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In death, Nipsey Hussle has become a rallying point for communities seeking peace in Los Angeles. But during her Vanity Fair cover story, Issa Rae showcased how Nip had been extending olive branches and mending bridges long before he passed. 

Rae’s Awkward Black Girl character was created for her to take flight. When she brought the idea to television for what would become Insecure, executives thought Nipsey’s long-time partner Lauren London would be a better fit to lead the series. Rae was vocal about how out of touch this suggestion was in interviews and in her memoir, naming London in the process, which didn’t sit well with the actor.

“One of my biggest regrets, naming her,” Rae said. “She took offense to that.”

As their rift started to grow, Rae was simultaneously becoming closer with Hussle. As a result, the rapper took it upon himself to resolve the unnecessary tension. 

“He was like, ‘You should just talk to her. Let me set it up,’” Rae remembered. This led to a lengthy conversation at Diddy’s birthday party, during which they realized they were type-casting each other just like studio executives. 

“It actually sparked an amazing two-hour conversation,” Issa continued. “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.”

On Tuesday, HBO Max announced Rae will reinvent Project Greenlight and create a new unscripted series called Sweet Life: Los Angeles.