Issa Rae says the music industry is “the worst industry I’ve ever come across”

"It’s an abusive industry, and I really feel for artists who need to get into it"

Insecure creator Issa Rae has called the music industry “probably the worst industry I’ve ever come across”.

As well as starring in and creating the hit TV show, Rae also runs a label called Raedio, an imprint of Atlantic Records, and curated Insecure’s tastemaking soundtrack.

In an interview with the LA Times, the star was asked if the music industry struck her “as a place where good ideas flourish”. “Absolutely not,” she replied. “It’s probably the worst industry that I have ever come across. I thought Hollywood was crazy.


“The music industry, it needs to start over. Conflicts of interest abound. Archaic mentalities. Crooks and criminals! It’s an abusive industry, and I really feel for artists that have to come up in it.”

Issa Rae
Issa Rae – Credit: Getty

Rae called seeing that side of the industry “kind of shocking”. “I don’t want to get too specific, but even in crafting our own deals [for soundtracks] with labels or artists, it would be so convoluted,” she explained.

“And finding out how artists were treated at other labels… Being a creator myself and knowing what I want in terms of a relationship with a production company or a producer, I’d like to think that [at Raedio] we’re more artist-friendly than a lot of other labels and companies out there. I want to revamp things.”

In January, it was confirmed that the fifth season of Insecure would be its last. The final episode aired in the US this weekend (December 26) and will be broadcast in the UK tonight (28).


“Issa [Rae] has turned insecurity into an iconic form of comedy,” Amy Gravitt, executive vice president of HBO programming, said when the show’s end was announced. “The show is as incisive as it is heartfelt, and it has resonated strongly with its audience because of the deeply personal work that Issa, [producers] Prentice [Penny], Melina [Matsoukas], the cast and the writers have put into it.”

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