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Image courtesy of Issa Rae.

Issa Rae's New Show 'Rap Sh*t' Is Set to Premiere on HBO Max

The comedy series about a female rap group from South Florida is one of many that will launch on the upcoming streaming service.

A new series from Insecure creator Issa Rae is headed to HBO Max. Rap Sh*t (working title) centers on a group of female rappers from South Florida trying to make it in the music industry.

The half hour series, which Rae will executive produce and write the pilot for, is one of many recently announced shows coming to the upcoming WarnerMedia streaming platform, which will launch in May of 2020.


This is one of many projects that the actress, writer and producer is currently working on. She has two other shows: Sweet Life and Him or Her in development at HBO as well. In May, she was tapped to direct the film adaptation of Tayari Jones' novel Silver Sparrow.

Rae recently launched the new record label Raedio with Atlantic Records, another move highlighting her love for incorporating music into her projects.

In July, she announced that Insecure would begin production on its highly-anticiapted fourth season, and would feature a 10 episodes as opposed to eight like the previous seasons.

The exact date of Rap Sh*t's release is yet to be announced, but we'll keep you posted as we learn more.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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