Music

Issa Rae on Working in the Music Industry: “It’s… the Worst Industry I’ve Ever Come Across”

In a post-Insecure finale interview with Los Angeles Times, Issa Rae breaks her silence on hidden dangers of the music industry.

Issa Rae‘s music supervision on Insecure was groundbreaking, but with her boutique music imprint Raedio, she recognizes that she’s entered venomous territory. While chatting with the Los Angeles Times, Rae was questioned on whether the music business “a place where good ideas flourish.” Rae’s response was earnest and frank:

“Absolutely not. It’s probably the worst industry I’ve ever come across,” said Issa Rae, who founded Raedio in 2019. “I thought Hollywood was crazy. The music industry, it has to start all over again. There are lots of conflicts of interest. Archaic mentalities. Villains and criminals! It’s an addiction industry, and I really feel for artists who need to get into it. … It was something shocking” to discover.”

While Rae didn’t mention specific labels or music executives, she notes that her various multimedia companies support artistic integrity:

“I do not want to be too specific, but even with making our own appointments [for soundtracks] with labels or artists, it would be so intricate. And to find out how artists were treated on other labels … When I myself am a creator and know what I want in relation to a relationship with a production company or a producer, I would like to think that we are more artist-friendly than much of other brands and companies out there. I want to renew things,” she said.

Partnered with Atlantic Records, Raedio last released soundtrack Insecure: Music From The HBO Original Series, Season 5 on December 5th. Coined “an audio everywhere company”, Raedio is a hub for connecting music and television, currently featuring Haitian-American singer TeaMarr in its lineup. Fans can look forward to Rae and her good music taste on upcoming HBO Max show Rap Sh*t, tentatively due to premiere in 2022.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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