Issa and Lawrence got their ending. It’s Rap Sh!t now, mane!
We all loved HBO’s Insecure, especially millennials. Each experience was not only designed for the Black experience but a universal one, at that.
However, HBO Max debuted the premiere of Rae’s Rap Sh!t this week. While it looms over with similar cinematography tones to Insecure, Rae wants fans to be more objective.
“I want people to kind of divorce themselves from Insecure, in a way, she told Deadline. Just experience these characters, these actresses kind of independently from that, but I know that that’s impossible, but I feel good. I feel happy, and I’m excited for them.”
Rap Sh!t, is loosely based on the Miami rap duo and executive producers City Girls (JT & Yung Miami), and created by Rae. The series mirrors the song, “Period”, from the rap duo’s 2018 debut mixtape.
A half-hour show, much like Insecure, tells the story of a resurging friendship between two Black women who reconnect post-high school.
Shawana (Aida Osman) works her daytime job at Plymouth, a South Beach hotel. She tries to bring new life to her rap career after being dropped by her record label. Mia (rapper KaMillion) is a single mother, has an abundance of Instagram followers, and gets her coins through makeup and an OnlyFans account. However, the duo’s dreams are still nestled in music.
After drifting apart leading into their 20s, Mia has a dilemma where she’s unable to get child care for her daughter. She books a gig at the Plymouth hotel leading her to contact Shawana as a last-minute option. Given their history, Shawana is receptive to Mia’s request and agrees to watch her child,
“You know what? F–k this,” Shawana says as she heads home via public transportation. “I am tired of being slept on. I’m so tired of being underrated. Y’all’s favorites are out here doing the bare minimum with no originality while I’m over here living and breathing this rap s–t.”
Shawana has a strained relationship with her long-distance and law-hopeful boyfriend, Cliff (Devon Terrell). He attends school in New York and works to make the best of his relationship through virtual romance. The uncertainty of their relationship prompts Shawana to call Mia for a night out as a distraction. Mia delays her hustling obligations, as the two end up at a strip club.
Eventually, the duo is forced to work out their issues. This causes them to express their feelings about each other while re-visiting how to be better moving forward.
The Moment It Changes
Shawana lays down bars on IG Live and Mia does the ad-libs on a song during a car karaoke session. In today’s social media era, the song not only goes viral but creates some buzz that Shawana wants to bankroll.
The following day, Shawana awakens to an alert from a TikTok video Mia uploaded. Apparently, the karaoke session and the liquid courage paid off. The responses received reignites their interest to not only see where the journey can lead, but how their lives were meant to intersect. Talk about divine timing!
This shows the centralization of the real-life friendship between JT and Yung Miami. Rap Sh!t also displays how social media and Gen Z babies have used social media as a catalyst for fame and monetary gain.
Weeks after their stop in New Orleans for this year’s Essence Festival, the ladies sat down with the magazine to dish on their characters.
Osman said she wanted to make Shawana original and authentic by saying,
“I didn’t want her to feel like a generic Black girl as if that even exists. But I really wanted to put every weird quirk that I had into her so that she felt real and that [audiences] felt like yall knew her and yall were like ‘Oh I know girls like that, I don’t like girls like that. But I get girls like that.’”
When asked about what her role on the show meant, KaMillion said,
“I get to represent the legacy of the women in my family.”
Rae advised fans to give the new show and characters a chance to succeed much like Insecure.
“Just experience these characters, these actresses kind of independently from that,” she said. “But I know that that’s impossible, but I feel good. I feel happy, and I’m excited for them.”
The first two episodes of Rap Sh!t debuted on HBO Max Thursday, July 21. It runs exclusively on the streaming network.