Though she says they’ve talked about it now, Teyana Taylor recently revealed she didn’t feel protected when signed to Pharrell Williams’ label as a teenager.
Taylor sat down for an interview on the latest episode of the Angie Martinez IRL podcast.
“Getting signed to a man, it was like a figure to me…I looked at these people like figures,” Taylor said on the show. “Whether it was as a dad, as a brother, it didn’t matter. So it’s like, you didn’t see me, you didn’t hear me, you didn’t protect me. You kind of just like fed me to the wolves type s**t without probably even knowing.”
The 32-year-old said she had “a really, really, really, really deep and honest conversation with Pharrell,” who was the first person to sign her.
“He was Skateboard P, I was Skateboard T,” she said. “You cannot tell me that wasn’t my pops. I really looked up to him. He didn’t have kids at the time, and he wanted kids. He’d be like, ‘Yo, she call me her pops.’ He was really proud of that.”
Taylor said Williams didn’t know about her troubled relationship with her biological father. She added Williams is one of the sweetest people in the world, but “a lot of hands started going into the cookie jar.”
“It’s P; he not ’bout to be like ‘no, y’all n***as back up,” she said. “Maybe he was hurt about some things. You don’t know. It could’ve been a thing of pride and ego at the time. We don’t know. To me, as a 15-year-old, it was, you didn’t protect me. You let everyone mishandle me. I signed to you. You let everybody get in the way, and everybody break us apart. You didn’t protect me.”
Taylor said she had an honest conversation with Williams after appearing in Kanye “Ye” West’s “Fade” music video.
“That’s what made it even doper. Because for me, I was at the top top top when that s**t came out. And for me, I love that I was able to share that with him during a high and not like hitting somebody up while you’re angry and sitting around somewhere bitter; nah, it wasn’t that,” she said. “I was in a poised, graceful place, and just let him know how proud I was of just us and how far we’ve come.”
The Harlem native remains grateful to Williams for helping her start her career.
“I be basking in my blessings, and I will be having them moments when I just think, damn, no matter how I felt when I was younger, none of these doors would have ever opened for me if it wasn’t for P,” she said.
According to Vibe, Taylor signed to Williams’s Star Trak Entertainment label in 2007. The company released her in 2012, with Taylor later signing with West’s GOOD Music.