The Artist vs The Producer

I’m sorry Teyana, you were right.


Teyana Taylor made it known immediately when her album “K.T.S.E.” was released she was unhappy with the finished product. The album, like multiple G.O.O.D. music Wyoming releases, was late, and Teyana did not find out when it was going to be released until everyone else. Nas’ album was a day late, Teyana’s was over 12 hours, "Kids See Ghosts” was over 6 hours, etc.


Once the album finally released Taylor listened to the finished product and gave her displeasure of the album. She believed it was too striped down and short. Her opinion was the production was overproduced at moments (lasers in Issues/Hold On), and it removed sentimental portions for her amongst other issues (I.e. originally “Never Would Have Made It” had multiple verses, dedications for her Mom and daughter).


My initial thought is let it be. The album was critically acclaimed by most in the industry. I love the album how it is. The Harlem native put out snippets of songs leading up to the album that were changed, but only her hardcore fans heard that. For the common listener, all we had to go off was the album and it was superb. The album is a press play. All strong songs, no fillers.


What is the problem?


Artistically she had a vision for her album. Taylor wanted it to sound and be a certain way. The executive producer (EP) and other producers have their vision of where the album should go. Teyana is working with one of the greatest producers of this time in Kanye West, along with his associate producers, they sure know a thing or two about making quality music.


So, what is the problem?


The problem is Teyana is the artist, and the artist should be able to make the final decision on their art. Now I am talking about real artist, not just your cookie cutter “let’s make a hit, I will do what you tell me, I am just in it for the money” type artist. A veritable and authentic artist is very particular, detailed, as well as sensitive about their art and how it is presented to the world.


Teyana has to stand on the front line for the album, she has to sing those songs, explain the dynamics, and be the representation of that album. She has the right to be in her feelings.


This dynamic between artist and producer is a constant feud in the music industry, and many industries. The management, in this case EP sees things one way, the talent sees it another. While good management is good at cultivating talent, the management is unable to be the artist. Without the artist there is no art. So, the artists that are responsible enough should be able to have the final say.


Teyana Taylor did not know when her album was going to be released and also did not hear it before it was released. Unacceptable, this is her album.


This is not an indictment against GOOD music, this happens in the industry far too often. I would not want someone to take my articles, edit them, and release them without my consent, and anyone who cares about their art would not want that.


The album is great, I enjoy it thoroughly, but I was wrong, Teyana should not have played it cool, she should have said something. It can be debated whether or not it should have been done strictly behind closed doors, but either way she was right.


“As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance”- Calvin and Hobbes