With a classic R&B voice mixed with fierce dance moves and a persona to win like no other, who do you have? … Teyana Taylor.
Her dance moves in the Kanye West “Fade” video mesmerized us. From the gyration to the appetizing abs displayed, we watched the fun sweet young girl from MTV’S Super Sweet 16 turn into a grown woman. Teyana first signed with Pharrell’s Star Trak imprint in 2008 and released single “Google Me,” with not much acclaim critically. By 2012, Taylor was released from her contract with Star Trak eventually signing with Kanye’s GOOD Music label. Her debut solo album VII dropped in 2014. Leading up to the album’s release, Teyana released the mixtape The Misunderstanding of Teyana Taylor, along with collaborating on the GOOD Music compilation album Cruel Summer. In 2018, it was announced that Kanye West would be producing Teyana’s sophomore album, K.T.S.E (Keep That Same Energy), with recording for the album taking place in Wyoming. The album was soul/sample heavy R&B but Taylor announced before its release that it was incomplete, leaving her and fans hungry for more. Fast forward to 2020, The Album has arrived.
The Album was everything a starving for more music Taylor fan would want. It has features from the amazing Erykah Badu, Quavo, Kehlani, classic Missy Elliott ad-libs, Future, Big Sean, Ms. Lauryn Hill, and more. She breaks it down into five “studio” parts. Studio A, L, B, U, and M. The Album has a heartfelt Intro with her husband Iman Shumpert on the telephone with a first responder sharing the moment they gave birth to their daughter Junie on the bathroom floor of their home. Taylor teased the album by releasing photos in an asymmetrical flat-top hairstyle like the also fierce Grace Jones plus releasing the video to song “We Got Love.” — In the video “Wake Up Love,” Taylor announced she was pregnant with her second daughter with the help of her husband Iman and daughter Junie. With the minuscule eight songs from K.T.S.E., Taylor ascended her catalog by releasing 23 songs on The Album. From the start of the album, the first thought that comes to mind is growth. Growth as a singer, dancer, mother, and just overall talent.
The Erykah Badu featured “Lowkey” has a sexual vibe with vocals making you want to visit that certain someone who you know you should not be, but keep the door open for the next lifetime. On “Let’s Build,” Taylor sings a duet with rapper Quavo helping him step out of his comfort zone and show off his natural vocals. “If love ain’t a crime/ baby what’s real?” With the help of Kehlani, Taylor and her trade sexual raunchy preferences on the track, ‘Morning,” leaving us wanting more collaborations from them in the future. Taylor has fun with Missy and Future on the Timbaland produced track “Boomin,” great to hear with loud speakers, booming like an 808. “69” she talks about recreating the cancer sign with her lover. “I’ll be the 6 and you’ll be 9” — a great song filled with romantic sexual vibes that should be added to everyones nighttime playlist. Shout out to up and coming writer, my dawg Marlon Hampton co-writing that track. The Album is similar to sounds we would have heard in the 90s. Samples from Total (How You Want It,?) Blaque (Boomin,’) and Ms. Lauryn Hill (Ever Ever) keeps that vibe alive. Teyana Taylor’s voice is not what we heard in 2008, 2014, or even 2018. The growth in her music has taken a significant rise with this album. Although her dance moves are elite and not too many like her, this album should put her next to some of the premier top notch R&B artists of this generation. We love The Album. Thank you Teyana Taylor for great R&B at a time when this country needs it.
Sonically evokes influential golden eras of R&B
Adequate features from Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Kehlani and more
Embodies Teyana Taylor's musical prowess
Sports & Culture Editor for SWGRUS.