of Issa RaeRap Sh!t” focuses on female friendships as well as female rappers and the challenges women face in a male-dominated industry. For music supervisors Sarah Bromberg and Philippe Pierre, this meant putting together a soundtrack of artists that reflected not only Miami’s rap scene but also the strong bonds between its main characters.
On the show Max, Shawna (Aida Osman, who also co-wrote the show) pursues fame as a solo rapper and reunites with her friend Mia (rapper Kamillion) to form a rap duo. Together they discover success, friendship and the bustling city of Miami.
Here, Bromberg and Pierre unlock the key needle drop on the show and how they spent months clearing a Drake song, and also having to change an original song at the last minute due to permission issues.
“No Friends in the Industry” – Drake
Bromberg: It wasn’t in this scenario. They were too good to write Drake’s screenplay. The show is all about the rap game, the music industry, and trying to rise in it. The moment he plays, he rallies around some lousy industry shit. We put it there and then I sweated for three months. It took exactly that long to clean up. The interlining is very down and we cleaned it days before the mix. We had a backup but it came the day before and we were printing company, publisher and even printing. [doing] personal efforts to make it because it is so perfect.
“Take it to Da House” – Trick Daddy
Bromberg: [Trick Daddy] very easy to work with and very easy to clear rights. It’s the show’s opening song and a pivotal moment. We had two controversial songs and we went back and forth on them. Both worked really well. But I love Trick and we decided on this right before mixing. I love the show and how it promotes the graphics. We start a long shot of the world and zoom in and out until we get to Miami.
Pierre: Having the song really set the mood for this to be a Miami show.
Bromberg: This is Miami! We’ve shot many Miami artists, both current, up-and-coming and established. We also had a huge playlist of classic nostalgia songs we put together, but this song was a priority as it helped the show originality.
“Seduction and Order” – Shawna and Mia / K-Wan / Khia
Bromberg: “Seduce & Scheme” is an original song and was written to the original script. It was one of the first music conversations we had. Two words came from the writers – about what Mia did and what Shawna did. It connects the two. They sit in the car, listen to some old songs that are part of our playlist, and then release it. And they decide to form a band and create this song.
We had a different song there and we created the whole song around a different sample, but that sample was not cleaned. So we had to completely distort our song and find a new sample. There was “K-Wang” on that playlist. It was difficult to clean up the sample because it’s not easy to track down Khia. But once we did, he was great and it’s great to work with. We had many writers in the song. We had rappers like Dreezy and PineappleCITI. Many of our first season writers contributed to the hook or strings in some way.
Pierre: We brought some of our favorite people to kick off the song. It is one of the most important songs of the series. It was really about preparing the girls for their careers, so Pineapple was in the session. It was a special moment to see the song idea come to life.