Issa Rae, whose five-season stint on HBO’s “Insecure” came to an end last weekend with a finale, has dabbled in the music industry. She’s launched her own record label, Raedio, and is creating a new program about young rappers, leveraging her previous career to help launch new ones in the music industry. Rae, on the other hand, makes it sound like she’s entered a den of vipers, rather than being excited about venturing out into another industry.
“Absolutely not,” Rae said when asked if the music industry is “a place where brilliant ideas develop.” In a Q&A with the Los Angeles Times’ Mikael Wood about her personal and professional experiences with music, she said, “It’s definitely the worst industry I’ve ever come across.”
Issa Rae recently shared her feelings about working in the music industry, and they aren’t pretty.
The “Insecure” actress talked about her experiences in the music industry in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times.
When asked if it was “a place where good ideas flourish,” she answered, “Absolutely not. It’s probably the worst industry I’ve ever come across.”
“I thought Hollywood was crazy,” Rae continued. “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.”
Rae just debuted in the music industry by launching Raedio, her own record label. She also revealed earlier this year that Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas of the City Girls and Quality Control will co-executive produce her new program “Rap Shit,” which is centered on the lives of two high school buddies in Miami who got into the rap scene.
Rae didn’t go into great detail about why she feels the way she does about the industry, but she did say that she has a problem with how music is recognized, particularly during the Grammys.
“What really bums me out — and this aligns with Hollywood — is the way that music is rewarded,” she said. “When I think about the Grammys and these other systems that are designed to reward artistic creativity and uplift artists, I just feel like, ‘Y’all don’t get it. What are you rewarding?’ This is dumb, but I’ll say it anyway: A song like [Wizkid’s] ‘Essence‘ — just absolutely a powerhouse, and yet could not be properly acknowledged by the institution that is supposed to celebrate the best in music — that trips me out. To see Black people and our contributions to music not celebrated in the way they should be — I mean, these aren’t institutions for us.”
In October of this year, Rae announced her collaboration with Atlantic Records for the Raedio label. TeaMarrr and Yung Baby Tate were among the first musicians to join the label (who has subsequently shortened her name to Baby Tate and moved to the Warner Records lineup). “Insecure: Music From The HBO Original Series, Season 5,” Raedio’s most recent release, was released on December 5. Thundercat, They, Nnena, Josh Levi, B.K. Habermehl, Mereba, and others contributed to the last season’s soundtrack, which includes a new TeaMarrr tune and a new Saweetie single, “Get It Girl,” as well as contributions from Thundercat, They, Nnena, Josh Levi, B.K. Habermehl, Mereba, and others.