Rap Sh!t Season 2 showcases Mia and Shawna hitting the road, hoping to further their hip-hop status. And being on the road as a woman in the male-dominated game isn’t easy. The two face challenges they’ve never imagined and come face-to-face with the demons in the industry, threatening to end it all. Aida Osman, who stars as Shawna and also writes on the Max series, recently spoke with Blavity’s Shadow and Act about the show’s second season and her character’s journey. 

She also hinted at what she’d like to expect in a third season if greenlit. The entire second season is currently available to stream on Max.

Congratulations on Season 2! So, you have a dual role as a writer and star on the show. What storylines were you excited to bring about this season?

Aida Osman: I was excited about the Lord AK storyline because he’s the first person Shawna meets who has way more success than her. And he has a lot going for him. But it’s like he, at any minute, can hurt himself, and you could tell from the moment she meets him. So it’s a good, good chance for her to see the darkness that is part of this industry and things that can lead to destruction. 

We see the girls go on tour this season. How does the show, from your perspective, continue to align in real-time with what’s happening with women in hip-hop throughout Season 2?

AO: The Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez stuff definitely was a source of inspiration when we’re talking about women and the things that they endure from other men in the industry and the alleged abuse that goes on in our world; it’s constantly happening. It’s constantly around us. You either get strong and deal with it, or you let it ruin you, and you quit. So that is the strength that women have to have in rap music. I can’t compare that to anything else. And also the growth and getting to make a little bit more money, getting to have a little bit more access to people with money. Shawna and Mia have very different storylines; it appears they’re on two different tours. But it is sort of making it happen and trying to survive. And Mia gets a chance to be with another famous rapper who can give her money and can give her access to things and new people. Season 2 is all about ascension.

Now, you mentioned Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez and the #MeToo movement finally extending to the hip-hop industry and how it has inspired some of the storylines. What else have you drawn inspiration from what’s happening in hip-hop from Season 2 that you could take into the writer’s room and apply to your character?

AO: It was interesting to write; it’s hard sometimes to do. You’re watching a new girl rap in hip-hop, and she does a song or does a collab with somebody that you wish you didn’t collab with. But she had to do it to get to the next step. I remember when Doja Cat was coming out and gained popularity from YouTube. Then, she did a song with Tyga on it. And, as a fan who had been following her for years, I was like, ‘What? This doesn’t even make sense. This collaboration doesn’t make sense.’ And sometimes people play the feature game, or they just get another popping person to get on this song and make it go. And that’s no shade to Tyga. But I have never understood that or like that. I feel like it sacrifices the love of the music and the artistry. And then, audience members aren’t stupid; we see it. When we see someone like Drake trying to align himself with a new person, and, usually, the music is still good. You still want to hear it; you love it. But, you expect better. That’s something that happens in rap and hip-hop that we want to pay attention to, especially as it comes to Shawna and Mia doing collabs and the internal battle that occurs when Shawna isn’t a fan of the feature. There’s a lot to pull from from the industry right now to put in the story.

Have any people in hip-hop given you insight that you’ve applied to the show, or has anyone who’s been a fan of the show come up to you, praising you guys for how representative it is of the state of the game right now?

AO: We’ve been lucky enough to get so much praise. And then because of radio and the way things are set up, we get to be around women who are real rappers, and they come, and they write songs and write verses and stuff. I remember at the beginning, Dreezy from Chicago wrote a song for the show that resonated with the storyline. The things that were happening to someone, she was able to put pen to paper. Things like that, her talking about how she loved the show. Stuff like that is what matters. 

Who was your favorite guest star this season?

AO: Pardison Fontaine. He came in and wrote a song for the girls, and out of everybody that we were having on the show, he was the only one who could play both. He could improvise. He could write new jokes on the spot. He’s somebody to look out for. He could start acting if he wanted to, which makes sense to me because he’s a real songwriter. He was the best. He’s easy to reach. He still stays in contact with us and is kind. And we were with him recently on the Angela Yee podcast. So it’s nice to have people in the industry like that.

If Season 3 is greenlit, what are you hoping to see next season?

AO: I don’t want Shawna to be in jail. I’d like to see her enjoy freedom. I don’t want to see Rap Sh!t turn into a court drama. I don’t think anybody wants it. But I do want to see what happens and how that affects her success. It’s not exactly like the JT story, with her going to jail in the middle of the City Girls’ ascension, but we all remember when JT had to go to jail, and it came out and had to do a first day-out freestyle. I just want to see Shawna and Mia getting access and the proper resources to explore the artistry and the music without having to sell themselves out. We’ll see what happens. Maybe they get the first good deal in all of history, but probably not.