The rise of the “Rapping Teacher

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The rise of the “Rapping Teacher

PHOTOS BY CHRIS LAU

PHOTOS BY CHRIS LAU

PHOTOS BY CHRIS LAU

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It all started back at University of California, Davis, where Chris Lau earned his Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish with an end goal of becoming a Spanish teacher at a high school or college level.
One of Lau’s fraternity brothers urged him to write a rap verse for an upcoming party and Lau accepted this new and exciting challenge. As the party started to peak, Lau began to perform. As he rhymed his last words, the crowd erupted into a joyous roar and Lau was showered with praise for the remainder of the party.
“That party lit a fire inside me I didn’t know was there and I could never seem to shake it after that,” Lau said.
After graduation, Lau received his teaching credential from California State University, East Bay. Lau immediately started substitute teaching for the Acalanes school district.
He was later hired by Pittsburg High School as a full-time Spanish teacher. Although Lau found a steady job, there was always a lingering feeling in the back of his mind that something was missing.
“My heart was never really in teaching. I got my teaching credential because it was something to do full time in my 20’s and I felt sort of pressured to do so,” Lau said.
Often, he would find himself writing down lyrics and daydreaming about writing, recording and performing his own music. After three years of working a challenging job with hardly any money to show for it, Lau (with a little push from his friends) decided that there is no time like the present to push all his chips in and bet on himself.
In a bold yet clever way, Lau wrote a song about how 2018 will be his last year teaching and he filmed a self-made music video in the classroom and had his students act in it. The video quickly gained momentum on social media and because of it, Lau is often recognized and stopped in downtown Walnut Creek and asked if he’s the “rapping teacher.”
As the school year ended, Lau became committed to fully immersing himself in his music while still substitute teaching and driving for Uber as a way to pay the bills. Since his last day as a full-time teacher, Lau turned heads after his YouTube video, “Eminem taught me how to rap” was released and made skeptics into believers.
“I want to rap and sing in a way that brings people together and speaks to real subjects that people can relate to. A lot of contemporary rap has a cycle of topics and it never seems to venture outside of that. I’m here to be different,” Lau said.
Currently, Lau is working tirelessly to release his first full-length song and music video entitled, “The Gold War” which pays homage to the Bay Area with an emphasis on the Golden State Warriors and their 2019 playoff run.
Lau filmed in more than 20 different cities around the Bay Area and was even granted access into Oracle Arena to secure footage for this highly anticipated video.
“I commend Chris for what he’s doing. I fully believe in him and support him in his endeavor. He’s giving a voice to an unheard population in the rap industry,” said Veronica Taylor, a friend of Lau’s.