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Premiering on July 21, the eight-episode half-hour comedy, which was developed from Rae’s original Insecure script, will focus on the challenges facing women trying to break into the male-dominated hip-hop industry. Specifically, the series follows two estranged high school friends from Miami, Shawna (Aida Osman) and Mia (KaMillion), who reunite to form a rap group.
Rae, who penned the first episode and co-wrote the finale, recently spoke with Harper’s Bazaar about the series.
“I think this is just such a unique time in hip-hop, especially when it comes to female rappers, because there’s such an abundance, and it doesn’t feel like they’re all in competition with each other,” Issa explained. “I’m a child of the ’90s, and there used to always be a tendency to put two women against one another. It feels like we’re in an era where there’s such a supportive environment now because of that abundance. All of that, combined with just my own story of coming up, became the next story that I wanted to tell.”
Meanwhile, Osman told Harper’s she’s giving her character “a lot of my personal storylines.”
“It’s comedy, it’s storytelling, it’s music, it’s fine bitches!” Osman explained. “It’s interesting with Shawna—I’m giving her a lot of my personal storylines. In the writers’ room, we access our own personal stories and give them to the characters just by nature of having conversations about our life and about what’s going on in culture around us. We can have real conversations about Black femininity and control as a young creative, and that’s beautiful to me as a young creative and a Black woman. I get to do a lot of self-exploration through the show, and heal and investigate my own life. It’s like constant therapy.”
Rae serves as an executive producer alongside showrunner Syreeta Singleton. Yung Miami and JT of the Miami-based City Girls are co-executive producers on the comedy.
Watch the teaser trailer for HBO Max’s Rap Sh!t up top.