Teyana Taylor is set to release “The Album” on Friday, coinciding with Juneteenth, the day marking word of emancipation reaching enslaved African-Americans in the outermost territories in 1865.
To preview the project — featuring such music elites as Erykah Badu, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, Future, Kehlani, Quavo, Rick Ross and Davido, among others — Taylor threw a listening party at a private mansion in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, June 17. Variety was among the guests in attendance — many gathered in yellow protective gear and noting it was their first time at an event since going into isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was hosted by Karrueche and Terrence J, the latter who declared at the start: “Teyana doesn’t f–k with a lot of people. Congrats on being a real one, you made the list.”
Among the stars sighted at the posh pad were Cardi B and Offset with their daughter Kulture, Quavo, Trey Songz, Winnie Harlow, Snoh Aalegra, Ryan Destiny, Keith Powers, King Combs, Eric Bellinger, Karen Civil, Lena Waithe and Lori Harvey, among others.
A highlight of the evening included Taylor and Shumpert trading to their song “Wake Up Love,” with daughter Junie at their side. This past Friday, the G.O.O.D. Music artist released her new visual for “Wake Up Love” featuring Shumpert, revealing her second pregnancy to the world. Throughout the evening, Junie quickly stole the spotlight as she danced with everyone surrounding hyping her up.
Def Jam went to great lengths to make the event an interactive experience, as guests were led into five different rooms labeled Studio A, Studio L, Studio B, Studio U, and Studio M — spelling out Album. Each one carried its own theme, such as Studio L for lust — definitely the steamiest room in the house, it featured a bathtub filled with red roses and illuminated by candles.
The most heartwarming moment of the evening arrived as guests entered the last room: an outdoor area with walls dedicated to #BlackLivesMatter photographs and messages. Terrence went on to lead a moment of silence for the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, among others. Guests were able to tag their own names onto the walls, uniting and standing for change within our system.
“The Album” serves as Taylor’s first project since her critically-acclaimed “K.T.S.E.” (Keep That Same Energy) released in 2018. Her catalog includes standout singles “WTP” (with visuals directed by Taylor herself), the gold-certified “Gonna Love Me,” and fan-favorite “Issues/Hold On.” She was also recently nominated for video director of the year at the 2020 BET Awards, under her director stage name “Spike Tee.” Teyana has directed videos for several of her contemporaries including T.I.’s “You,” Monica’s “Commitment,” and Lil Duval’s “Pull Up” featuring Ty Dolla $ign.