You never know when a simple, human interaction can turn into a controversy that breeds hours of online discourse until the hive mind moves on to the next main character of the day. For Mia, her altercation in NYC turns into an opportunity for a professional troll to get clicks and engagement. Unbeknownst to her, the woman Mia slapped is friends with someone named Ronnie who runs the account @therealronniereacts. He recorded the incident and uploaded it to his page, tagging both Shawna and Mia and including his theatrical “reaction” to the situation. After his sensationalized rant, he delivers a message directly to Mia, telling her she has 24 hours to apologize and adding the hashtag #MiaCulpa.
Naturally, Ronnie’s post sparked all sorts of reactions, ranging from users facetiously asking whose dick she had to suck to get into first class to others questioning her parenting. And, of course, some chose to use the isolated incident to further perpetuate their indoctrinated disdain for Black women. Most notably, someone found her OnlyFans account, thrusting her side hustle into public knowledge. The negative attention sends Mia into a depression, leaving her in bed and compulsively reading the comments and forgetting to take Melissa to school. She takes Melissa to her mom’s house and tries to seek maternal refuge but instead gets Alizé-drunk advice and a reminder of the familial cycles she doesn’t want to repeat. Her mom, belonging to a generation with a starkly different relationship with the internet and privacy, doesn’t understand why Mia is worried about her reputation and belittles her anxiety. Disappointed by her mother’s inability to provide emotional support, she takes Melissa back home so she can wallow alone.
Her phone still blowing up with notifications, Mia tries to call Shawna, but she doesn’t answer. Sinking into an even deeper depression, Mia snaps at Melissa and then immediately regrets taking her anger out on her child the way her mother did to her. Lamont pulls up to Mia’s apartment, surprised by Melissa’s absence from school, and finds Mia sulking under the covers in bed. Like her mom, Lamont essentially tells her to stop being overdramatic, minimizing her feelings about being judged as a person and as a mother. They get into a screaming match in front of Melissa, but Lamont is able to coax Mia into articulating her frustrations. She vents to him about feeling alone and how tiring it can be to give support without receiving it in return. He tries to tell her that she does have a support system, but she points out his own unreliability: No matter how to slice it, Mia is Melissa’s main caregiver, meanwhile Lamont gives the bare minimum. She can feel the pressure boiling over and acknowledges that it causes her to take on traits she learned from her mother.
Moved by witnessing Mia’s display of emotion, Lamont steps up at the opportunity to support the mother of his child. He cooks for her — it’s just hot dogs and fries, but the gesture is still sweet. In what I consider the most thoughtful use of social media in the Rap Sh!t directing style, we see through the point of view of the camera lens as Melissa films her two parents, adding a filter that decorates the scene with a warm-pink hue and animated hearts. The family moment is interrupted by a notification on Mia’s phone informing her that Shawna, who has been radio silent all day, is dragging Ronnie on his IG Live.
There’s good reason for Shawna’s silence, as her phone fell into the ocean while Jet Skiing with Maurice. Ready to blow off steam and step into her post-breakup Hot-Girl Shawna persona, she invites Maurice to a day at the beach by the hotel. They join some other co-workers and drink leftover (stolen) alcohol from the hotel while enjoying the beach as people and not employees. Shawna and Maurice’s sexual tension boils just below the surface as he feeds her mangoes with chile powder that he cut up with a loose knife he happened to have on him. Pretending to represent Jet Ski rentals, they take already paid for Jet Skis and glide across the ocean, holding each other’s waists while Shawna records for her Instagram. Shawna takes her turn on the front of the Jet Ski and has Maurice record her until her reckless driving throws her, Maurice, and her phone in the water.
Drunk, covered in sand, and phoneless, Shawna uses a copy of a master key she made to break into one of the hotel suites to take a shower. Alone and wearing luxurious hotel bathrobes, their tension reaches an ultimate high in the suite. It culminates in shower sex followed by a smoke session, during which Maurice offers to buy Shawna a new phone — to make sure she can text him for future dick appointments. Fully relaxed, Shawna and Maurice go to dinner after visiting the Apple Store. With her new phone, Shawna catches up on the latest antics from Ronnie, and Maurice points out that having a trending moment doesn’t have to be an all-bad thing. Ronnie goes live, sharing Mia’s three-sentence DM apology with whoever is willing to listen, condemning her apology as weak since it wasn’t in person. At this point, Shawna requests to join his Live and begins to annihilate him in defense of her friend. Trying to hold his own, Ronnie says Mia was wrong for hitting his friend, to which Shawna claps back, “And your friend was wrong for wearing a jumpsuit with Huaraches.” She deads him by reading his troll behavior for filth and tells him his face would look great on a T-shirt while Maurice makes gunshot sounds in the background. RIP, Ronnie.
Fueled by the multitude of emotions she has been feeling, Mia asks Lamont for a few beats she can rap over. She goes to Shawna’s place, meeting up for the first time since NYC, and plays the song for her after the two reconnect, following a day of not being able to reach each other. Mia finally opens up about what truly happened in New York, telling Shawna that her sugar daddy let himself into her hotel room with another man, expecting a threesome until she cussed him out, causing him to kick her out of the hotel room. She channels all her aggravations into a verse delivered on an equally aggressive beat from Lamont, and Shawna jumps on the song, immediately adding to Mia’s creation. If “Seduce and Scheme” is giving City Girls, this new song is giving Megan Thee Stallion.
Chastity comes through Shawna’s with takeout at the end of the night, following a long day of her own. She finessed her way into possibly getting the duo their first performance after connecting a booking agent with some of her sex workers. Always sly and ready to finesse, first she offers her ladies up for a second evening and then slides in the possibility of Mia and Shawna performing for free. As the cliché goes, it takes money to spend money, and Chastity has been burning through hers in the hope of it coming back tenfold. Her OG sex worker is dubious of the situation, especially since neither Shawna nor Mia has reached out to her since getting their song played in the club, but Chastity is confident in her plan. Upon hearing the new song, Chastity is even more motivated to get the duo to the top and finally gets Shawna to agree to be their manager … as long as she gets them on the stage.
• With a pending performance in the works, Mia is ready for a new wig, a stylist, and red-bottom heels, but when Chastity reminds her of the minuscule budget they’re working with, Shawna offers to foot the bill. Looking for more cash, she makes a rookie mistake and texts her partner in crime, Maurice, on his real number instead of his burner, showing again just how reckless scamming can be if you’re not careful.
• As Shawna is texting Maurice, she gets a notification from Cliff, who has been trying to reach her to no avail since his drunken IG tirade. The text reads, “Fuck it. If we’re really over, you might as well know … you were right about Fatima.” Yikes.
• I kind of like their new song more than their first single. Like Chastity said, “The hook makes you wanna throw a right hook.”