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One of the most talented artists in the game has been talking about retirement after 15 years on stage.

Teyana Taylor won our hearts back in her MTV days. Personally, I’ve been a fan of her’s since we saw her on My Super Sweet 16. She was a bit of a brat while planning her dream birthday party, but even back then we could see that she was a sweetheart.

As the years progressed, we’ve gotten to meet various sides of her artistic personality. Following her career has taken us to movies, brought us to various streaming platforms, and as of late, we’ve even seen her as a director for major music videos. On top of that, the soon-to-be 30 year old is wonderful mother and a beautiful bride.

It’s painful to hear that she hasn’t been enjoying every aspect of her career as of late and is thinking about walking away. The New York-bred artist voiced her frustrations during her Instagram Live over the weekend where she addressed grievances with her label, Def Jam.

“First, let’s be clear, this has nothing to do with a Grammy,” she began. “C’mon y’all, I been signed in an industry since I was 15 years old. I’ll be 30 in how many days? Ya’ll know I stay to myself, I’m all about my business. As far [as] what I’m feeling when I say I feel unappreciated cause I have little to no push, I say I’m getting overlooked by the people who are supposed to push me the most, my partners, my label.”

Messy Game

In case you’re unaware, things can get quite messy in the record industry. These artists sign over their lives to major labels in hopes that they will return the favor by promoting them on the biggest platforms. I can’t really speak on the issues between these two particular parties. However, hearing artists open up about mistreatment from the “powers that be” is not unfamiliar.

Her talent bleeds into everything she touches and her success has certainly been organic. She spends a lot of time promoting things on her own and I do wonder if she’s getting the same push as other artists on the label.

Leaving Def Jam?

As she points out in commentary following her IG Live, retirement may not have been what was truly on her heart. Freedom is. 

“I asked Def Jam to drop me on almost 10 different occasions,” she said. “Straight to the face. Up in the building. 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.”

“I constantly get attacked for all the f**k s**t the label do and, y’all know me, I stay quiet, but it’s so much I can take,” she said. “So maybe, if I retire, n*ggas will let me go. Drop me, fam. Let me be free. I’m tired … Baby, I’ve been doing this since I was 15 years old. I’m about to be 30. And besides performing for my real fans and actually being in a booth, nothing else about music makes me happy. Period.”

Do Whatever You Need To Do

Teyana brings up a great point: her mental health is important as well.

It would certainly been sad to see her walk away from the game but I can’t help but be happy for the freedom that she would achieve. It has to be a terrifying place to be at this point in her career to be concerned about whether her label has her best interests at heart.

Get at me on Instagram and share your views. Would love to have a conversation with you.

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