Spoiler alert: This article contains some details from tonight Rap Sh!t Premieres at 6pm PT/9pm ET on HBO Max
“I was really attracted to one The odd couple Dynamic,” Issa Rae says of the heart of her new half-hour comedy Rap Sh!tThe first two episodes of which will drop tonight on HBO Max, followed by one episode weekly.
“So, for the show, as a starting place to establish and establish new relationships, the camaraderie within this business experience really appealed to me.” insecure Co-produces the Miami hip hop scene-set series starring Aida Osman and Kamilion which she executive produces.
In the eight-episode first season of the Syreeta Singleton-showrun series, the pair play two old friends who reconnect in the hope of catching a golden ring famous in the music industry. An ambition that, among other things, forces Osman’s one-time viral sensation Shawna and Kamilion’s Mia to confront stereotypes, their own identities and talents.
Bathed in the atmosphere of South Florida, Rap Sh!t Rae’s audio content company Raedio also features City Girls’ JT and Yung Miami as executive producers, handling music supervision for the series.
In the warm aftermath of last week’s triple shot at Emmy nominations insecureRai chatted with me about her vision for the new show, Rap Sh!tA unique use of social media within the series and taking HBO Max to a level it has never been before. The busy Hooray Productions boss also talked about those Emmy noms, what a second season might look like now Rap Sh!t Received some big tax credits from the state of California this week, and how friendship is a fluid force.
Deadline: RapSh!t This is your first big foray back to the small screen since the end of 2015 insecure The end of last year, how was that for you?
ISSA RAE: I’m really excited. You know, I wrote this last season insecure, and I wanted to create something that made me feel like female rap music made me feel. Something that feels fun, something that truly chronicles the music industry and the creative way it is now
Time Limit: are you worried insecure Is it too heavy?
ISSA RAE: I want people to divorce themselves insecure, in a way. Experience these characters, these actresses independently of that, but I know it’s impossible, but I feel good. I feel happy, and I’m excited for them.
Time Limit: In that, you’re debuting a new show, you’re on Barbie Movies, AppleTV thunder, some Spidey, your ColorCreative Management, and Hoorae Productions are flying. That’s pretty much…
RAE: I’m in performance mode. I’m in performance mode. I’ve only worked by myself for the past month, you know, except for a few pop-out appearances there. I am more of a recluse, and love not being seen when I shouldn’t be. So when I do, I show, and I’m very conscious of how performative it is.
I’m very aware of, like, you know, how I can be perceived at those times, and in some ways, like, you know, it’s a game. It’s a system. It’s part of what it means to be creative now, and I’m aware of it, and I’m also fascinated by the way other people use it. I can only be that for a limited time, if at all, you know?
Time Limit: Still, the timing looks pretty good Rap Sh!t With a handful of Emmy nominations for insecure, including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Nice sync, right?
RAE: (Laughs) It’s amazing. I won’t even lie. Like, I wasn’t expecting one hodgepodge, much less three, and that’s one thing…
Time Limit: All well deserved.
RAE: Thanks, but it’s one thing to get. So, I’m excited about the platform to be able to talk about the new show, because that can’t be discounted. Like, an Emmy nomination, win, whatever, like, you get a whole new platform and obviously, some kind of industry validation. I think it just helps promote other people that I’m trying to put the spotlight on, other projects that I’m trying to put the spotlight on. So, I am very happy.
Time Limit: and Rap Sh!t At least HBO Max seems to have taken an unconventional release route? It’s like a combination of linear TV and streaming, if you know what I mean?
RAE: I’m so glad you highlighted that. We are the first show on HBO Max that will have a weekly time slot. I love linear television. I loved that we were broadcasting weekly, and I wanted people to experience the show together. So we’re airing every week at 6pm Pacific / 9pm Eastern, and that’s not the norm for steaming shows. Usually, a show drops at midnight and calls it a day. So, I think it’s very special that we have this opportunity, that we’ll see how it works. We’ll see if it makes any difference to people watching, but you know, I wanted that mix.
Time Limit: Watching early episodes of Rap Sh!t, One of the things we see develop between KaMillion and Aida in their characters is the multiple levels of this friendship.
Time Limit: An old and frayed friendship that becomes a professional relationship and then, of course, a new kind of personal relationship. It’s a topic that you come back to as a writer, as a producer, as a director, as an artist. How was it different when dealing with those issues? Rap Sh!t In contrast insecure?
RAE: I was really attracted to one The odd couple dynamic I love the idea of friendship in business and the odd old friendship in life. Like, you guys have this history, you went to high school together. You were friends in high school, and you have a very specific idea and a very dated reference to your relationship, their respective personalities.
Like, I recently reconnected with my best friend from middle school…
Time Limit: Really?
RAE: yes I had a certain impression of her, but now, I’m looking at her as an adult mother with children, it’s a whole new relationship. So, for the show, as a starting point for establishing and establishing new relationships, the camaraderie within this business experience really appealed to me,
Time Limit: The social media gaze, infatuation, and fixation play a large role in Shawna and Mia’s personalities, intentionally, as well as in the narrative of the story. Rap Sh!t. I have to say, I’ve rarely seen it used effectively in shows, it’s often treated as a gimmick, but here Social is a character in itself in many ways.
RAE: Well, this is one of the reasons why I want to use social media storytelling to introduce our audience to these characters. Because, in many ways, that’s how we interact with people. It’s how we connect with people, and it’s how we discover artists these days.
So, presenting these superficial layers of them initially through this particular lens in the episodes, I wanted to bring back the layers where they start rediscovering each other for who they are. So, you’re learning more about them, and you’re learning more about their particular journey, they’re learning more about each other, and as the story progresses and their relationship tries to deepen.
I would say that the music industry acts as a backdrop that almost informs who they are or pressures them to be a certain way. You have this face that you’re presenting to the industry or the audience you’re building, that you’re almost forced to keep up, while you’re trying to maintain this authentic friendship. There’s this push and pull dynamic or who you’re projecting to the outside world and who you are within this friendship, which we’ll see explored in the next couple of episodes or the next part of the season.
Time Limit: While talking about this season, let’s talk about the next season. There hasn’t been anything official from HBO Max, but you did get some nice tax incentives from the California Film Commission to relocate to the Golden State for a second season. So, what would a second season of Out West look like if it happens?
RAE: (Laughs) I can’t give you the feeling without giving you spoilers. I think by the time people get to the final episode, it will be very clear. So, on to the last episode. That’s my usual call-out. I’m like, man, watch the show.