How Issa Rae Went From 'Awkward Black Girl' To A Media Mogul With A $4M Net Worth
Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz

How Issa Rae Went From 'Awkward Black Girl' To A Media Mogul With A $4M Net Worth

Issa Rae is about to gear up for the final season of her breakthrough series, “Insecure,” and her impact on the industry cannot be overstated.

Born Jo-Issa Rae Diop in Los Angeles, CA, Rae is the product of a Senegalese father who met her native Louisianian mother in Paris, France, and raised them in Senegal for a brief period of time. This worldly, diverse background led Rae to provide a unique perspective on Black life in the United States — which also drove her rise to super-stardom.

But just because “Insecure” won’t be on HBO after this season, doesn’t mean that Issa Rae is necessarily ready to retire. On the contrary: with eight-figure deals from WarnerMedia and various sponsorships and endorsements, Rae’s reign in Hollywood is just getting started. And with a $4 million net worth — according to Celebrity Net Worth — Rae’s star is only just beginning to shine.

As she famously stated in 2017, she’s rooting for everybody Black — and frankly, so are we.

Let’s take a look at how Issa Rae has just started to make her mark in Hollywood — and how the seeds she’s sown, today, will lead to a multi-million dollar empire for her in the very near future.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.

Books

Courtesy of Issa Rae

In 2015, Issa Rae released “The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl,” which quickly became a New York Times No. 1 bestseller.

Production Company

Courtesy of Hoorae

Issa Rae’s biggest success is, of course, with her production company Hoorae. In its initial incarnation, which was founded in 2014, it was known as ColorCreative TV, and it was an incubator for Black talent.

“We’re providing a unique opportunity to get your pilot made,” she said to Ebony at the time. “Instead of going through the development process that can take a year, we’re getting content made within a month and exposing it to an audience to get support behind it.”

AfroTech previously reported that today, ColorCreative TV is the management division of Issa Rae’s production company. In 2020, Rae added former CAA agent Talitha Watkins to run their management division.

But Hoorae, itself, is Rae’s major moneymaker. Under that moniker, she became an executive producer for Netflix films such as “The Lovebirds.” She’s also the EP of “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” “The Photograph” and “Seen & Heard.”

In March 2021, Hoorae signed a five-year, eight-figure first-look deal with WarnerMedia.

Record Label

Photo Credit: Theo Wargo

In 2019, Issa Rae launched a record label called Raedio, which she released in partnership with Atlantic Records.

“Music has always been an essential part of every project I do and working with emerging talent is a personal passion,” she said to Pitchfork.

Sponsorships & Endorsements

Courtesy of Madewell

Issa Rae has appeared in fashion campaigns for Madewell. She also has a partnership with Hilltop Coffee.

Converse Sneakers

Courtesy of Converse Sneakers

In July 2021, Issa Rae teamed up with Converse for a first-of-its-kind partnership. According to Footwear News, the Issa Rae by You Chuck 70 is fully customizable, in that “fans will be able to create their own rendition of the Chuck 70 with five hues for the canvas upper to pick from including two different graphic options. There are also four tongue graphics to choose from along with a choice of eyelets, shoelaces, and ankle patch along with two midsole prints.”

Sienna Naturals

Courtesy of Sienna Naturals

In 2020, AfroTech reported that Issa Rae became the co-owner of natural hair care brand Sienna Naturals. The brand is co-owned by Hannah Diop.

 

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Real Estate

Photo Credit: Jerritt Clark

Issa Rae hasn’t made her real estate investments public. However, she grew up in Inglewood, CA, and recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about how she felt about the “gentrification” of the area.

“I’m like, ‘Oh, what have I done!’” she said, “but I also feel proud of the Black businesses that we’ve heralded and the areas that we’ve championed.”

In a different report from The Hollywood Reporter, Rae further revealed that she’d placed down roots in View Park, CA, known as “The Black Beverly Hills.”