teaches Tai Chi in Hollywood. He has used some of his skills in choreographing fight scenes in movies and doing stunt work for Ang Lee in the movie Hulk.[12][13]

On April 29, 2010 California State University, Sacramento, honored high-achieving alumni at an annual award ceremony called the "Distinguished Service Awards". This is the highest recognized award for CSU Sacramento. Baldwin was recognized for his contributions in engineering, his performances as Only Won: The Lyrical Engineer and other entertainment industry endeavors as well as his work with youth.[14] He received this award alongside KXTV ABC News anchor Cristina Mendonsa.[15][16]

On Pi day 2012, Intel asked Only Won to be part of President Barack Obama's national White House campaign titled, Stay With It, designed to boost retention of students in undergraduate engineering programs.[17]

Only Won releases[edit]

Cat No. Artist Title Date Configuration
1 Only Won First Impressions 1997 EP
2 Channel 3 Channel 3 Anchormen 2001 Single
3 Minister RMB When the Storm Comes 2006 LP
4 Only Won Glory EP 2006 EP
5 Hip Hop International H2i Mix Tape 2009 LP
6 Only Won The Lyrical Engineer 2010 LP
7 Only Won Crush em Like Godzilla 2011 Single
8 Only Won JUN BAY 2012 Single
9 Larissa Lam Love and Discovery 2015 LP

Other work[edit]

Tai Chiu Music was set up in 2008. After moving its location from Sacramento, California, TCM joined forces with LOG Records and producer Larissa Lam in Los Angeles.

In 2011, Only Won released a "Geeked out" remix video of the hit song "Billionaire", titled "I Wanna Be An Engineer",[18] which was a parody that reached viral status[citation needed] and caught the attention of CNN, Discovery Channel, The Pentagon, and FIRST Robotics Competition. The song became the anthem to those in the engineering, technology, and science community.[19][20] It also reached No. 2 on on the viral hits list, gaining over 400,000 views in less than two weeks.[citation needed] The song "Crush 'em Like Godzilla" was inspired by Ed Wang, the first NFL player of full Chinese descent.

In summer 2012, Only Won released two songs on the video game Sleeping Dogs.

In Spring 2013, the song "JUN BAY" (aka: Get ready) was featured on the film Dead Man Down.[21]

Reissues on other labels[edit]

LOG Records issued the 2010 release of Only Won-The Lyrical Engineer tracks for download, through major outlets (Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby, Nimbitmusic, etc.). Also featured with Holland music collaborating with One Truth.


Year Title Role Notes
2015 Finding Cleveland Producer Documentary Short Film
2013 JUN BAY (aka: Get Ready) Soundtrack Film: Dead Man Down
2013 DIM SUM Principle Musical Artist TV WEB, Film Festival
2012 Sleeping Dogs (video game) Musical Artist Video Game - Square Enix
2011 I Wanna Be An Engineer Music Video Principle Musical Artist WEB
2010 JCTV Christmas Special Featured Rap Artist TV
2010 Lyrical Engineer Music Video Principle Musical Artist TV
2009 JCTV Top 3 Musical Guest TV
2008 Cantonese Boy Music Video Principle Musical Artist WEB
2008 JCTV Christmas Special Beatbox TV
2006 Pursuit of Happyness Intern FILM
2005 xXx2: State of the Union Navy Officer FILM
2004 Twisted (2004 film) CSI Photographer FILM
2003 Hulk (film) Swat & FBI FILM
2002 The Matrix Zion FILM

Film Maker[edit]

In 2015, Only Won produced a Documentary short titled, Finding Cleveland with Larissa Lam as the director and music composer. It garnished multiple nominations for Best Documentary.[22][23][24] In 2016, Finding Cleveland won Best Documentary at the Oxford Film Festival.[25][26] The story started as a journey for him to search for his family roots, but instead of taking him to the far east, it took him into the deep south of Cleveland, MS. While the 12-minute documentary focuses on the family's discoveries about their roots, it also touches on a broader history, such as the treatment of Asian immigrants in the region and the role the Chinese Exclusion Act played in that.[27]


Distinguished Service Award 1st ever Rising Star Award (2010).[28][29][30]

Personal life[edit]

In March 2008, he married American talk show host, Singer/songwriter, and producer Larissa Lam. The couple currently reside in Los Angeles, California.[31]

Outreach and Community Work[edit]

Only Won has worked with the community and uses his platform as an entertainer and engineer to encourage people to continue to seek out their dreams without giving up their education.[32] He strives to use his music to bridge a culture that needs to hear and feel the love of God.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Cummings, Tony (July 10, 2009). "Only Won: Surely the world's only bi-lingual Chinese gospel rapper". Cross Rhythms. 
  2. ^ Nau, Jeff (Sep 13, 2012). "OnlyWon, the Unsung Hero of Nerdcore". [Daily Nerdcore]. 
  3. ^ Hayes, Steve (Aug 6, 2010). "Only Won - The Lyrical Engineer". Cross Rhythms. 
  4. ^ Shallot, Bob (March 26, 2007). "Archive DVD Action Flicks-Engineer Moonlighting in Showbiz". Sacramento Bee. 
  5. ^ Marquez, Peter (March 23, 2007). "Hip Hop Christian". Philippine Fiesta. 
  6. ^ Marquez, Jose (May 11, 2007). "Psalms of Hope at the New Hope Center". Philippine Fiesta. 
  7. ^ Rhythms, Cross (Aug 6, 2009). "Dynamic Twins' Noel Arthurton producing Chinese rapper Only Won". Cross Rhythms. 
  8. ^ 88bar, oneinchpunch. "Cantonese Boy-Parody of American Boy". 
  9. ^ "IMDB The Internet Movie Database". IMDB. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Martial Arts Club of CSUS - News Archive". Retrieved October 26, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Baldwin Chiu Filmography". Retrieved October 26, 2011. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ "The Lyrical Engineer | College of Engineering & Computer Science | Sacramento State". October 14, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2011. 
  15. ^ Lindelof, Bill (April 21, 2010). "Sacramento State to honor distinguished alumni". Sacramento Bee. 
  16. ^ Ponto, Michelle (April 30, 2010). "Sac State Distinguished Service Awards". ABC News 10. 
  17. ^ Koscho, Craig (March 14, 2012). "Campaign Encourages Future Engineers". Sac State News. 
  18. ^ "I Wanna Be An Engineer - (Billionaire Geeked Out Mix) by: Only Won - the Lyrical Engineer". YouTube. January 18, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2011. 
  19. ^ APA, Channel (Oct 10, 2010). "Lyrical Engineer by Only Won". Channel APA. 
  20. ^ Feed, Buzz (February 1, 2011). "I Wanna Be An Engineer". BuzzFeed. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "2015 Summer Quarter Winners". Asians On Film. October 15, 2015. 
  24. ^ "2015 BAAFF Guests and Screenings". Asians On Film. 
  25. ^ "Film fest ticket sales up". Oxford Eagle. February 22, 2016. 
  26. ^ "BEST OF OXFORD SHORTS AT THE SHELTER MARCH 5 FREE!". Oxford Film Festival. February 26, 2016. 
  27. ^ "'This is a Story About America': Short Doc Explores Family's Immigration Story". October 21, 2015. 
  28. ^ State University, Sacramento
  29. ^ Lindelof, Bill (April 21, 2010). "Sacramento State to honor distinguished alumni". Sacramento Bee. 
  30. ^ Sandolval, Timothy (April 21, 2010). "Campus to honor alumni for success, community service". California State University, Sacramento. 
  31. ^ "Sunny Shell Interviews Larissa Lam". January 6, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  32. ^ State University, Sacramento
  33. ^ Im, Albert (April 1, 2007). "New Hope Concert Series - Fox 40 News". Fox 40 News-Sacramento. 

External links[edit]