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If Bossing Up Was A Person: Why Teyana Taylor Is A Force Every Black Creative Should Take A Nod From
Career & Money

If Bossing Up Was A Person: Why Teyana Taylor Is A Force Every Black Creative Should Take A Nod From

Teyana Taylor is no stranger to the hustle and grind of treading through the hills and valleys of a career in entertainment. Since the early 2000s (whoa, crazy typing that) I've been a huge fan of what she's always brought to the table, especially representing Harlem, a borough I hold dear to my heart from early childhood memories of spending summers there.


With her unique style, powerful presence, and bold way of approaching anything she does, no one can deny that Taylor ain't nothing to play with.

Her recent collab with Jordan---an Air Jordan 1 Zoom CMFT 2 “A Rose From Harlem” sneaker---broke records and sold out within minutes of its June 1st release. She also directed a fairytale-inspired video, giving a nod to Bridgerton, Cinderella, and Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing for the launch, co-starring her daughters, Junie and Rue Rose, Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts, and DJ Khaled, and featuring cameos from hip-hop stars Maino, Fabolous, and Remy Ma.

Brian Ach / Contributor

She's proven her creative tenacity, talent, and wit time and time again, from her early 2000s self-affirming anthem, "Google Me," to landing deals with music labels including Pharell's Star Trak and Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music, to her iconic Internet-breaking role in Kanye West's "Fade" video, to dominating stages giving sultry, authentic, and rousing within rock, hip-hop, soul, and funk-infused experiences for fans. (You really can't just call her shows "concerts" because Ms. Teyana is truly a divine performer who offers her all from the soul and gut.)

Many of us who have been following her journey are well aware of the chart-topping albums filled with collabs with legends including Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, and her stand-out supporting roles in comic cult classics. I mean, let's really put some respect on her fabulous portrayal of Bopoto Izzi---a reimagining of the '80s classic Imani Izzi character played by Black Hollywood royalty Vanessa Bell Calloway---in the 2021 sequel, Coming 2 America, which came in at No. 1 in streams its opening weekend. Or how about the $25 million hitMadea's Big Happy Family that wouldn't have been the same without the unforgettable, "Byyyyyyroooonnnn!.

And let's not forget how she always un-alives the game with any fashion runway or brand collaboration she touches. From the Met Gala to global fashion weeks, she always adds a touch of glamourous urban spin to haute couture, representing all that is multifaceted and golden about being a Black woman.

Mike Coppola / Staff/Getty

Confidence And Resilience Leading To Longevity And Growth

After more than a decade, the wife and mother of two has faced her fair share of challenges, snubs, and obstacles in her music and film career. There were those infamous reports of the online feud with Rihanna and the subsequent news of Adidas dropping her from a sneaker deal back in 2013. There was also her public acknowledgement of the impact of career disappointments when, citing feelings of being "unappreciated," she announced her retirement from music in 2020.

She reemerged on stages in 2021 with "The Last Rose Petal" tour and in 2022 with "The Last Rose Petal 2" run. The shows sold out and Janet Jackson surprised her with an appearance at the London stop.

Taylor also shifted to honing her acting craft and working on other creative projects after giving music a break."When I retired, I really wanted to focus on directing and acting, so this is the first project that I did since stepping into that world, " she told Elleof her renewed focus and work with A Thousand And One.

Prince Williams / Contributor/Getty Images

She's clearly pushed through, not letting anything or anyone stop her from thriving in the journey, setting her career goals, being intentional, and making her business dreams a reality. The results of that are as clear as day: her work via The Aunties production team, the recent collab with Jordan (a brand that has reportedly earned Nike $19 billion by the way), her recent creative direction gigs with top artists including Latto, Summer Walker, and Lola Brooke, and her recent breakout role in a Sundance grand jury prize-wowing film helmed by two powerful Black women (A.V. Rockwell as writer and director, and Lena Waithe as co-producer), and the continued slaying of red carpets prove that she's in it to win it.

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Featured image by Taylor Hill / Contributor/Getty Images

 

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