GU Jams: How The ‘Rap Sh!t’ Soundtrack Catapults A New Class Of Artists

The Max original show is breaking boundaries beyond television

Issa Rae’s newest show Rap Sh!t has become the talk of the timeline and a safe space for Zillennials interested in the ebbs and flows of the music industry. With the adventures of the characters Mia (KaMillion) and Shawna (Aida Osman), we’re seeing their growth as artists. “The thing I love about Issa Rae projects is that you’re always going to discover talent,” KaMillion told GU. “For songwriters and for writers of TV and film, this is a great way to hop off the porch in a sense.”

Not only does the show curate a new environment for discourse, but the art comes to life through the Rap Sh!t soundtrack. The project was curated by the Issa Rae-founded label Raedio and released under Raedio and Def Jam. The gritty, Southern-inspired original music was created for the series and performed by the show’s lead characters as well as, Enchanting, Connie Diiamond, Cam & China, TeaMarrr, and more.

“It’s a blessing to be on any of Issa’s soundtracks,” TeaMarrr tells GU. “I see myself in Shawna, and I wish I had more friends like Mia, so I definitely see myself in the show.”

The soundtrack was born out of a writing camp hosted by Raedio where artists on the soundtrack could release their wildest thoughts and bars. The writing contributions include Guapdad 4000, NCognita, and Suni MF. The new mixtape is a love letter to the next class of women in rap. “When I went to the writing camp, it was my very first writing camp, and I didn’t know what to expect,” Diiamond says. “It was such good vibes being in a room full of creatives.”

Through this project, Rap Sh!t is curating a sonic bed for new talent and variety in the hip-hop space. From Rico Nasty to Sexyy Red the mixtape allows for the next class of women in hip-hop to showcase their impact in music. “Women will always have an impact and be a factor in hip-hop whether the world acknowledges our contribution or not,” KaMillion says. “We have been giving life and serving the culture.”

Assembled and released by Raedio, in partnership with Def Jam Recordings, the mixtape shows the female rapper’s impact across history while crossing the Max series’ themes and messages. Through the story of Shawna and Mia, Rap Sh!t explores what it means to work toward their commercial goals and is able to create a reflection for artists in their shoes. “Being a Black woman making music in this day and age is a lot harder,” TeaMarrr says. “You really got to disrupt, show up and make some noise so I’m doing the best I can with what I got.”

As the show closes on season two, the mixtape paired with the show provides a new story and perspective from artists who are still on the path of figuring things out and molding the industry. “Having that support system keeps you grounded and motivated,” Diiamond says.

About Kenyatta: Clark Atlanta University and Medill School alumna Kenyatta Victoria is the Girls United writer covering everything from news, pop culture, lifestyle, and investigative stories. When not reporting, she’s diving deep into her curated playlists or binging her favorite comfort shows.

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