Issa Rae Says Music Is ‘The Worst Industry I Have Come Across’

Issa Rae, fresh off the series finale of her acclaimed HBO show Insecure, has a variety of endeavors in front of her, including more television, some movies, and her Atlantic Records label, Raedio, with which she’s trying to change a system that she sees as corrupt and toxic. In a new interview with Los Angeles Times excerpted by Variety, the multitalented creator called music “probably the worst industry I’ve ever come across.”

Comparing it to her experiences in film and television, she pointed out many of the issues she has with the music business that she likely hopes to change with her work with Raedio. “I thought Hollywood was crazy,” she said. “The music industry, it has to start all over again. There are lots of conflicts of interest. Archaic mentalities. Villains and criminals! It’s an addiction industry, and I really feel for artists who need to get into it.” She called it “shocking” to learn how the business works from the inside.

Indicating how her approach with Raedio contrasts this status quo, she explained, “I do not want to be too specific, but even with making our own appointments [for soundtracks] with labels or artists, it would be so intricate. And to find out how artists were treated on other labels … When I myself am a creator and know what I want in relation to a relationship with a production company or a producer, I would like to think that we are more artist-friendly than much of other brands and companies out there. I want to renew things.”

Issa also talked about the music for Insecure, which she curated, and which fans said they’d miss as much as the show. Of curating the vibes for the show with new and rising talents, she said, “As a music lover, nothing excites me more than feeling like you’re on to an artist first.”

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.