Teyana Taylor Airs Out Grievances With Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music Label: 'I Felt Underappreciated'

Illustration for article titled Teyana Taylor Airs Out Grievances With Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music Label: 'I Felt Underappreciated'
Photo: Sean Zanni (Getty Images)

As a card-carrying member of the “Teyana Taylor Can Do No Fucking Wrong” fan club—“Issues/Hold On” or “Wake Up Love” will immediately bring you to your senses if you feel otherwise—I was on the brink of writing my senator when I learned in December that the same angel that gave us “Come Back to Me” was retiring from the music industry.

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This abrupt announcement sent shockwaves throughout social media, especially since it was only five months after the release of her third studio album, The Album. At the time, the Harlem native attributed her surprising exodus to her need to preserve her mental health. But in speaking to NFL star Cam Newton on his new digital series Sip ‘N Smoke, she revealed her retirement had a much more specific catalyst.

“At the end of the day, I’m a mom first. A mom, a wife, a woman,” Taylor said. “And I think for me, I put in a lot of work. I work very, very hard. So, if you feel unheard and unseen—like how I said earlier with my husband. He sees me, he hears me. I take that shit serious. Everything that I do. So if you’re my husband, or I’m signed, everybody that I’m aligned with should see me. They should hear me. They should feel me. If you don’t see me, hear me, or feel me, it’s a dub for you.”

She continued, “And I felt like the label wasn’t really hearing me and seeing me. I felt underappreciated. So, for my mental health, my mental well-being, for my kids, let me just put this on ice for a little [bit]. It’s not that I retired permanently. It’s more like, I just don’t feel like I want to move another inch for a company.”

For those wondering what label she’s referring to, that would the Kanye West-helmed G.O.O.D. Music, which she signed to in 2012. Mr. Kardashian hasn’t exactly endeared himself to anybody not named Donald Trump as of late, so it’s easy to believe that his tumultuous personal life has bled into the label’s dysfunction.

The Coming 2 America actress has been bumping heads with G.O.O.D. Music for what seems like an eternity at this point. Her 2018 project, K.T.S.E., was derailed by sample clearance issues, missing verses, and a bunch of other shit that had Taylor not even recognizing her own album upon its release.

“It’s not about not liking it,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2019. “It’s about the fact that it was not long enough, verses were taken out, a lot of stuff I didn’t know happened with my album until I actually heard the album like everybody else.”

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The hell is going on over there?

All I know is Teyana is the absolute truth, so if G.O.O.D. Music can’t get their shit together, I hope she’s able to resume her singing career and release music with a label that will support and believe in her immense talent.

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Check out the full episode of Sip N’ Smoke below.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.

DISCUSSION

When do we get to the part of feminism where women take full accountability for their actions? I’m sick and tired of hearing “woe is me” stories from women who regret making bad deals with music labels. Music labels are notoriously predatory and unfair to their artists, which is part of why independent releases on sites like bandcamp are so popular nowadays.

https://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-problem-with-music

Steve Albini has a wonderful takedown of just how badly music labels screw artists, (see link above).

Look, part of equality is that you agree to the same rules and same accountability as everyone else. Is it shitty? Yeah. Should it change? It already is.

If you make a deal, sign your name to a contract, give up your masters, that’s 100% ON YOU. There’s too much readily available information out there for you to expect US to feel sorry for you when you fuck up. And I would bet dollars to donuts she is using the fact that Kanye is so divisive to bolster her claims and gather viral sympathy. You can’t play both sides of the coin. Either you’re a strong independent woman who doesn’t take shit from anyone or you’re a poor helpless victim who deserves saving from the big bad record label wolf.

Stop blaming others for your life priorities. These are your choices, Teyana. Own them.