Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant chatted with Insecure’s Issa Rae about the hit HBO show’s final season for The ETCs Podcast.
Kevin Durant is a maverick.
No, not the kind from Dallas — Durant is still with the Brooklyn Nets — but the 33-year-old baller has turned his incredible NBA career into so much more than basketball.
Namely, KD has ventured into more creative outlets in the way that Kobe and LeBron have done, starting with his media company, Boardroom, but Durant hasn’t stopped there. Durant produces several media projects with his own production company, Thirty Five Ventures. While Durant is steadfastly adding to his Hall of Fame resume on the court, his investments are flourishing to the tune of million-dollar returns.
Although he’s the head of this rapidly-growing media empire, Durant utilizes his platform to get face time with fellow icons in sport and culture. In September 2020, Durant launched The ETCs with Kevin Durant, which is a Boardroom-produced podcast. And to kick off season two of the podcast, Durant invited the ideal guest to talk new beginnings and bittersweet endings: Insecure creator/star Issa Rae.
What did Kevin Durant and Issa Rae talk about on the latest episode of The ETCs?
Besides a deep admiration for Drake and his latest album, Durant and Rae connect over what they have in common: the fact that both harnessed decades of hard work into careers where they run, well, everything. Like Durant, Rae possesses a multitude of titles, including actress, director, producer, and New York Times best-selling author.
Like contemporary athletes who seek to show the world they can do more than professional sports, Rae talked about how the success of Insecure has both opened up new opportunities while also constricting how her work is perceived.
“I want to do different things,” Rae told Durant.
“The show that I’m doing now [HBO Max series ‘Rap S**t‘] is different than ‘Insecure’ and the other shows that I want to do, and movies down the line, like, I have an idea of what I want to do there, but I don’t want to, and I’m scared that… people will, excuse me, want me to recreate ‘Insecure’ over and over again, because people always tend to want the same things from you….so I just want to, in many ways, I say I’m just getting started cause I want to get over that hump of…what people expect from me, what people know from me, and just get better and more broad in what I’m able to do.”
Rae also discussed the challenges of being a Black creative: specifically, the duality of having increased representation while also having that representation cast across an entire community. Some have painted Insecure with a broad brush, dubbing the show “the Black ‘Girls’”. It’s a comparison that bothers Rae, especially when white actresses are never burdened with representing their entire community.
“People kept on hyping it as…‘This is the Black female experience,’ and I’m just like, do not… it cannot be that,” Rae said.
“It is about me and my friends and it is very much my specific point of view and story. It can’t do that. So, even the many times that I have made PSAs like, ‘Hey this is just one specific story. We’re not trying to represent all Black women,’ it was still talked about in that way. It was called, like the Black ‘Girls’ And it…bothered me. Because then people, you know, come at us like, ‘What is this? This is not what we do. This is not what Black women do. Black women don’t do this.’ And I’m like, okay but I do, so what now. And then a lot of that chatter went away…I mean in white circles it stayed, but in Black circles, they just let us live, and understood that we weren’t trying to be the representation of all Black women.”
The fact that Rae, who began her legendary career with her crowdfunded YouTube series, The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, has been able to tell her stories over the course of a decade demonstrates how recognizing talent uplifts creatives who deserve the chance to share their stories. Rae’s Insecure is told from her experience, and the raw honesty, humor and brilliance of the show is why the hit HBO show continues to soar in its fifth and final season as Rae contemplated the perfect ending to the story.
“There were multiple finales written,” she told The ETCs. “Finally, I had a revelation, and was like, ‘This is the ending that I want.’”
For Rae, her candid show about, in her words, “regular Black people being basic”, has been nothing short of revolutionary in the television space.
And Durant is looking to start a revolution of his own with a story only he could tell: a television drama based on his own life story.
Durant is the executive producer of Swagger, an Apple TV+ show that premieres on the streaming platform on Friday, Oct. 29.
Like Ted Lasso, Swagger looks like another winner for Apple’s streaming platform, with Variety praising the show’s “crisp dialogue and winning performances.”
The Durant-Rae connection in season two of The ETCs is about so much more than a love of Drake. It’s about finding success through decades of hard work, with the reward of having the chance to tell their own stories to the world.