Teyana Taylor shared the significance of launching her new music album on Friday, June 19.
June 19, or Juneteenth, is a holiday that honors the day enslaved people were liberated in the United States in 1865. Although the Emancipation Proclamation freed all enslaved people in 1863, many of those in remote parts of Texas weren't actually freed until two years later. While the day was made an official holiday in Texas in 1979, it didn't become a national observation day until 2014. Nonetheless, the holiday has been celebrated by several celebrities and social media influencers who are using Friday to better educate those who weren't aware of the significance of the date.
Prior to the release of The Album, Taylor shared why releasing an album was important for her at this time. The 23-track effort is Taylor's most recent project since she released K.T.S.E. in 2018, per Billboard. She said the album's date signifies the feelings she's had about the news she's seen over the past few weeks. After learning of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and several other Black people who were allegedly killed at the hands of police officers, Taylor said she wanted to share something that celebrated Black lives and love.
"With releasing the album on Juneteenth, it's important because if you noticed the lead singles that I led with were 'Made It' and 'We Got Love.' So I've always been here," she said. "I've always been about us being celebrated and celebrating my culture and my people. For everything to happen, from my album getting delayed and it falls perfectly on Juneteenth, yes, it's a celebration."Although she hopes to honor the Black experience through her album, Taylor admitted there's still work to be done within the Black community. The wife and mother revealed that she feels greatly affected by the recent deaths and protests that followed. She said her worries are even more amplified as she's dealing with all of her emotions while being six months pregnant with her second child.
"You're extra emotional. So how it's hitting you, it's hitting me 10 times more," Taylor said. "It's all the way falling apart for me because I'm feeling for our people. And to also be a strong Black woman, and be so enraged, [it's hard], because I'm also pregnant."
Before she released her album, Taylor had a star-studded listening party earlier this week. According to Variety, the party brought out multiple celebrities who have been under quarantine for the past few months due to COVID-19. Some of the guests included Trey Songz, Winnie Harlow, Snoh Aalegra, Ryan Destiny, Keith Powers, Christian Combs, Eric Bellinger, Karen Civil, Lena Waithe, Cardi B, Offset and baby Kulture Kiari.
This is Taylor's fourth studio album and is under Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label. In addition to featuring her husband, Iman Shumpert, on a song, Taylor also has features from Erykah Badu, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, Future, Kehlani, Quavo, Rick Ross, Davido, and more artists.