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Issa Rae Says Jermaine Dupri’s “Unfair” Women Rap Criticism Inspired The Writing Of ‘Rap Sh*t’

Issa Rae announced Rap Sh*t back in October 2019. The HBO Max series is loosely based on Miami rap duo City Girls, and will be about two childhood best friends who reunite to form a rap group.

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.

Dupri’s comments came about two years ago during an appearance on PEOPLE Now, where Dupri shared his thoughts on women rappers, referencing Da Brat and how he believes she paved the way for women rappers to “sell a lot of records.” During the appearance, he was also asked if he had a favorite current woman rapper, to which he replied: “I can’t really say.”

“…I feel they’re all rapping about the same thing. I don’t think they’re showing us who’s the best rapper,” he said. “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, ‘Oh, 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’…OK, all right, who’s gonna be the rapper?” he added.

While speaking about Rap Sh*t, Rae addressed Dupri “coming out and criticizing female rappers for only talking about their pussy,” and shared how that played a part in the writing for the series.

“I was just like, ‘This is so unfair,'” she said. “So that inspired the writing of it.”

Rae announced Rap Sh*t back in October 2019. In February this year, it was announced that the show had received an eight-episode, half-hour order for HBO Max. Loosely-based on the Miami rap duo City Girls, Rap Sh*t will be about two childhood best friends who reunite to form a rap group. In the Rolling Stone interview, Rae also noted how Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s rise to mainstream success through social media and reality TV inspired the upcoming series.

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.”

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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