11 Times Issa Rae Got Real AF on the Don't @ Me Podcast

Updated: May 10, 2019


Writer, actress, Covergirl, and #BlackGirlMagic incarnate Issa Rae became a viral sensation with her web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.


The show, which she wrote and starred in, led to a memoir of the same name, as well as the HBO series Insecure.


Issa sat down with Justin on "Don't @ Me" and got real about being a black creative, reality shows, and if she's still having fun.


1. Issa Rae and Issa Dee – Not The Same Issa

"I really do say that I just disappoint people because I'm just like, you know, very stoic, just very, like, chill and shy. So I'm not going to be able to give you want you want, but I'm always obviously grateful to people who come up to me."


2. Covergirls Can Be Introverts Too!

"This industry almost make you more introverted because when you go out it's work and everybody want's a piece."


3. Scheduling is Key!

"Now I only do meetings two days a week. And that's it. Stack 'em. Done."


4. "House Party: a Reality Series by Issa Rae"

"I love a good house party though. If I had a reality show it would have to be crafted, like, once a month, or once every two months around like a [house party]."


5. For Most of Insecure's Run, She Hadn't Been Taking Her Own Advice...

"This past season was really, really hard and I think Prentice and I, Prentice [Penny] who is the show runner of Insecure, he's great about being like, with the writer's room like, y'all gotta live lives. But we weren't taking that advice ... So we did not get a lot of time off in between seasons."


6. ... But in Season Three She Did

"We kind of had been going back to back to back for three years, four years really, and so this past season, we just made a lot of changes, we made a lot of choices and decisions and it's also the comfort of everybody being on a show for three years. So it just felt harder to pull in every single area and it was just a lot. And I was in it more this season and I didn't even realize that."


7. She's V Aware of the Pressure for Black Celebrities...

"Michael and Whitney and all of these people who had to be excellent to break through and who died doing it. Died in some facet. I want to maintain my soul and my sanity and I have to just reckon with that."


8. ...And the Sometimes Impossible Expectations for Black Creatives...

"Personally I'm pissed off about the burden of representation. The burden to have to do all as a black creator. To tackle every aspect of the diaspora, without room for experimentation or failure. Or just simple curiosity. And I think across the board, of seeing so many of my peers and my work, there's a rush often to put us in a category as if you know. That's frustrating. That's something I'v been dealing with across the board with black work and black art."


9. ... Especially for Black Female Creators

"I was naïve in the start of the show and thinking ... Ava out here, Justin out here, Lena out here, Donald out here, so there's going to be so much that no one would foolishly think that a show about black women has to represent all black women and I was naïve."


10. But She Gets It, Because She Was That Person, Too

"Five, seven years ago [I was] going in on any movie I felt, or any television show that I felt didn't accurately – like why is this always the section of blackness that is represented in mainstream media? Like why is this? And talking my shit online and making blog posts and not really taking the time to just be like, this person had to go through lengths to get into the door and so the fuck what, that's the story they wanted to tell.


11. And her Thoughts on that Wesley Morris Article?

"You can talk about whatever the fuck you want."


Delve deeper into all things Issa. Listen to the full interview on Don't @ Me here: