The album was delayed for more than a day after “a lot of clearance issues” for samples by Lauryn Hill and Sade that didn’t pan out in her favor. Though Taylor told Big Boy of Real 92.3’s Big Boy in the Morning that she planned to upload a completed version of K.T.S.E. the following weekend, she soon scrapped those ideas and told her eager followers that “I guess we ain’t getting” the updated audio.
On the surface, spectators and critics felt Taylor got the raw end of the stick when it came to the five-album G.O.O.D. Music package deal. She, like her many fans, possibly felt confident that this album would have a proper chance for commercial appeal than her debut since she revealed the K.T.S.E. project was “actually done” earlier that year.
Unfortunately, critical problems persisted behind-the-scenes, causing the album to fall victim to drummed up rap beef and other unrelated components that slighted her efforts to make an ambitious return to the spotlight.
Taking it all in stride, Taylor pressed through a number of unanticipated events surrounding her second album with her head high and experienced amassed accomplishments that seemed out of the question almost a year ago.
With this misstep in her discography in the rearview of Taylor’s career, and Black Music Month nearing a close, Rated R&B has decided to take a moment to revisit four successes from this misunderstood album and era.
1. Taylor Has Remained Booked
In August, Taylor and Jeremih launched a month-long tour in support of their respective projects. After eight stops, Taylor pulled out of the U.S. trek after feeling “extremely mistreated” by her co-headliner.
“I’ve been extremely mistreated on this tour so on that note I will no longer continue to stay on the #LaterThatNightTour because if I do ima end up knocking this nigga out,” Taylor tweeted after their show in Boston. “I’m sorry to all who has already purchased tickets to see me. I will make sure everyone gets refunded.”
Upholding her verbal agreement with fans, Taylor revamped the summer tour, dubbing it after her brief album released in June. She played the originally scheduled dates and provided proper updates on rescheduled shows.
Following her string of successful tour dates, things continued to look promising for Taylor. She landed a musical guest slot on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where she blessed the audiences with harmonizing performances of “Rose in Harlem” and “Gonna Love Me.”
In April, Taylor made her Ellen debut with a captivating performance of “Issues/Hold On.” She later landed a marquee for the 2019 Red Music Festival New York, which supported her House of Petunia vision.
In addition to her on-stage gig at the Femme It Forward concert series, no live experience this year can top her main-stage set happening at the 25th anniversary of the Essence Festival in New Orleans in July. She will warm the stage before headliners Maze and Frankie Beverly and Pharrell Williams on its closing night.
2. Taylor Further Proved Women Can Make Dope Visuals
Nowadays, in a world where artists are loose to express themselves creatively through all forms of art, the idea of one taking control of their album rollout isn’t a stretch. Taylor took heed of this artistic advantage, and began releasing self-directed visuals for her K.T.S.E. songs, including the tour-styled video for “Rose in Harlem” and LGBT ball-inspired clip for “W.T.P.” to the romantic picture for “Issues/Hold On.”
Her impressive directorial skills, powered by The Aunties Production company, have resulted in millions of views. Through her amazing storyboards and creative vision, Taylor has started spearheading frames for other artists like Monica (“Commitment”) and Flipp Dinero (“If I Tell”), as well as a hilarious sponsored commercial for Old Spice.
Meanwhile, Macy Gray just booked Spike Tee for her short film expertise for “Budda” from her Ruby album. Kehlani and Megan Thee Stallion are also interested in recruiting the highly sought-after director for their next video.
3. Taylor scored her very first RIAA-certified gold single
If there’s one record from K.T.S.E. that’s hard to shake from your eardrum, it’s “Gonna Love Me,” a hip-hop soul solo that features two well-worked samples. Worked as an urban radio single, the soulful cut peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart, becoming her very first top 10 hit on this R&B focused chart.
This spring, Taylor received news about her K.T.S.E. single “Gonna Love Me” that left her speechless and in tears. The fan-favorite track became certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 500,000 units sold. It marked her first single ever to receive this gold status.
4. K.T.S.E. received more year-end love than probably expected.
Making the album round-up list every December for beloved music publications is almost better than winning an actual award for some artists. Despite her unorthodox album rollout and the rough version of songs uploaded to streaming platforms, Taylor’s K.T.S.E. LP made the list of several major sites like Billboard, Paper, Okayplayer, and Rated R&B.
“Slow off the mark, K.T.S.E. (Keep That Same Energy), Teyana Taylor’s sophomore effort was the last of five albums from Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music rollout in June. Taking a page out of Diddy’s production handbook, West relied on bluesy soul samples for the unfinished work that features the harmonizing superstar longing for reassurance in her fresh marriage and her strong desires to keep it intact by any means necessary; and yes, that means even a “3Way.” But apart from her raunchy odes, the brief album that deserved much more from everyone involved, uncovers triumphant moments that commends Taylor’s will to survive from being a product of her harsh environment” — Rated R&B, The 25 Best R&B Albums of 2018
Revisit K.T.S.E. below.
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