Callin’ out to all area crew: Berkeley-based hip-hop legend Lyrics Born has started an online cooking show, and you can even sample his food at a pop-up next week at a Maui fire benefit in Oakland.

Berkeley-based rap icon Lyrics Born is hardly recognizable these days. He shaved his beard, and appears to have also shed a ton of weight. Which makes it all the more shocking to hear the curious news that Lyrics Born, whose real name is Tsutomu Shimura, has started a Youtube cooking show called Dinner in Place. It seems odd to do a cooking show and actually lose weight instead of putting on pounds. So what’s his secret?

The man started eating healthier, which is a focus of his pandemic pastime show Dinner in Place. “A few months before lockdown, I started to change my diet and exercise,” he says in a new interview with KQED. “I was up to 225 pounds, and I couldn’t do what I used to on stage, and that was upsetting. I literally couldn’t perform like I used to. So one of the best things I could’ve done was just drop some weight. I started to eat differently and exercise more, and so sliding into quarantine I had some momentum and control over my life.”

“Because of my health journey, I started to do plant-based stuff,” he adds. “I like to use social media, so I just shot the shit. No editing, just narrating as I went in real time. Everyone was at home also, and it was just a hit. I wasn’t writing anything else, and I didn’t want to do anything with music, so it gave me a new creative outlet instantly.”

Those social media posts spawned his weekly Youtube cooking show, which is now on its fourth season. The show is now drawing notable guests like Señor Sisig chef Gil Payumo (above), and chef Chris Cosentino of Cockscomb and Top Chef Masters fame.

“I never went to any culinary school,” Shimura tells KQED. “But I’m creative. And the food tastes good. I don’t give a shit about technique. About what is the way you’re supposed to do it. Just taste it. You’ll love it. You don’t need a chef’s coat. Whatever you wear isn’t gonna change the way you cook. I didn’t come from that.”

Though of his celebrity chef guests, he admits, “Yes, some of these guys can cook circles around me.”

So you can try Lyrics Born’s recipes, and next week, you can even let him cook your food. He’ll be cooking Japanese locrio at the Dinner in Place Pop-Up Event on Thursday, September 14 at aLaMar Domincan Kitchen, two blocks north of Lake Merritt in Oakland. He’s cooking from  5-10 p.m., and proceeds go the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund.

Related: House of Nanking Is Getting a Food Network Docuseries Premiering Next Week [SFist]

Image: @lyricsborn via Twitter