Aida Osman Worked Her Way From the "Rap Sh!t" Writers' Room to Her TV Role
Aida Osman may be an acting newcomer, but she's no stranger to the entertainment world. The Nebraska native stars in Issa Rae's "Rap Sh!t" as Shawna — one half of the show's up-and-coming rap duo and a character she helped create specifically for herself. Before her TV debut, Osman started out as a writer on Netflix's "Big Mouth" and HBO's "Betty," also serving as a cohost on the "Keep It!" podcast. However, Osman's gig on her new HBO Max show isn't her first time flexing her creativity.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2018, Osman built a following on Twitter a year later from a funny viral video of her rapping about . . . err, pegging. From there, her career took off as she booked her "Big Mouth" job almost immediately after, per Vanity Fair.
Fast forward three years, and Osman is poised to make a huge splash in her summertime, hip-hop-inspired series, which debuts on July 21. Keep reading to learn more about the comedy writer turned actor.
"Rap Sh!t" Is Aida Osman's First-Ever TV Acting Gig
Osman already has a few writing credits on her résumé from working on shows like "Big Mouth" and "Betty," but the comedy star tells POPSUGAR that she's never acted in a TV show prior to "Rap Sh!t." She also refers to the new Issa Rae-created series as "brilliant" and says she "didn't have any fear around auditioning" for her character, Shawna.
Aida Osman Was Hired to Write For "Rap Sh!t" Before Auditioning For Her Character
Unlike her costar KaMillion, who submitted a video audition for her "Rap Sh!t" role, Osman found her way onto the HBO Max series through another route: the writers' room. "We actually hired Aida as a writer before we cast her in the show, but we just could not get her out of our mind," Rae previously told Harper's Bazaar. "After the chemistry test between her and KaMillion, it was a no-brainer."
Osman also tells POPSUGAR that one of the main reasons she got tapped to star in the show is because she helped create the character she portrays on screen. "You keep writing character traits for Shawna that are specific only [to me]," she says of making her "weird transition." "It was kind of unheard of, honestly. I don't know if that's ever really happened before."
Solange Knowles Has Been a Huge Influence in Aida Osman's Life
Osman's newfound TV fame is naturally putting her around more and more celebrities, but the writer/actor told Vanity Fair she couldn't help getting star-struck when she randomly ran into Solange Knowles, of all people, back in June. "This b*tch appeared to me like an angel from the sky!" she exclaimed to the outlet. Apparently, the "When I Get Home" singer has been a part of every major moment in Osman's life. "When I got fired from a job, I turned on 'A Seat at the Table,'" the "Rap Sh!t" star added. "When my brother passed, I would go back and listen to her first album, 'Solo Star.' I have been obsessed with Solange my whole life."
Aida Osman Wrote a Pilot Similar to "Rap Sh!t" Years Before Issa Rae Created Her HBO Max Show
Great minds think alike, because years before Osman connected with Rae for the latter's new TV venture, W Magazine reported that she wrote a pilot for a TV show coincidentally about two Black girls who also start a rap duo. Instead of starring in her own series, Osman gets the chance to tell that same familiar story in "Rap Sh!t" — a project she never thought she'd get hired to act in.
Aida Osman Traded a Career in Corporate Law For One in Comedy
Before immersing herself in the world of comedy, Osman applied for law school and ended up getting accepted, she revealed in a Forbes interview. But the actor decided to instead take some time off from school to get her creative career off the ground. "I wanted to take a break and figure out what I wanted to do. I was going to defer law school for a year and then go back after finishing my semester," she told the outlet. "But during that time off, I fell so in love with comedy and standup, that there was no way I was going to go study corporate law. So I made my mom a promise. I was like, 'Mom, give me one year.'" And in one year, Osman's entertainment career did, in fact, take off.