Issa Rae Reveals How Nipsey Hussle Helped Her Mend Fences With Lauren London

Issa Rae, (L) attends the 2019 Teen Vogue Summit on Nov. 02, 2019 ; Lauren London attends the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards on Jan. 26, 2020.
Issa Rae, (L) attends the 2019 Teen Vogue Summit on Nov. 02, 2019 ; Lauren London attends the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards on Jan. 26, 2020.
Photo: Sarah Morris/Amy Sussman (Getty Images)

America’s favorite Awkward Black Girl and creative multi-hyphenate Issa Rae is such a breath of fresh air.

Advertisement

Whether that’s due to her on-point comedic delivery skills or infectious smile, it’s clear that the Insecure and Little star has mastered the art of being authentically herself. But sometimes that authenticity gets misconstrued, no matter how well the intentions, which is something Rae knows about firsthand.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Rae recalled a time where she and Without Remorse and This Christmas star Lauren London weren’t seeing eye to eye. The two actresses found themselves in opposite corners when Rae divulged in past interviews and in her memoir, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, that multiple TV execs and producers felt she wasn’t good enough to star in the TV adaptation of her book (which we know today as Insecure.) She also revealed that execs instead suggested other lighter-skinned actresses take on the lead role, one name specifically standing out—Lauren London.

In Rae’s eyes, the execs’ admission was yet another example of Hollywood’s limited portrayals of Black women and erasure of dark-skinned actresses in lead roles. For London, however, it was likely Rae’s labeling of her as “actress/video girl/Lil Wayne’s baby’s mother” that felt disappointing, diminishing and disparaging.

“One of my biggest regrets, [was] naming her” Rae explained to Vanity Fair. “She took offense to that.”

Luckily, their resolve would come later at the behest of London’s late husband, rapper Nipsey Hussle, who Rae says came up to her at Diddy’s (or is it Love now?) birthday party two years ago and suggested the two smooth things out.

Advertisement

Per Vanity Fair:

“He was like, ‘You should just talk to her. Let me set it up,’ ” she says. “It actually sparked an amazing two-hour conversation. We had so much in common. She was like, ‘People don’t understand, I’m an awkward Black girl.’ In the same way that I was upset about the limited portrayal of Black women, she was like, ‘People do the same thing to me.’ I completely get that.

Advertisement

While I’d never put the words “awkward” and “Lauren London” in the same sentence, I’m beyond glad that these two are on the same page and back in each other’s good graces. Here’s to a potential collab between the two in the future!

DISCUSSION