15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (2022)

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On July 21, HBO Max began airing the highly-anticipated series created by Issa Rae, Rap Sh!t. The show focuses on two Miami natives and high school friends, Shawna and Mia, who reconnect in adulthood and decide to form their own rap duo. The first four episodes of Rap Sh!t have dropped, and the remaining four will continue to air weekly on HBO Max. If you aren't already hooked on this entertaining comedy series, here are 15 reasons why you should be watching Rap Sh!t right now. 1. It's a victorious return to TV for Issa Rae. 2. Rap Sh!t reflects the current culture of hip-hop, plus it includes elements of Issa's personal experiences. 3. A prominent real-life rap duo is contributing behind the scenes. 4. Aida Osman is shining in her first professional acting role. 5. Aida and KaMillion's authentic chemistry makes the friendship between their characters a joy for audiences to see. 6. The show has an awesome soundtrack. 7. This includes a memorable track performed by Aida and KaMillion. 8. It showcases a vital part of work for up-and-coming rappers and entertainers: social media. 9. Issa Rae and Syreeta Singleton have joined forces again for Rap Sh!t after first working together on Insecure. 10. It's a show that's focused on friendship and women standing in their power. 11. Mia is a fitting role for KaMillion. 12. Aida manifested Rap Sh!t years before the series came into their life. 13. Shawna and Mia's story is told through the engaging medium of music. 14. Director Sadé Clacken Joseph delivered in leading early episodes of Rap Sh!t. 15. Rap Sh!t highlights the talent of female rappers that is too often ignored in the music industry. Make sure to watch Rap Sh!t via HBO Max on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST leading up to the Season 1 finale on September 1. FAQs Videos

    BRB, I need to add "Seduce & Scheme" to my playlist ASAP.

    by Devin HerendaBuzzFeed Contributor

    On July 21, HBO Max began airing the highly-anticipated series created by Issa Rae, Rap Sh!t. The show focuses on two Miami natives and high school friends, Shawna and Mia, who reconnect in adulthood and decide to form their own rap duo.

    HBO Max / Via giphy.com

    The half-hour series was announcedas being in development in October 2019, and in its first season, a total of eight episodes will be released. Aida Osman and KaMillion star as Shawna and Miaalongside costars like Jonica Booth,RJ Cyler, and Devon Terrell.

    The first four episodes of Rap Sh!t have dropped, and the remaining four will continue to air weekly on HBO Max. If you aren't already hooked on this entertaining comedy series, here are 15 reasons why you should be watching Rap Sh!t right now.

    HBO Max / Via giphy.com

    1. It's a victorious return to TV for Issa Rae.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (2)

    Alberto Rodriguez / Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

    Following the highly successful five-season run of her hit series, Insecure, Issa is back with another strong HBO show throughRap Sh!t. The Emmy-nominated actor, producer, and writer recently opened up about her enthusiasm for the new venture, which she began toward the end of Insecure.

    "I’m really excited," Issa told Deadlineof Rap Sh!t. "You know, I wrote it during the last season ofInsecure, and I wanted to create something that made me feel like female rap music feels to me. Something that felt fun, that really chronicled the music industry and this time as a creative right now."

    2. Rap Sh!t reflects the current culture of hip-hop, plus it includes elements of Issa's personal experiences.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (3)

    3 Arts Entertainment, Hoorae Media / Via youtube.com

    Issa crafted the series to showcase how the presence of female rappers has become more dominant across the hip-hop genre in recent years. In addition, women offering encouragement toward their fellow artists is emphasized. These themes are merged with Issa's history of first becoming known as an online presence in entertainment with her popular YouTube series,Awkward Black Girl.

    "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. I'm a child of the '90s, and there used to always be a tendency to put two women against one another," Issa told Harper's Bazaar in May 2022. "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."

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    3. A prominent real-life rap duo is contributing behind the scenes.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (4)

    Prince Williams / Getty Images

    The members of the rap group City Girls, JT and Yung Miami, are co-executive producers of Rap Sh!t.In July 2022, Issa told Entertainment Tonight that the duo's trajectory to the top of the music industry was one source of inspiration while creating the show, which made their contributions to the series even more valuable.

    "I mean, they're phenomenal. We really wanted to get their blessing," Issa said of JT and Yung Miami. "Their journey very much so mirrors Shawna and Mia's."

    Issa explained that numerous other accomplished female rappers were also influences when making Rap Sh!t.

    "This show is an amalgamation. It's inspired by all the female rappers right now that are out," Issasaid. "From Cardi to Megan, to obviously City Girls, to Noname, to Nicki, to Tierra Whack. ... We took different pieces of their lives and put them through Shawna and Mia's story, and then, of course, elements of our own lives."

    4. Aida Osman is shining in her first professional acting role.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (5)

    HBO Max / Via youtube.com

    Aidapreviously wrotefor the HBO series,Betty,as well as a miniseries,Group Therapy. They were first recruited to be a writer forRap Sh!tprior to reading for the part of Shawna. Following an impressive audition process, which involved a successful test read with KaMillion, Issa knew she wanted Aida as one of the show's lead performers.

    "[Aida] was a funny rapper and self-deprecating but confident at the same time. Through Aida, we found who Shawna is," Issa said toHarper's Bazaar. "We actually hired Aida as a writer before we cast her in the show, but we just could not get her out of our mind, and after the chemistry test between her and KaMillion, it was a no-brainer."

    In an interview with W Magazine,Aidarevealed that being aRap Sh!twriter and playing Shawna, which is her first professional acting job, are the "perfect" roles for her skill set.

    "Rap Sh!tfeels like I had a conversation with God and crafted the exact show that would’ve been perfect for me to do as my first television [project]," Aidasaid. "I’ve been a musician, rapper, songwriter, and certified goofer my whole life."

    5. Aida and KaMillion's authentic chemistry makes the friendship between their characters a joy for audiences to see.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (6)

    Alberto Tamargo / Getty Images for HBO Max

    Rap Sh!t showrunner, Syreeta Singleton,spoke to Ellein July about the genuine chemistry that Aida and KaMillion share as Shawna and Mia and in real life.

    "Not only is their energy and chemistry incredible to watch, it makes you wish you had a friendship like theirs in real life!" Syreeta said. "They’re just beautiful and magnetic, you feel the energy when they are together, it’s so palpable. We knew this was Shawna and Mia."

    Aida and KaMillion also chatted with Elle, and Aida revealed that the connection between the dynamic duo was apparent from the get-go.

    "Yeah, we immediately connected," Aida said. "I saw her at the callback and we read lines together. We were in a room with 15 other girls that were all auditioning for the same part of Shawna and Mia. But for some reason, I just saw KaMillion and I was like, 'Oh yeah. Let’s bring minds together. Let’s figure this out.'"

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    6. The show has an awesome soundtrack.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (7)

    Warner Music Group, Peter White / Getty Images / Via youtube.com youtube.com

    The music featured in Rap Sh!tconsists of songs that were recorded for the series and past hip-hop hits. "Sidewalk" by Jucee Froot, "Take It to da House" by Trick Daddy, and "S.O.S." byKelela are among the tracks that make up the show's soundtrack.

    Issa explained to Bustle that she and the crew members ofRap Sh!t"just lived and breathed music" as they selected and produced the song collection used for the series.

    7. This includes a memorable track performed by Aida and KaMillion.

    HBO Max / Via giphy.com

    In July 2022, Billboard reported that "Seduce & Scheme" was to be the lead single from theRap Sh!tfirst season soundtrack. This freestyle was created for the show and delivered by Shawna and Mia in Episode 1 of Rap Sh!t. The catchy song samples "K-Wang" by Khia, was penned by a group of writers such as pineappleCITI and Dreezy, and was produced by Earl on the Beat and Danja. "Seduce & Scheme" not only sounds great, but the message behind its lyrics is uplifting for listeners.

    "Seducing and scheming is really just about self-empowerment, showing girls how to really come up in the world," KaMillion said during a 2022 Genius interview alongside Aida.

    8. It showcases a vital part of work for up-and-coming rappers and entertainers: social media.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (8)

    3 Arts Entertainment

    Rap Sh!tis often shown through the lens of social media, as Instagram stories, live streams, TikTok posts, and more are included in episodes. Issa decided to utilize this format in order to accurately represent the current digital landscape for performers and reveal their true nature as their public personas are stripped down.

    "That’s the way that we keep up with people, and that’s the way that we discover artists during this time," Issa said of social media in her interview with Deadline. "So, presenting these superficial layers of them initially through this particular lens throughout the episodes, I wanted to peel back the layers on who they are as they start to rediscover each other. So, you’re learning more about them, and you’re learning more about their particular journey, as they’re learning more about each other, and as the story progresses and as their relationship attempts to deepen."

    9. Issa Rae and Syreeta Singleton have joined forces again for Rap Sh!t after first working together on Insecure.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (9)

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    Rodin Eckenroth / WireImage / Getty Images, Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images for HOORAE

    Syreeta wrote for shows like Black Mondayand Central Parkbefore joining the writing team ofInsecure. She spoke to HuffPostin July about becoming the Rap Sh!tshowrunner, which is a role she didn't initially anticipate Issa would offer her.

    "At the time, I was a story editor on Insecure, so I’m a lower-level writer on staff and just running a room is like ... I mean, it’s something that people aspire to," Syreeta said. "It’s something that some people don’t get to."

    Once she thought about the opportunity further, Syreeta recognized how her perspective could help tell Shawna and Mia's story.

    "I was realizing, I think I got this. I understand the world that we’re trying to build," Syreeta said. "I know Issa. We’ve worked together long enough. I understand what she likes. We have kind of similar tastes. I know this world and I’m passionate about this music and about women, about these different types of women that we’re writing about."

    10. It's a show that's focused on friendship and women standing in their power.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (10)

    Alberto Tamargo / Getty Images for HBO Max

    "Female friendships are so rich, and I feel like we’re just kind of scratching the surface on the different dynamics," Issa said to The Independent.

    In the same interview, Issa stated that she's been a fan of many female rappers since her childhood years like Lil' Kim, Lauryn Hill, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes,Missy Elliott, and Foxy Brown. As a kid, however, she was "socially taught to shun them and to not aspire to be them" due to their provocative image and lyrics. By the time she was in high school, Issa's outlook shifted upon listening to another female rapper, Trina. A more empowered point of view emerged, which now serves as a foundational element ofRap Sh!t.

    “I was like, '[Trina] is badass. What the fuck? Why have I been so ashamed? Why has it been placed in my mind that what she’s rapping about is wrong?'" Issa said. "We’re essentially slut-shaming these women when they’re empowering themselves."

    11. Mia is a fitting role for KaMillion.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (11)

    Alberto Rodriguez / Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

    KaMillion made a lasting impression since her earliest audition for the role of Mia, which was a self-tape she sent to casting directors.

    “I came on camera and I was like, 'Hi, my name’s KaMillion. I’m Mia, and Mia is me,' and the casting directors said that that stood out to them when I came on screen, so … shout out to life," KaMillion told The Daily Beast.

    The rapper and actor is a Florida native who was previously onLove & Hip Hop: Miamiand has been releasing music for nearly a decade. KaMillion used memories from her own journey as a hardworking hip-hop artist while portraying Mia, who is a single mother providing for her daughter by working various jobs.

    " ...Mia is so much like me," KaMillion said to Elle. "I would say that I don't have a child, but the struggles that Mia endured and overcame and went through just to find her place in the world and her purpose, I can definitely relate to that. And kind of doing a little bit of everything [until] something finally clicks."

    12. Aida manifested Rap Sh!t years before the series came into their life.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (12)

    Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

    During her chat with W Magazine, Aida revealed that they wrote a script about two Black girls starting a hip-hop group years prior to being offered a starring role and writing position withRap Sh!t. Though she "never considered acting to be a reality" for her, Aida noted how the stars aligned for her vision to become a reality.

    "Sometimes you can’t fight how cosmic shit is," Aida said of the fated opportunity.

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    13. Shawna and Mia's story is told through the engaging medium of music.

    HBO Max / Via giphy.com

    Rap Sh!t shares Shawna and Mia's path while incorporating hip-hop sounds that are a fundamental component of their environment. Merging music with the plot of the series creates a unique experience in each episode for viewers.

    "It’s just, music is such a great medium to tell stories, music is so universal," Issa said during an August 2022 conversation with Lindsay Peoples, the editor-in-chief of the Cut. "Everybody feels songs differently, everybody feels albums differently, everybody connects to artists differently, and I just think it’s so powerfully special. And so this particular show appealed to me because again, I wanted it to feel like this time and I wanted the show to feel like how female rap music makes me feel."

    14. Director Sadé Clacken Joseph delivered in leading early episodes of Rap Sh!t.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (13)

    Tim Francis / Getty Images

    Sadé has directed projects like the short film,Knight,and Ponyboi, whichwas nominated for Best Narrative Short at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Issa praisedSadé's work as she reflected on her directing theRap Sh!t episodes, "Something for the City" and "Something for the Girls."

    "She did a phenomenal job directing our first two episodes and really had a hard task of shaping the look of the show and just killed it," Issa said of Sadé on The View.

    15. Rap Sh!t highlights the talent of female rappers that is too often ignored in the music industry.

    15 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching "Rap Shit" (14)

    Mike Coppola / Getty Images,Paras Griffin / Getty Images,Mariano Regidor / Redferns / Getty Images

    The work ethic, determination and musical prowess of female hip-hop artists are displayed throughout the plot of Rap Sh!t. When discussing the project, Issa has addressed the historically male-dominated nature of rap music while stating how female rappers are currently gaining more influence and recognition for their artistic abilities.

    "They have just not gotten the same spotlight," Issatold Now Magazineof female rappers."It does feel like ... something's in the air where the female rappers are able to take control of their own narratives. Whether it's via coming up through social media, whether it's [that the] audience is clamoring for them. But there's just a different demand for the female voice. ... In that genre it's been so male-dominated for a while, and I think as fans and as creatives, it's just really enticing and appealing to be able to go into that world and tell that story."

    Make sure to watch Rap Sh!t via HBO Max on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST leading up to the Season 1 finale on September 1.

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    FAQs

    Does rap music make you angry? ›

    Level of aggressive behaviors was significantly and positively associated with often listening to rap music (p < . 01), but negatively with often listening to country music (p < . 01).

    What time does rap sh t come on? ›

    New episodes Thursdays 9pm ET.

    How many episodes of rap sh t will there be? ›

    The eight-episode series' first season follows Shawna (Aida Osman) and her estranged high school friend Mia, played by real-life rapper and songwriter KaMillion, on a mission to find success within the music industry. After the two reconnect, they make the decision to form a rap group.

    Is rap music good for your brain? ›

    The scans showed that the areas of the brain concerning motivation, language, emotion, motor function, and sensory processing were at work. Similar to jazz improvisation, rap is able to hack into the brain's most creative spaces and alter our emotions. Dr.

    Is rap good for studying? ›

    If you're like many students suffering from anxiety and stress, try listening to rap music while studying. A study done by Cambridge University showed that hip-hop music provides an uplifting effect on its listeners that can help them accept, manage and deal better with mental health issues.

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