The 30-minute dramedy, pronounced “Rap S--t,” was created by Issa Rae and was the Barbie star’s second project with HBO after Insecure ended in 2021. The series starred Aida Osman and KaMillion as Shawna and Mia, two former high school best friends who reconnected and decided to form a rap group in Miami, Fla. Actors Jonica Booth, RJ Cyler, and Daniel Augustin also starred in the series.
Rap Sh!t’s two-season run stunned many of the show’s fans, who tuned in every week to see Mia and Shawna navigate the sometimes intense music business. So, why is Rap Sh!t ending so soon? Here’s everything we know about its cancellation.
Why did Rap Sh!t get canceled? Fans are blaming the show’s network.
Rap Sh!t ended its Season 2 finale with a cliffhanger episode on Dec. 21, 2023. While watching the show, no one expected the episode would be the last time we saw Mia, Shawna, Chastity, or any dynamic characters again.
On Jan. 18, 2024, Variety reported that Rap Sh!t had been canceled. However, Max has not given a reason for the show’s cancellation, despite being critically acclaimed and assigned a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Due to the abrupt ending, the show’s fans believe Max intentionally canceled Rap Sh!t.
Since HBO Max merged with Discovery in May 2023, forming “Max,” the network has dropped several shows centering on Black voices. Some include Legendary, a show highlighting the Black LGBTQ+ ballroom scene, and The Sweet Life: Los Angeles, which Issa created and executive produced. The cancellations of Black shows is something fans have considered a pattern with Max, as more shows catered to white audiences remain on the network.
Many online commentators have also mentioned how Max’s marketing of Rap Sh!t, or lack thereof, could’ve contributed to its demise. After being slated to air Season 2 in August 2023, the airing was paused due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike and postponed until November.
However, despite the extra time, several fans shared online that the show didn’t have the visibility it deserved.
Issa Rae and several ‘Rap Sh!t’ stars have addressed the series’ cancellation.
While we may never know what exactly caused Rap Sh!t to end, it’s clear that the people who helped create the show are also heartbroken to see it go.
Amid the cancellation, Issa released a statement to Variety thanking everyone who supported the show for two seasons. She said she would continue rooting for everyone in the cast in true Issa fashion. She also thanked the series’ executive producer, Syreeta Singleton, for her work on the show.
“I’m so proud of and grateful for Syreeta, our cast, writers, and crew that made this show possible,” the American Fiction star shared in a statement. “Thanks to Sarah Aubrey and Suzanna Makkos for championing the show, and much love to the fans that tuned in weekly to root for our girls.”
Syreeta also released a statement. In her comment, she said she would “forever be grateful to “Issa, our incredible cast, the amazing writers and crew that made this show possible.” Additionally, she thanked Max for the opportunity to allow her and her team to create “something fun, raw, and original and we did it our way.”
Jonica, who played Mia and Shawna’s often problematic manager, Chastity, also commented on the show ending on her personal social media. Jonica admitted she feels “really unemployed” now that the show is over but thanked the fans for their unwavering support. Rap Sh!t’s stars, Aida and KaMillion, have yet to release an official statement.