Teyana Taylor is opening up about her tumultuous time in the music industry.
While appearing on Cam Newton’s BET series “Sip N’ Smoke,” the “How You Want It?” singer explained why she announced her shocking decision to retire from music late last year.
“At the end of the day, I’m a mom first,” she told the football player, referencing her two children with Iman Shumpert: Iman Taylor Shumpert Jr. and Rue Rose Shumpert.
“A mom, a wife, a woman. 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 ---- 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.”
The artist went on to explain that she felt “underappreciated” by her label, GOOD MUSIC — which was founded by Kanye West and signed an exclusive long-term worldwide label agreement with The Island Def Jam Music Group in 2011.
“And I felt like the label wasn’t really hearing me and seeing me,” she continued. “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].”
Last December, the 30-year-old shocked fans when she appeared to retire from music after “receiving little to no real push from the ‘machine.’”
While posting a photo of her Spotify streaming wrap-up, she wrote, “I ain’t gone front in times of feeling super underappreciated as [an] artist, receiving little to no real push from the ‘machine,’ constantly getting the shorter end of the stick, being overlooked, I mean the list on and on lol.. I’m retiring this chapter of my story with the comfort that I can depart with peace of mind seeing that all the hard work & passion put in was indeed loved & supported somewhere in the world!”
She then elaborated on the drama in a candid Instagram Live.
“I asked Def Jam to drop me on almost 10 different occasions. Straight to the face. Up in the building,” she said last December.
“At this point, I can’t let this kill me. Granted, to my fans, I think that, you know — and I can see how my message can come across but at the same time, I feel like it’s a tiny bit selfish to say, ‘What about your fans? Do it for your fans.’ Baby, I gotta do it for my mental health. I have to do it for my emotional health. I have to do it for my kids so I can stay alive for my kids.”
In her interview with Newton, Taylor clarified that she isn’t necessarily “[retiring] permanently” but doesn’t want to “move another inch for a company” that she feels isn’t valuing her.
Watch her sit-down, below: