Issa Rae clearly has a side hustle as a party planner

Photo credit:  Fiza Pirani

Photo credit: Fiza Pirani


Yes, Issa Rae is an incredible writer and actress with more than a few Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. But where is her nod for best party promoter.

You've seen her Instagram page. If you haven't, sis is a firm believer of a good turn up. Did you peep how she celebrated her 33rd birthday back in January?  She threw a bomb pool bash in Malibu, and everybody you love to crush on was there. Jay Ellis, Yvonne Orji, Wale, Ylan Noel, Lil Rel, Quinton Bronson, Ashley Blaine and so many more popped up.

And remember the time she hosted that epic, star-studded #LemonPepperKickback in Atlanta? A couple of the same celebs slid threw, plus a few more favs like Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, and Amandla Stenberg.

Janelle Monae even came, so it was no surprise when Issa invited her to one of her "Sip" events, "an unscripted, intimate fireside chat over drinks with creatives we are inspired by."


One of my AUC sisters tipped me off about this one. (Thanks, Kirby!) And it was lit!

When me and my friends walked into the Mason Fine Art venue, we were immediately greeted with stunning paintings plastered all across the walls. There were servers hooking us up with tasty horderves, and the drinks were plentiful. I'm talking two open bars, and this was all included with our ticket. 

The deejay kept spinning hit after hit. I knew the function would be one of the Blackest and dopest when he played Lil Duval's Smile, and everyone began singing the chorus in unison. "I'm living my best life!" 

There was even this cute, little video booth. The video, which was emailed to us on the spot, went in slow mo before returning back to its normal speed. I stood in line twice, because I apparently love being smacked in the face with confetti. 


By the time everyone got in a little jig and a few drinks, the ladies of the night walked out on stage looking as gorgeous as ever. Issa led the conversation, asking Janelle about navigating her career, making ATL her base and her thoughts on Afrofuturism. 

She even inquired about her song I Like That, where the starlet sings, "Even back then with the tears in my eyes, I always knew I was the shit." "That song is supposed to be a reminder to myself to love myself and to embrace the things that make me unique even if that makes others uncomfortable," Janelle said. Message!

By the end of the night, I was so inspired to create and be my best self. There was so much magic in the room. Issa and Janelle are great examples of what it means to be Black and excellent in every way.

And the next time I decide to host a little shindig, I'm taking notes from Issa. Such a good night! Here are few snapshots below.