You Need To Watch Issa Rae's Previous Work Now

by Kaitlin Reilly

HBO is adding another talented woman to its roster, and if you don't know who she is, well — you're about to, because Issa Rae has officially made it big. HBO has just ordered a pilot from Issa Rae titled Insecure , which, according to Deadline, is about “the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern day African-American woman.”

While Rae's pilot deal is awesome news for the star, it's not the only place you should know her from. In fact, if the log line for Insecure sounds a little familiar to you, it should — Rae's amazing web series The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl also explored what it meant to be, as Insecure promises, "the awkward experiences" of a modern day African-American woman.

The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl first debuted online in 2011 and stars Rae as "J," a 20-something just a tad uncomfortable in the world she lives in... often because the people in her life are so blissfuly unaware of their own behavior, like J's (white) boss, who is prone to asking her countless questions about her hair. ("Did your ancestors wear it like that?") The webseries is light and fun, but it's also important — Rae has stated that she created it to combat the one-dimensional or even non-existent depictions of black people in the media.

Though Awkward Black Girl is arguably her most popular webseries — many episodes have nearly 1 million hits — it wasn't her first or her last.

She also created Dorm Diaries in 2007 and after that created four additional webseries under her Color Collective production company, which aims to give a voice to content creators of color. Her four comedies are Roomieloverfriends (about "roommates with benefits"), Hard Times (about a trainer moonlighting as a stripper) How Men Become Dogs (about guys who decide to quit their "nice guy" routine) and First (about milestones in a romantic relationship.) She's also produced web series The Choir and Little Horribles for YouTube. It's hard to name another independent TV producer with as prolific of a profile as Rae.

And the web isn't the only place getting content from Rae. Prior to this HBO deal, she developed a pilot with Shonda Rhimes — yes, the Shonda Rhimes — which wasn't picked up by the networks. Not like that has stopped Rae before, however: She's continuing to churn out content with her own YouTube channel and encouraging other creators to do the same. It's no wonder she's made Forbes list of "30 Under 30" twice, as well as Glamour's "35 Under 35" and People's "One to Watch" list.

Right now Rae may be mostly known by her very loyal fanbase, but it won't be long before this lady is absolutely everywhere — and making her mark on the mainstream media. HBO is just the beginning, and you should definitely get to know her now.