by Zaria Sims for Urban Mindz
Issa Rae has an unapologetic awkwardness and a corky sense of humor that could light up the dullest crowd with laughter. Her relatable stories have garnered a huge fan-base that is completely enamored with her ability to incorporate authenticity and realness into her characters. Issa’s refreshing point of view provides a congenial, reflective depiction of black women and men through a non- stereotypical, judgment-free lens.
Her brazen story-lines share the truth about all the heartfelt mistakes and self-betrayals one can make when they are just a tad bit “insecure.” Issa’s portrayal of the “awkward black girl” in everyday life has contributed to her vast popularity within the urban community. Indeed, every black woman is not the same, and Issa has provided the world with a clear scope of who some of us really are. Taking this into account, it is no wonder that she is referred to as the physical embodiment of “black girl magic.”
Before Issa’s hit series Insecure made it to HBO, she was building her foundation as a writer, producer, and actor on her Youtube series, The Misadventures of AWKWARD Black Girl (ABG). After garnering over two-hundred thousand subscribers with no mainstream support or funding, Issa and her co-producer, Tracy Oliver, began a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign where they raised $50,000 to continue the series.
Shortly after, Issa’s breakout web series gained the attention of hit producer Pharrell Williams. Pharrell and Issa then partnered to release the second season of ABG on Pharrell’s Youtube channel, I am OTHER. In the second season, ABG (2011) won a Shorty Award for Best Web Series and eventually led to a plethora of bigger, better, and brighter opportunities for the show. However, Issa had other projects in the midst and began writing the series for Insecure. Another hit for Issa Rae, Insecure is based on the tales and adventures of an average black woman trying to balance her dull career, lasting friendships and topsy-turvy love life in Los Angeles. The success of Insecure’s first season is contributed to how women, and even men of color, could relate to the characters in the show as well as the relationships. People of all ethnic backgrounds enjoy the show as well and find it to be an inside look into Black culture, much like ABC’s sitcom, Black-ish.
Issa took a season off this year from writing another season of Insecure, due to multiple other projects that have been keeping her busy. Some of these projects included being offered roles in two blockbuster movies, “The Hate U Give” (2018) and “Little” (2019). Although just a rising star coming off of Youtube with ABG only a few years back, Issa’s popularity has taken over Hollywood as fans and celebrities alike look forward to her upcoming projects.
As an ode to fans who have been waiting more than a year for the next season of Insecure, production has added two more episodes to the season. Each of the prior seasons had only 8 episodes, so the recent additions have been well received by fans.
It should also be noted that Issa Rae is not the overnight success that many people claim her to be. Yet, her snowball success since the debut of Insecure is guiding her down the path towards being one of the most influential female-led content creators of our generation. Her newest role as the executive producer of HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show has her expounding her comedic flair all over the entertainment industry and into the homes and hearts of viewers.