Rap Sh!t

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Rap Sh!t
The image shows lead actresses Aida Osman and KaMillion posing in front of a car wearing glamorous clothing and make-up.
Official promotional poster
GenreComedy[1]
Created byIssa Rae
Starring
Music byDevonté Hynes
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Production
Executive producers
  • Issa Rae
  • Syreeta Singleton
  • Montrel McKay
  • Deniese Davis
  • Dave Becky
  • Jonathan Barry
Producers
  • Alex Motlagh
  • Fran Richter
  • Lou Fusaro
  • Sarah Potts
CinematographyLucas Gath
Christine Ng
Editors
  • Josie Azzam
  • Lynarion Hubbard
Running time31–32 minutes
Production companies
DistributorWarner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming & Interactive Entertainment
Release
Original networkHBO Max
Original releaseJuly 21, 2022 (2022-07-21) –
present (present)

Rap Sh!t (pronounced "Rap Shit") is an American comedy streaming television series created by Issa Rae for HBO Max. The show is produced by Hoorae Productions and 3 Arts Entertainment and centers on two Miami-based rappers (portrayed by Aida Osman and KaMillion) who try to find success in the music industry. The series debuted at the American Black Film Festival on June 18, 2022 and was released on July 21, 2022.[2][3] It was renewed for a second season in September 2022.[4]

Plot[edit]

The show follows Mia Knight and Shawna Clark, two estranged high school friends from Miami who come back together to form a rap group.[5]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Aida Osman as Shawna Clark, a struggling rapper who works at a hotel[6]
  • KaMillion as Mia Knight, a single mother and rapper working multiple jobs to support herself and her 4-year-old daughter, Melissa[6]
  • Jonica Booth as Chastity, a party promoter who goes by "The Duke of Miami" or simply "Duke." She also manages a group of sex workers.[6]
  • Devon Terrell as Cliff Lewis, Shawna's long-distance boyfriend who is a law student in New York[7]
  • RJ Cyler as Lamont, an aspiring producer with a sharp ear for talent and the father of Mia's daughter[8]

Recurring[edit]

  • Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut as Fatima, Cliff's law classmate and close friend[9]
  • Daniel Augustin as Maurice, Shawna's friend and co-worker[9]
  • Amandla Jahava as Jill, Shawna's college friend and employee at Spotify[9]
  • Jaboukie Young-White as Francois Boom, Shawna's former schoolmate and producer[9]
  • Brittney Jefferson as Alesia, Mia's friend from high school[10]
  • DomiNque Perry as Nelly, a single mom and high school friend of Mia's[10]

Guest[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Something for The City"Sadé Clacken JosephIssa RaeJuly 21, 2022 (2022-07-21)
When Mia Knight (KaMillion) suddenly needs someone to watch her daughter, she reaches out to Shawna (Aida Osman), a friend she hasn't talked to since high school. Shawna, a hotel clerk, agrees to babysit while Mia goes to work as a make-up artist for a bridal party. Shawna is frustrated with her day job and the lack of attention she gets when she posts her conscious rap videos as The Vision. She's also nervous about the relationship between her long-distance boyfriend Cliff (Devon Terrell) and a classmate of his. Mia goes to her next job as a cam-girl on OnlyFans and later confronts Lamont (RJ Cyler), her daughter's father, for failing to provide financially. Shawna invites Mia to go out for drinks. Once together, they decide to form a rap group. They record a video of Shawna freestyling a song with the hook "seduce and scheme." The video goes viral overnight.
2"Something for The Girls"Sadé Clacken JosephRosa HandelmanJuly 21, 2022 (2022-07-21)
At her third job, Mia sees Lamont showing off a new watch on his Instagram. Shawna asks her friend Jill (Amandla Jahava) if she can share the "Seduce and Scheme" video with producers at Spotify. Shawna and Mia get together to record more music, but Mia is frustrated that Shawna only wants to rap about social issues. Shawna argues that making music about sex and partying is playing into patriarchy and Mia contends that women shouldn't limit what they rap about to avoid criticism. Cliff's roommates see the "Seduce and Scheme" video and recognize Mia from her OnlyFans profile. Cliff tells Shawna she should stay away from Mia and denies that his friend Fatima (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut) has a crush on him. Lamont surprises Mia by sending her several thousand dollars. Mia and Shawna successfully record a full-length version of "Seduce and Scheme." Shawna and Cliff reconcile.
3"Something for The Hood"Christian Nolan JonesSyreeta SingletonJuly 28, 2022 (2022-07-28)
Chastity (Jonica Booth) is short on cash after some of her sex workers are robbed and she isn’t paid for party promoting for Guapdad 4000. Lamont’s car is repossessed while he’s watching Melissa, so he makes moves to get cash. He sells some jewelry and attempts to get back pay from some artists whose music he produced, to no avail. Mia pays Lamont to produce "Seduce and Scheme," taking the track to a new level. Maurice (Daniel Augustin) uses one of the credit cards Shawna stole from a hotel guest to buy high-end merchandise that will be resold. Chastity asks Mia if she can manage the group.
4"Something for The Clubs"Lawrence LamontNina GlosterAugust 4, 2022 (2022-08-04)
Mia video chats with her father, a prison inmate and rapper named E-Block, about her burgeoning rap career. Chastity takes Shawna, Mia, Nelly, and Alesia to a party to meet a well-connected music producer, Sam Sneak. However, they get stuck in the heat waiting in line and he’s left by the time they get in. Chastity next takes them to a nightclub where Sam happens to be, but gets sidetracked to pursue the robber from the last episode. At the nightclub Sam is not interested in entertaining Chastity’s pitch for a demo. She lies to the DJ to get her to play "Seduce and Scheme," and Mia and Shawna are excited to hear their song. Shawna tells Mia she’s going to New York to visit Cliff and they decide to travel together.
5"Something for The Weekend"Kevin BrayFran Richter & Chad SandersAugust 11, 2022 (2022-08-11)
Spotify executives take a liking to “Seduce and Scheme,” surprising Jill at her corporate meeting. Shawna and Mia are recognized from bystanders as they arrive in New York and Shawna surprises Cliff at his apartment. Mia meets up with one of her long-term OnlyFans clients, but ends the night early. The following morning she is evicted from the high-end hotel where she was staying. At a morning brunch with Cliff’s friends, Cliff is surprised to hear that Shawna didn't tell Mia she was planning to move to New York. Shawna and Mia are invited to a special Spotify party and Jill introduces them to corporate management. Mia gets in a scuffle with another woman, causing friction between her and Shawna. Cliff feels slighted and leaves the party. At his apartment he livestreams an argument with Shawna and disparages “Seduce and Scheme.” Mia and Shawna console each other as they await their flight.
6"Something for The Gram"Amy AniobiAida Osman & Kid FuryAugust 18, 2022 (2022-08-18)
Mia takes the day off work after reading negative social media responses about her fight at the Spotify party. Shawna refuses to reach out to Cliff and skips work to go to the beach with Maurice and other friends. Cliff texts her angrily after she posts videos of the outing on Instagram. Shawna and Maurice sneak into a swanky penthouse at the hotel and have sex. Mia is feeling depressed and is surprised that Lamont offers her solace. Shawna calls Mia to apologize for not supporting her sooner after the Spotify fight. She also threatens a reaction video vlogger on IG Live for criticizing Mia. Chastity tells Mia she can secure a high-profile gig for the rap group.
7"Something for The DJ"Lawrence LamontChris Sanford & Elize DiopAugust 25, 2022 (2022-08-25)
Maurice buys several laptops to resell using credit card numbers stolen by Shawna. Lamont invites Mia out on a date but Shawna suggests that he’s only interested because of her budding fame. Francois invites Shawna for drinks and asks her to collaborate with his new white female artist, Reina Reign. Shawna leaves in anger. At their first major gig, a party thrown by James Harden, Chastity’s connect Brian is embarrassed by her fangirl behavior. Deja, one of her sex workers, gets angry when she finds out none of the girls will be paid for working the party. Mia and Shawna’s performance begins strong but is derailed when Shawna delivers an impromptu freestyle. Mia is angry at Shawna and ends up sleeping with Lamont. Maurice is MIA the day of the party.
8"Something for The Road"Jay EllisIssa Rae & Syreeta SingletonSeptember 1, 2022 (2022-09-01)
Mia ignores Shawna's attempts to reconcile. She goes out with Alesia and Nelly and they run into Cash, who spilled his drink on her at the James Harden party. The group shares a meal at a diner and Cash gives Mia several thousand dollars in an attempt to woo her. Maurice tells Shawna that he was arrested. Shawna deletes the digital trail of all communications related to the credit card scam. She tells Cliff she misses him and later meets Francois and asks him to work together. Chastity arranges a meeting with Mia and Shawna and tells them she can either manage them or hurt the group's prospects. Shawna apologizes to Mia and promises she'll check her ego. Mia tells Lamont that she isn't interested in dating him. Francois sets up the duo to be the opening act on Reina Reign's tour. The police come to the hotel to arrest Shawna.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In October 2019 it was announced that Issa Rae would produce Rap Sh!t for HBO Max, a comedy series about a fledgling South Florida-based rap group, with a tentative premiere date of May 2020.[11][2] In February 2021 it was announced that HBO Max ordered the eight-episode half hour series.[1]

Rap Sh!t is produced by Rae's company, Hoorae Media, and 3 Arts Entertainment.[12] It is her first major project following the end of Insecure, which ran for five seasons. Similar to Insecure, each episode title of the season begins with the same phrase.[13]

Rae is the show's head writer and executive producer with Montrel McKay and 3A's Dave Becky and Jonathan Barry.[11] Syreeta Singleton, who wrote for Insecure, is also executive producer and serves as showrunner.[5] Yung Miami and JT of rap duo City Girls are also co-executive producers with Kevin "Coach K" Lee and Pierre "P" Thomas (QC Films), and Sara Rastogi (Hoorae).[1] The series is inspired by the story of the City Girls' founding and later success.[13]

Production began in the summer of 2021.[1] On May 5, 2021, it was reported that Sadé Clacken Joseph would direct the pilot.[14] On August 23, 2021, it was reported that Devonté Hynes is set to serve as the series' composer.[15]

In July 2022, the series received $12.6 million in tax credits from the California Film Commission for job creation.[16] Rap Sh!t was renewed for a second season on September 12, 2022.[4]

Casting[edit]

On May 5, 2021, it was announced that Aida Osman and KaMillion will star in the lead roles of Mia and Shawna, and Jonica Booth will also star.[14] Osman, an executive story editor for the show, is best known as a co-host on the Crooked Media podcast Keep It.[6] KaMillion is a rapper-singer who has appeared on Love & Hip Hop: Miami, and Booth is known for having appeared on Bad Girls Club.[6]

On July 9, 2021, Devon Terrell joined the main cast.[7] On August 6, 2021, Daniel Augustin, Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut, Amandla Jahava, and Jaboukie Young-White joined the cast in recurring roles.[9] On August 16, 2021, RJ Cyler joined the main cast.[8] Brittney Jefferson and DomiNque Perry were announced as recurring cast members on January 21, 2022.[10]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography for the series began on August 8, 2021, and was scheduled to conclude on November 19, 2021, in Miami, Florida.[17]

Release[edit]

The series debuted at American Black Film Festival on June 18, 2022.[18] The series premiered on July 21, 2022 on HBO Max.[3] The series is also available on Binge.[19]

Reception[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating with an average rating of 7.4/10, based on 18 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Issa Rae's razor-sharp sensibility is fully felt in Rap Sh!t, a raucous chronicle of female camaraderie and youthful ambition."[20] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 80 out of 100 based on 13 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[21]

Shanelle Genai praised Rap Sh!t in a review for The Root: "And while the show moves pretty fast and has a lofty amount of topics it’s trying to cover, all in all, the sophomore show from Issa Rae is already proving to be one of the most fun, must-see TV shows this summer."[22] Similarly, Qunci Legardye of The A.V. Club rated the series a B+ and wrote in the review: "Though Rap Sh!t offers a lot of stimulating conversation starters about the state of the music industry, the rise of social media, and Rae’s choices in building her legacy, it’s primarily a funny-ass show about women trying to change their lives."[23] The Ringer's Alison Herman praised the use of cinematographic framing to depict various scenes that take place on digital platforms: "Pilot director Sadé Clacken Joseph, who’s helmed music videos and commercials for Common and T.I., sets the tone, toggling freely between Snapchats, Instagram Lives, phone footage, and cam sessions...Rap Sh!t’s use of online platforms isn’t just innovative. It’s key to the story it wants to tell about a world where clout and musical cred are increasingly interrelated.[24] Shelli Nicole praised the friendship at the core of the series in a review for RogerEbert.com: "“Rap Sh!t” not only centers friendship but it’s a new one, one that is being rediscovered. Yes, there is judgment and bickering between the two, but there is also sweetness and care. It feels real as they discover each other’s flaws, uncover their needs, and learn about themselves through the eyes of another person."[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Otterson, Joe (February 11, 2021). "Issa Rae Comedy 'Rap Sh*t' Gets HBO Max Series Order". Variety. Retrieved February 27, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b Robertson, Darryl (October 30, 2019). "Issa Rae To Produce 'Rap Sh*t,' An HBO Max Series". Vibe. Retrieved February 27, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b Cordero, Rosy (June 13, 2022). "'Rap Sh!t': Issa Rae Comedy At HBO Max Reveals Premiere Date And Teaser Trailer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Rae, Issa [@IssaRae] (September 12, 2022). "Seduced and Schemed another season of RAP SH!T… #RapShit" (Tweet). Archived from the original on September 12, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ a b Betancourt, Bianca (February 12, 2021). "A New Issa Rae Comedy for HBO Titled 'Rap Sh*t' Is Already on the Way". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e Zorrilla, Mónica Marie (May 5, 2021). "Aida Osman, KaMillion, Jonica Booth to Lead Issa Rae Comedy 'Rap Sh*t' at HBO Max, Sadé Clacken Joseph to Direct". Variety. Retrieved May 13, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (July 9, 2021). "'Rap Sh*t': Devon Terrell To Star In Issa Rae's HBO Max Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (August 16, 2021). "RJ Cyler Joins Issa Rae HBO Max Comedy Series 'Rap Sh*t' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d e Petski, Denise (August 6, 2021). "'Rap Sh*t': Issa Rae's HBO Max Series Adds Four To Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  10. ^ a b c "HBO Max series 'Rap Sh*t' adds Brittney Jefferson, Dominique Perry to cast". TheGrio. January 21, 2022. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  11. ^ a b Godlfine, Jael (October 30, 2019). "Issa Rae Is Creating a TV Show About a Female Rap Group". Paper. Retrieved February 27, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ Thornton, Cedric 'Big Ced' (February 15, 2021). "Issa Rae Reveals New HBO Max Comedy Series". Black Enterprise. Retrieved February 27, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ a b Herman, Alison (July 21, 2022). "Issa Rae's 'Rap Sh!t' Is the Show We Thought 'Atlanta' Would Be". The Ringer. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  14. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (May 5, 2021). "'Rap Sh*t': Aida Osman, KaMillion & Jonica Booth To Headline Issa Rae's HBO Max Series, Sadé Clacken Joseph To Direct". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  15. ^ Grobar, Matt (August 23, 2021). "'Rap Sh*t': Devonté Hynes Boards Issa Rae's HBO Max Comedy Series As Composer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  16. ^ Patten, Dominic (July 18, 2022). "Issa Rae's 'Rap Sh!t' Scores CA Tax Incentives To Move West For Anticipated Season 2 Of HBO Max Series". Deadline. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  17. ^ "Rap Sh*t". Variety Insight. Archived from the original on September 6, 2021. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  18. ^ Abraham, Mya (May 3, 2022). "Issa Rae's New Series 'Rap Sh*t' To Debut At American Black Film Festival 2022". VIBE.com. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  19. ^ Streamotion (July 24, 2022). "Rap Sh!t | WATCH ON BINGE". [Binge].{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ "Rap Sh!t: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  21. ^ "Rap Sh!t: Season 1". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved July 27, 2022.
  22. ^ Genai, Shanelle (July 22, 2022). "Issa Rae's Rap Sh!t Premiere Is Full of Substance, Seducing and Scheming". The Root. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  23. ^ "Rap Sh!t depicts the hilarious rise of a female hip-hop duo". The A.V. Club. July 21, 2022. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  24. ^ Herman, Alison (July 21, 2022). "Issa Rae's 'Rap Sh!t' Is the Show We Thought 'Atlanta' Would Be". The Ringer. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  25. ^ Nicole, Shelli. "Rap Sh!t Marks Triumphant Return to HBO for Issa Rae | TV/Streaming | Roger Ebert". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved July 24, 2022.

External links[edit]