Ahead of the fifth and final season premiere of HBO’s hit comedy Insecure—lovingly known as #SeasonByeve—VIBE had the pleasure of attending an intimate dinner hosted by Raedio and the final Insecure Fest to celebrate the bittersweet end to the beloved series.
On Friday (Oct. 22), cherished Los Angeles soul food restaurant, Alta Adams, was bustling with family and friends of Issa Rae’s “audio everywhere” brand, Raedio. The dinner featured a specially curated menu, Grey Goose-sponsored cocktail pairings, and performances from artists featured on this season’s Insecure soundtrack.
Just before Raedio artist, Josh Levi, took the stage with his exclusive performance of “What’s The Use,” Rae spoke on the night’s festivities. “We are celebrating the Insecure soundtrack weekend, which would not be possible without many of the artists in this room who contributed to the sound of the show, which is so important to telling the story. Over the years, the Insecure soundtrack has gotten a lot of love just for elevating the storytelling […] and it’s because of you that we’re able to have such a distinguished sound.”
When speaking on the final season’s soundtrack, Rae explained, “There was a specific mission for this season.” Showrunner, Prentice Penny, provided insight on Twitter on the new season as well. “Are we gonna be okay is the theme of the entire season. You should watch it from that lens,” he urged fans.
President of Raedio, Benoni Tagoe, chimed in following Rae’s sentiments. “As a creative, you’re constantly making things and you think that those things—you f**k with it and you’re like, ‘Oh this is the dopest thing I ever made’—but it’s oftentimes hard to find people that believe in what you’re creating and for me, to have this moment where 1. it’s a sought-after event in LA. That means more than it could ever imagine. I hope that all of you guys feel that one day where you can create something and the thing that you create people f**k with it and people wanna be a apart of.”
When speaking on Raedio, Tagoe stated, “We created this company to be a platform and to be a resource […] With Raedio, we came in and said we wanna provide value from day one and so we were able to do that with music supervision. We’re able to do that by creating writing camps and by giving artists their first placements ever and to have an event like this just culminated what we’re about, which is giving opportunity, showing the vision, and showing that anybody can do it.”
Nnena, also took the stage to perform her song, “Fun,” which closed out the season 5 premiere of Insecure. Rae introduced her and shared that “this song specifically stood out to [her] because it really touched on the themes of the season and her voice is just incredible.”
Tagoe exclusively told VIBE, “In curating the soundtrack for season 5, we wanted to touch on themes of ‘am I or are we going to be okay’. So, we selected songs that questioned ourselves and our relationships. Nnena’s “Fun” is the perfect representation of that, so we released it first to set the tone for the rest of the season.”
BK Habermehl closed out the night of performances with her single, “Time Off.” The #SeasonByeve soundtrack also includes original work from Teamarrr, Saweetie, BLXST, and more.
On Saturday (Oct. 23), VIBE ventured to the final Insecure Fest. Walking through the entrance, guests were immediately hit with nostalgic images from Insecure over the years. The entire venue was filled with iconic locations from the series, including a remake of the We Got Y’all Headquarters, The Dunes, Issa and Nathan’s ferris wheel ride from Coachella, Issa and Lawrence’s art walk date from their season 4 reunion, and even Mirror B***h circa season 5 makes an appearance.
Happy #InsecureHBO Day! #SeasonByeve
?: @TOPSHELFJUNIOR pic.twitter.com/5qoERYnnCO
— Issa Rae (@IssaRae) October 24, 2021
Insecure Fest kept fans fed with food from local Black-owned restaurants, including Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, My Two Cents, and Hawkins House of Burgers. Upon entry, guests were given exclusive Insecure Fest 2021 hoodies with a tote bag to match and a coupon for one free gift from one of the Black-owned vendors at the marketplace, including Issa Rae’s own haircare brand, Sienna Naturals.
Curated by Eso Won Books, attendees were encouraged to take home books from famed Black authors. I, personally, snagged a copy of Toni Morrison’s Home.
Known for being the show whose soundtrack never disappoints, musically, guests were treated to performances by Schoolboy Q, Kamaiyah, Duckwrth, Flo Milli, and Jazmine Sullivan. The performance stage was hosted by Crissle and Fran from the Insecuritea podcast.
The event also had an exclusive screening of the season 5 premiere. Watching the show with a grand, Black a** audience was definitely a worth-it experience. To comply with COVID-19 regulations, all attendees needed to be fully vaccinated and present a negative PCR test upon entry.
Insecure is now streaming on HBO and HBO Max with new episodes airing every Sunday. The series finale of Insecure airs on Dec. 26, 2021, at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT.
Watch the full recap from Insecure Fest below.