As a kid growing up in New York City, Nora Lum used to love the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
The Rangers were television darlings of the mid-1990s, color-coordinated teenagers saving the world from alien invaders.
When Nora and her friends adopted Ranger roles to save their city during play sessions, she was always tagged the yellow ranger. The big joke was that Nora, of Chinese and South Korean descent, was perfect for the “yellow” warrior.
“I wanted to be the red, white or black ranger,” said Lum, who works as the comic rapper Awkwafina. “I never wanted to be the yellow ranger. Looking back, it’s kind of empowering.”
Awkwafina — the name’s a take on the popular bottled water — will appear at 8 p.m. Saturday at Proctors GE Theatre.
WHERE: Proctors GE Theatre, 432 State St. Schenectady
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
HOW MUCH: $30-$20
MORE INFO: 346-6204, www.proctors.org
Lum is no stranger to the Capital Region. She graduated from the University at Albany in 2011 with a journalism major and a minor in women’s studies, has made fans through her series of risqué comedy rap videos and songs. Her debut album, “Yellow Ranger,” was released in early 2014.
Now 26, Lum is in the cast of MTV’s “Girl Code.”
“I really love what I do, but I look at it as kind of gift to be able to do what I want to do,” said Lum, who now lives in Brooklyn. “I know a lot of musicians who can’t.”
It used to be a little tougher. Awkwafina would land shows and have to follow hard-core rap acts. Some people in the audience couldn’t figure out what a slightly built Asian woman was doing on stage.
But videos helped promote the name and the work, and Awkwafina’s 2012 satirical rap about female anatomy has won close to a million views.
In a way, Awkwafina is a stage persona, with her trademark oversized glasses and a beanie.
“There’s definitely a Clark Kent-Superman sort of thing working,” she said. “Awkwafina is confident and doesn’t hold back. I feel I was like this back in high school.”
Awkwafina appeared in the documentary “Bad Rap,” which showcased fellow Asian rappers Dumbfoundead, Rekstizzy and Lyricks. She’s still kind of getting used to showing up on movie and television screens.
“Being in ‘Girl Code’ is amazing,” she said. “It’s something I never really set out to do, so watching myself on television was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen.”
Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 395-3124 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Jeffwilkin1.