Only Won
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Only Won


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"Engineering a rap"

Engineering a rap: Speaking of career day, one attendee is living proof that engineers aren't boring. At least not all of them.

Among the recruiters was Sac State alum Baldwin Chiu. He's now a mechanical engineer with the Roseville office of Barry-Wehmiller Design Group.

And a rapper. And an actor.

At noon, he performed the "Lyrical Engineer," a hip-hop song from his new Christian rap album, "Glory."

Sample lyrics:

"Ya know it's tough being an engineer

Designing gears and calculating elasticity of shear

I can't go on dates cuz my design project's late

Be workin' onsite till quarter past 8."

Chiu -- whose performing name is "Only Won" -- is getting local airtime for his new CD. He's also got a small role in the current Will Smith film, "Pursuit of Happyness."

What do fellow actors and rappers say when they discover that Chiu's an engineer? They're surprised. And "They're kind of jealous," Chiu says, "because my day job pays better than waiting tables." - Sacramento Bee

"Roseville rappers: Only Won takes popular beat, adds positive lyrics"

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

After 15 years of rapping, Baldwin Chiu, a.k.a. Only Won, might never see the Grammies, but at least he can understand thermo dynamics.

Or so say the lyrics on the song "Lyrical Engineer" on his album "Glory."

The 32-year-old Roseville rapper said he enjoys some luxuries, but any bling that's come his way is because of the money he makes as an engineer.

"Most people in the entertainment industry have a second job," Chiu said. "I'm a little more fortunate; I don't have to be a waiter or a busboy."

Whether he's rapping in South Sac or New York - he just got back from a gig for the Salvation Army in the Big Apple - or acting as an extra in Hollywood, the Roseville resident lives to share his faith and preach of making wise choices. Even his stage name, Only Won, is based in his faith.

"It means though I'm only one person, I haven't lost to the pressures of the world, but I've won, because of the only One.

"Kinda deep," he said by phone from Modesto during a consulting job. He also demonstrated some of his beat-boxing, mimicking the sound of rap percussion, that he does in only one take on the song "Only Won Track."

As he hinted, his CD, released last year, probably won't win an award, but features a guy who sounds like he's having fun. He shows off his talent of fast-talking and unique rhyming sprinkled with Cantonese and Mandarin. The seven songs range from serious, like "Desperate Cry," based on tough life experiences of his friends, to light-hearted, like "Lyrical Engineer," the saga of an educated rapper.

"That was my fun song," Chiu said. "In the hip-hop industry you try not to do too many goofy songs or else you end up being like Weird Al."

Chiu, who is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, was born in San Francisco and later moved to Rancho Cordova with his family. After college at Sacramento State, he worked as a semiconductor engineer at NEC Electronics in Roseville (the company even gets a shout-out in his album).

Moviegoers may have caught a glimpse of him as an intern in the film "Pursuit of Happy-ness," starring Will Smith. Chiu hopes to take his act on the road more, recently signing with The Music Insider, a promotions agency based in Nashville, Tenn.

A DJ in college, Chiu rapped because he liked the sound and beat of popular rap artists but not many of the lyrics. After a short hiatus, he started rapping again several years ago when members at his South Sacramento church wanted him to organize a youth hip-hop event.

He's now organizing a series of three spring-summer concerts for the New Hope Community Church in South Sacramento. For more information, see his Web site

- Ansel Oliver can be reached at anselo@ - By: Ansel Oliver, The Press-Tribune


First Impressions, Glory



Only Won: Though I am only one person, I have not lost to the pressures of the world, but I've won because of the only one who is Jesus Christ.

Only Won, born in San Francisco, CA, began singing and performing at the age of 9. He is the first bilingual Asian Holy Hip Hop artist and started rapping back in 1991 under the early inflences of RUN DMC and Holy Hip Hop pioneers DC Talk, D-Boy, JC Crew, and T-Bone. After listening to T-Bone flip it in Spanglish on the first JC Crew album, Only Won knew it was his turn to do it in Chinglish. Only Won began rapping/singing at talent shows, VBS, youth events, and eventually the Sunday morning worship services. He now serves at New Hope Community Church of Sacramento where he is currently supporting this new team with the vision of uniting all cultures and social/economic backgrounds.

Only Won has shared the stage and mic with Maximillian, KaBUC of K2S, Minister RMB, Deeper than Most, Three 5 and 6, The Holy Rida, and Gyasi. His concerts have been seen from San Francisco to NYC and in between including a stint in Nashville at GMA Week. Recently he was a semi-finalist for a television hosting position at a major television network in Sacramento, CA. He is currently working on new music for the full release of "Glory".

In addition to music, Only Won is a professional actor/model & member of the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG). Most recently featuring with Will Smith on "Pursuit of Happyness". He has had the luxury of working with people like Ang Lee, Will Smith, Ashley Judd, Andy Garcia, Jennifer Connelly...and many more.

He is also an advanced level martial artist of 14 yrs, and a professionally licensed mechanical engineer.