Season two of Rap Sh!t is a wild experience. Within the first season of the Issa Rae–helmed sequence, viewers adopted the antics of estranged finest mates and aspiring rappers Shawna (Aida Osman) and Mia (KaMillion). With Rae’s knack for ideating relatable principal characters, her depictions of on a regular basis courting dilemmas, and all of the spicy social media debates that comply with (à la Insecure), it comes as no shock that Rap Sh!t has earned itself a devoted fan base too.
Friendship and attempting to make it in a misogynistic trade are main themes of the present’s sophomore season, premiering at this time on Max. This time round, the sequence facilities on Shawna, Mia, and their supervisor Chastity (Jonica Sales space) as they embark on their first tour and carry out with problematic white rapper Reina Reign, who was launched final season. The tour units up the group for much-needed publicity, however some unsavory moments on the highway finally present the trials of attempting to win the rap recreation.
“I do really feel like there’s just a little selfishness amongst us three,” Sales space informed Harper’s Bazaar over a joint Zoom name from Los Angeles. “[Despite that,] Chastity needs to be there for everyone. She’s bought a giant coronary heart; her coronary heart isn’t including up together with her job titles. This trade is a chilly recreation—she’s being a pimp and likewise attempting to be a supervisor. These industries will chew you up and spit you out if you happen to don’t stand your floor.” KaMillion agreed, saying the 2 leads are additionally in a transitional area this season.
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A first-look trailer that dropped earlier this summer season additional explores Mia and Shawna’s character arcs over the eight new episodes. Mia is seen giving the tour her all, whereas Shawna is battling together with her inside dialogue. “I feel Shawna continues to be within the means of studying about herself,” Osman stated. Shawna feels embarrassed in regards to the selections she made final season to distinguish herself from Mia, and moved out of spite quite than selling the well being of the group, the actor defined.
Behind the scenes, Osman, KaMillion, and Sales space felt empowered being led by each Rae and showrunner Syreeta Singleton. “For me, it’s the last word inspiration to see ladies operating the present. Not solely simply with Issa and Syreeta, however we had been surrounded by ladies, ladies which can be themselves. We live within the Issa universe—I’m pleased with that,” KaMillion stated. “Issa was working diligently behind the scenes. Syreeta [balanced] her household. It’s like working round superwomen.”
Luckily for Rap Sh!t followers, all three actors confirmed they’re most excited for viewers to see every character’s progress in season two. “All people carried throughout the board, there ain’t no weak hyperlink,” KaMillion stated.
“We went loopy with the storylines—we’re much more fearless this season,” Osman famous. “I’m excited for viewers to get an opportunity to expertise the dangers that we had been taking within the writers’ room.”
Under, Harper’s Bazaar caught up with the women of Rap Sh!t to speak all issues season two.
In season one, it felt like every of you had been taking bits and items of yourselves to create a extra reasonable depiction of your particular person characters. Are every of you continue to doing that within the newest season?
KaMillion: [I] truly took some issues from Mia and utilized it into [my] life after filming. I feel after attending to know [Mia] just a little bit higher and the storyline, she actually may be very, very totally different from KaMillion. They do have similarities. We’re all Black women from impoverished backgrounds and we undergo plenty of the identical issues, which makes us empathize with one another. However Mia is actually attempting to develop, be a greater individual, and turn into extra of knowledgeable. It’s cool to see her blossoming this season into new issues and actually studying the way to seduce and scheme for actual.
Jonica Sales space: Chastity is from St. Louis. Jonica is from St. Louis. For season two, I made positive I stored that St. Louis lingo. I attempted [to] actually get again to my roots. It made me faucet again into the place I come from, so I can put just a little little bit of Jonica in there to actually deliver out Chastity. Though they’re two totally different individuals, it made me name and hang around with extra of my St. Louis mates extra, in order that I can keep in mind how we speak and the way we transfer to deliver it to life for season two.
Aida Osman: I feel with Shawna, she’s all the time form of rolling the identical ball up the hill. She’s attempting to achieve success. It was attention-grabbing with the rollout of the primary season and experiencing the identical factor form of within the appearing world and likewise the comedy writing world of desirous to have a profitable present, and desirous to be a very good entertainer, and desirous to be the entire issues that you just wish to be as an actress. I bought an opportunity to essentially carve out who I’m.
Are there any actors or actresses you’re impressed by that you just appeared to in preparation for this season?
KaMillion: I all the time experience for the best of all time, the legendary Taraji P. Henson. To me, no city Black movie or TV present has topped [that] Child Boy scene when she was with Tyrese. Ever since then, Taraji’s simply been my inspiration. Taraji is a type of actresses who’s like myself, we come from comparable backgrounds. It’s pure or plausible whenever you faucet into these sort of roles, telling tales in regards to the homegirl.
Jonica Sales space: For me, sadly, nevertheless you have a look at it, there’s no character like Chastity that I’ve seen. After all [there are a] few queer, stud, masculine ladies [characters], however I don’t assume there’s nothing like her, so it was more durable for me with that. However what made it stunning is that Issa and Syreeta allowed me to make decisions and allowed me to create this character. We form of created it collectively.
In the case of my appearing, I actually have a look at Dominique Fishback. She’s doing an incredible job within the trade proper now. Her efficiency is so highly effective with no matter she does. It’s so actual and plausible. She’s bought it. It makes me wish to get my appearing as much as that. That’s what I’m striving for, as a result of she’s simply bought it.
So far as my comedic chops, Chris Tucker is the very first thing I consider.
Aida Osman: I used to be trying on the confidence of rappers like BbyMutha and TiaCorine. I used to be actually into TiaCorine on the time. They had been simply ladies who had been fearlessly being themselves and likewise had been exuding confidence. They weren’t attempting to suit into the mould of what they thought wanted to be within the rap recreation.
KaMillion, this season, Mia is abandoning her daughter and he or she’s actually grappling with that. How had been you capable of emotionally showcase that?
KaMillion: Initially, I feel with life experiences, and taking a look at myself as an impartial artist, being an artist is one factor, being impartial is a complete totally different wrestle, a complete totally different grind. Mia is an impartial artist. Additionally, she’s in a gaggle with one other woman. I feel plenty of my life experiences ready me for the position of my life and to usher me into this huge platform. Once I was studying the scripts within the morning—as a result of plenty of instances, we wouldn’t have an opportunity to look over what we’re going to be doing the subsequent day; you need to instantly flip it on. Should you’re comfortable, unhappy, regardless of the hell that’s happening, you bought to regulate your feelings.
Jonica, this season, Chastity is coping with touring free of charge, dealing with poisonous masculinity on the highway, and leaving her women behind. Are you able to stroll me by the way you prepped your self for the emotional curler coaster she appears to be on?
Jonica Sales space: For me, [my] preparation was [taking] appearing courses, engaged on drama, engaged on comedy, speaking to my masculine mates from again house, being round that masculine [energy] and simply adopting it and actually tapping in and being this individual. I begin that course of like two months earlier than it’s time to go to work, in order that I can put together. I alter my weight-reduction plan. I simply do all the pieces. I actually stay my life like this character. That’s what I do love about appearing, as a result of I can change. To be an actress, you bought to be a chameleon.
Aida, this season, we see a extra susceptible aspect of Shawna. How had been you capable of present up within the extra emotional moments this season?
Aida Osman: This season I used to be given the prospect to do much more dramatic scenes. I had to determine the way to pull from sure locations, sure eventualities that I can keep in mind. I needed to deliver up painful reminiscences to attempt to give the efficiency that I wished to provide, and that was actually troublesome for me. And generally it exorcised issues for me, and different factors, it put me in actually bizarre, unusual moods, the place for the remainder of the day I couldn’t have a look at anybody. And there was simply moments I used to be going backwards and forwards rather a lot, attempting to determine the way to keep Aida, but additionally give the components of Aida to Shawna that I wanted to provide in order that I may get the efficiency out.
Are there any twists that viewers ought to look ahead to or look out for this season?
KaMillion: Drama, scorching tea.
Jonica Sales space: I don’t assume Rap Sh!t goes to be predictable in its second season. As a result of even a number of the stuff we had been studying, I used to be like, “Wait, what? I’m doing what?” It’s not predictable and that’s what you [should] look out for, search for surprises.
Aida Osman: We made some wild selections within the writers’ room. So plenty of issues, come hell or excessive water, come water or hearth. I’m attempting to provide hints. They’re not superb. How about this? How about: We’re going to battle the weather.
This interview has been edited and condensed for readability and was performed earlier than the SAG-AFTRA strike.