By: Elorm Nutakor
The video above is the depiction of a 23 year old woman whose personal life has proven to divert attention from her true creativity. In her interview on the Breakfast Club, Teyana Taylor spends the majority of her 30 minutes dealing with questions about her relationship issues. This reality was disappointing for me, as someone who wanted details regarding her upcoming album. A few months and a few singles later, Teyana Taylor has finally released her debut studio album VII, a project that deadens any doubts about her musical talents.
VII is an R&B album that makes listeners both nostalgic for the ‘90s and proud of the current decade at the same time. The album consists of ten main songs as well as two interludes that also serve as bonus tracks on the album’s deluxe edition (“Outta My League” & “It Could Just Be Love”).
In addition to Teyana Taylor’s vocals, which contain a perfect hoarse element, other artists on the album involve Fabolous, Yo Gotti, and Pusha T; each of these artists add their distinct flavors to the songs on which they assist. In “Do Not Disturb,” Taylor and Brown lament about their want for privacy, an issue that they both would like more of – in life as well as in the song. Taylor shares the mic with Fabolous in “Broken Hearted Girl,” in which Taylor express a longing for companionship with lyrics like: “I wanna touch you right now, right now.” The album’s lead single, “Maybe,” features Yo Gotti and Pusha T, rappers known for their lyrics regarding their drug dealing pasts. Over a beat with trap bells and 808 drums, Talyor contemplates the reason for her feelings toward a man as Yo Gotti and Pusha T tantalize her with the possibilities.
Lyrics like Taylor’s, “Maybe it’s the liquor / maybe it’s the song don’t know what it is / but you turn me on,” and Yo Gotti’s “I keep it G / I told you that there off the top maybe you never met a street nigga thuggin’ on the block,” express Taylor’s befuddlement as well as Yo Gotti’s thug persona.The album’s experimentation with funky grooves (“Just Different”) and dancehall rhythms (“Put Your Love On”) complete the solid R&B sound that Teyana has worked to curate on VII. In general, the lyrics deal with relationships, expressions of love, and privacy. Taylor is signed to G.O.O.D. Music, Kanye West’s record Label, and VII solidifies the influence that Kanye West has had on her. In fact, during a listening party for the album, Kanye grabbed the mic in the middle of a song to express his pride in Teyana. Though Kanye tried to contain his emotions, he could not; one listen of this album can have you wanting to pull a Kanye, grab the mic, and show your love for Teyana Taylor.
So stop asking about her love life, and start focusing on her music – because Teyana Taylor is definitely going places.
Elorm is an English major at Mizzou in his first year with KCOU. Born in Ghana and raised in Illinois, he enjoys listening to a range of different music, from popular to obscure, as well as making music productions of his own. He is also a drummer and an amateur dancer.