The series opens with a confrontation between local rapper Alfred "Paper Boi" Miles and a man who breaks off the side view mirror of Alfred's parked car. Alfred's cousin Earn tries to mediate the situation while stoned sidekick Darius has a sensation of déjà vu. Working a deadend job and trying to co-parent with Vanessa "Van", Earn approaches Alfred about managing the rapper since he has connections. Though Alfred sees Earn as a leech, Earn finds a way to get his song played on the radio. But just as they listen to the song on Alfred's car radio, a man walking by suddenly snaps off the side view mirror, resulting in the incident at the opening (hence the déjà vu) which ultimately culminates with a gunshot.
During his daily life in Atlanta, Georgia, Earnest 'Earn' Marks' tries to redeem himself in the eyes of his ex-girlfriend, who is the mother of his daughter, as well as his parents and his cousin Alfred, who raps under the stage name 'Paper Boi'.
Having dropped out of Princeton University, Earn has no money and no home and consequently alternates between staying with his parents and his girlfriend. Once he realizes that his cousin is on the verge of stardom, he desperately seeks to reconnect to improve his life and the life of his daughter, Lottie.