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Issa Rae Awarded Key to City of Inglewood Ahead of Super Bowl


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Issa Rae was bestowed the key to the city of her native Inglewood on Saturday, becoming the first person in its 114-year history to receive the honor.

The Insecure star and co-creator appeared at the Taste of Inglewood festival on downtown Market St. to accept the key from Mayor James T. Butts, who dubbed her “the queen of Inglewood.”

In her speech, in front of hundreds of South Los Angeles residents and visitors, Rae admitted, “I’m a little emotional. I’m trying to be a thug right now. The mayor really kind of flabbergasted me in that this is the first key in 114 years, so that’s a huge honor. I just want to thank you all so much for your support — thank you to the mayor, thank you to the city of Inglewood for making it so easy for us to film here, for helping us showcase this city that I love that so much.”

Rae extensively highlighted neighborhoods and restaurants throughout the city during Insecure‘s five seasons, and serves as exec producer on HBO Max’s Sweet Life: Los Angeles, a reality show centered on twentysomethings in South L.A that also films at Inglewood hot spots.

“I have to give love to my grandparents who have lived here, have lived in Briarwood for a long time and who established my first point of view of Inglewood and love the city themselves; my mom and my sister who live here actively and just for being here,” she continued. “I have to give a shout-out to my collaborators and my company members at Hoorae who have come out here to support me. I’m truly honored to receive this. I will always put on for my city: Inglewood, South L.A., stand up.”

In addition to her on-camera commitment, Rae has also committed financially in the city, investing in coffee shop Hilltop Coffee and Kitchen, which now has three locations. Mayor Butts cited her “outstanding contributions to our culture” during his speech, calling her “a living legend.”

Rae received the recognition just across the street from Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium, which will host the Super Bowl on Sunday. It was also surely a meta moment for the star, whose Insecure character Issa Dee has a vision of accepting the key to the city from mayor Tyra Banks in the show’s fifth season, on a day declared Issawood Day.

After receiving her key, she stayed on the festival stage to introduce performer TeaMarrr, the first artist on her Raedio music label. “I’m her biggest fan, but I hope you guys leave here being a fan of hers too,” she added.

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