In a new cover story with Rolling Stone, Issa Rae shared some details about her forthcoming new HBO Max series Rap Sh*t, including how comments Jermaine Dupri made about current women rappers inspired the writing of the show.
Jermaine Durpi faced widespread backlash in 2019, when he suggested the new wave of female rappers were indistinguishable and unworthy of a hip-hop crown.
“I don’t think they’re showing us who’s the best rapper,” he told People TV. “For me, it’s like strippers rapping. And as far as rap goes, I’m not getting who’s the best rapper. I’m getting like, ‘OK, you got a story about you dancing in the club, you got a story about you dancing in the club, you got a story about you dancing in the club.’ It’s like, ‘OK, who’s going to be the rapper?’ At some point, somebody’s going to have to break out of that mold and just show us?—talk about other things, just rap about other things besides that.”
Like many others, Rae wasn’t thrilled with Dupri’s assessment, which is why she decided to create Rap Sh*t, an upcoming scripted series about two childhood friends trying to get in the rap game. The show is said to be loosely based on the lives of City Girls’ Yung Miami and JT, who will also serve as co-executive producers.
“I was just like, ‘This is so unfair,’” Rae said about Durpi’s comments. “So that inspired the writing of it.”
Rap Sh*t received an eight-episode order from HBO Max, and is expected to begin production this summer. Quality Control bosses Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “Pee” Thomas will also co-executive produce alongside Insecure’s Syreeta Singelton, who will serve as the showrunner.
Also discussed in the story, is what to expect from the fifth and final season of Insecure. Although Rae didn’t offer many details on it, she did share that the Covid-19 pandemic wouldn’t be present, saying: “We’re not telling a Covid story.”