Teyana Taylor has quickly become a musical powerhouse over the years. As a mother, artist, entrepreneur, and wifey, the talented visionary has a lot on her plate but isn’t ready to slow down yet.
Born and bred New Yorker Teyana Taylor represented her city with pride for the McDonald’s ‘Beat of My City’ concert event this past Saturday. The nationwide tour, held in collaboration with Genius, sets up free shows for fans to see their favorite artists perform in their hometowns, and NYC’s Pier 36 was the first stop to kick everything off.
Last Tuesday, February 12th, otherwise known as “212 Day” Knock helped Harlem’s finest celebrate their iconic style.
Rain and gloomy overcast skies were no match for the enthusiastic crowd of fashion gurus and brand influencers descending upon the Duggan Greenhouse in Brooklyn. Uniting the like-minded beauties was the return of the 2018 ESSENCE Street Style Festival on Sunday, September 9th. This was a celebration pumped full of energy and positivity, highlighting black culture, style, and community. The guest list was chock-full of notable personalities, including Amanda Seales, comedian and star of HBO’s Insecure, who stepped out in style to host the event. Kellie Brown, Teyana Taylor, Yemi Alade, and DJs Jasmine Solano and Olivia Dope were also in attendance.
Celebrities and attendees alike came together to embrace over 80 black-owned businesses. The Greenhouse was packed full of vendors, such as the Honey Pot, Nyakio, Kelewele, Diggin’ Her Roots, Cee Cee’s Closet, Soul Balm Sisters, and many more that offered products, giveaways, and prizes.
Nike gave away a pair of their signature shoes from LeBron James’ latest sneaker launch, “The Strongest” campaign. This campaign celebrates the strength of 16 incredible black women from across several industries. The shoe, gifted to an ecstatic attendee, was designed by Fe Noel, Kimberly Goldson, and Undra Celeste.
Many great products were available indoors, giving guests the option to shop around before heading outdoors to enjoy delicious bites from diverse cultures offered by a line of food trucks. With appetites satiated, budding fashionistas enjoyed live entertainment held on the large outdoor stage. DJ Olivia Dope warmed up the crowd with a set full of favorites. Afterward, Macy’s held an unconventional fashion show of its own, allowing audience members to put their skills to the test with “Putting It All Together,” an on-the-spot styling challenge.
As the festivities approached an inevitable end, two highly anticipated celebrity guests closed out the festival with a bang. Kelis, style icon and songstress, and Teyana Taylor, songstress, dancer, actor, and model, braved the rain with a high energy performance that left fans buzzing. Teyana herself brought along a special guest, her 2-year-old daughter Junie, who made an adorable appearance in support of her mom. At the closing of the festival, Julee Wilson and Cori Murray presented Kelis with the ESSENCE Street Style Disruptor Award.
ESSENCE has found a way to capture and highlight black women’s contributions to style and fashion at the height of NYFW and it was a resounding success!
Thursday, August 30, 2018, Atlanta, GA rolled out the red carpet at the Woodruff Arts Center in honor of the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards where the common statement of the night was, “If Janet Jackson is going to be here, I had to make sure I was in the building!” On this night Janet Jackson was being honored with the 2018 Icon Award, the highest award of the night!
Teyana Taylor’s latest album, KTSE, is a short yet impactful album that illustrates themes of love, loneliness, beauty, and lust.
The project, produced by Kanye West, is sample-heavy, which works well to enhance Taylor’s own soulful delivery, as Ye’s samples on this particular album are derived from mostly 60s and 70s R&B/Soul Groups. The first track on the album, Gonna Love Me, uses a sample from an early 60s and 70s group called The Delfonics. The sample functions to create a sense of longing, and also immortalizes that sensation by using a nostalga, as well as Taylor’s own voice. In this song, Teyana is asking her lover to forgive her, to wait for her. She belts: “Please wait up for me, ’til whenever I get home.” Taylor’s voice is powerful yet pleading, and though it is strong in its volume and intensity, it reveals the true nature of Taylor’s desire, that even though she may be tough, she is still dependent on her lover, and needs them to respond.
The second track on the album, Hurry, takes on a more playful cadence, but still shows off Taylor very serious vocal talent. The song features a verse from producer Kanye West, as he ruminates on a bad Trinidadian chick, the memory seemingly sparked by Taylor’s own avowal of the powers of the fatty: “”Keep your eyes all on this fatty, if you like what you see take your hands and grab it, Hurry, Hurry.” Though the track is masterfully produced, it fits uncomfortably among the other songs on the album, probably due to the reduced intensity of the themes that swim throughout the project. Some have said that the track does, however, sample Kim Kardashian’s sex tape with Ray J, though a G.O.O.D. music rep disappointed many fans by disavowing that particular piece of knowledge.
The third track on the album, Rose in Harlem, reiterates an idea that many black artists from the inner-city have used, that of a rose growing from concrete, a flower growing from a place where it is unwelcome, a thing of beauty and purity coming from a tough environment. The idea became a household metaphor after poet Tupac Shakur explained that a rose coming out of concrete is similar to a ghetto kid growing up and being able to impact other peoples’ lives positively, despite growing in a harsh environment.
Issues/Hold on, the fourth track on the project, uses a sample from Billy Stewart’s I still love you, Taylor agains seems to be pleading with her lover, asking for forgiveness and amends. Taylor respects the idea of mutual guilt, as she sings: “You ain’t always been an angel but heaven’s on our side I got my demons too, I know just how you feel.” Taylor’s ability to express her own emotions while empathizing with her lover is one reason that her song resonates with listeners, it isn’t one-sided at all, rather it delves into the complicated nature of love itself. The fifth track of the album, No Manners, combines decadent strings with trap-influenced flows, as well as a soul-sample.
On the whole, the album is much like Teyana herself, beautiful, powerful, deep, and personal, and though it carries heavy baggage on its shoulders, the project manages to handle its weight by using it as a chip on its shoulder rather than as a roadblock. Taylor’s voice is beautiful, but it isn’t angelic. It draws from its inner strength to be heard, but it still brings its demons with it. And as a result, the world gets to listen to, but perhaps never completely understand, the very complex and intuitively moving voice of Teyana Taylor.
Bella Hadid, Teyana Taylor, Iman Shumpert, Rick Ross and Joey Bada$$ were among the many celebrities who attended Kith’s inaugural fashion week show “Kithland.”
If you’ve been unconscious for the past 15 hours and somehow missed this year’s legendary MTV Video Music Awards, we’ve got you covered with the top 5 moments.