Teyana Taylor takes her reputation as hip-hop’s renaissance woman very seriously. When the 22-year-old it girl isn’t dropping a new shoe line such as her popular Adidas sneaker, the Harlem GLC, she is flexing her acting chops in the upcoming BET film The Start-up, starring alongside budding rapper and reality show personality Diggy Simmons. But for many in Taylor’s eclectic fanbase, it’s all about the music.
The rapper/singer—who previously was signed to Pharrell Williams’ Star Trak Entertainment—is currently working on her debut album for Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint. And according to Taylor, the release is finally set for this year. “Right now we are looking at a summer release,” she said to VIBE of her upcoming work, which comes months after her appearance in West’s black and white video for the hit single “Mercy.” “Whatever doesn’t make the album we will use for my mixtape. We are not going to put any song to waste.”
Taylor says one of the highlights of working on her project is experiencing the mentorship of Kanye West. She points specifically to the superstar’s penchant for making bold, chest-beating claims, such as what he viewed as his low placement on MTV’s recent “Hottest MC’s” list, in which he came in at #7 behind his own protégé Big Sean.
“Kanye had every right to feel upset,” Taylor said of her boss, who infamously called up New York’s Hot 97 radio station to express his displeasure over the ranking. “That’s how anybody would feel. Kanye calling up to a radio station is what made his fans see that he still loves the music. He’s not just some caveman who doesn’t give a damn about his art. He has every right to be in the top 5. ‘Ye can talk that shit because he can back it up. He has nothing else to prove, honestly.”
Taylor says she hopes to drop a new single in early summer.—Keith Murphy (murphdogg29)