Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Teyana Taylor – WTP

Because that pussy is currently underemployed in the gig economy?


[Video][Website]
[5.90]

Nortey Dowuona: Through sharp, clanging sirens, slipping synth bass and a continuous chant of “work this pussy,” Teyana strides through, unbothered. Mykki Blanco shouts encouragement from the DJ booth.
[7]

Adaora Ede: Yeah, we got spammed with “The Weekend” every 30 seconds by urban radio last summer but where are the black female powerhouses that aren’t Beyonce or Rihanna because frankly Beyonce’s in a league of her own and Rihanna’s a pop musician but that’s a discussion for a whole ‘nother 150 words? No fear, Teyana Taylor is here! Taylor’s career has gone the route of the long-forgotten forum of traditional Black RnB artists: sexy urban pop made for a Jeremih feature to “oh look, I listened to ‘Losing You’ religiously in 2013 too!” phase , and now she’s a gay icon (?). “WTP”‘s instrumentation probably has the aim of much of Azealia Banks’ 1991 era work: danceable house meant to be swayed and sashayed to. Teyana’s vocals are divaesque but are wasted on ONE sung verse and what else but a “Paris is Burning clip” — how revolutionary. Teyana Taylor is all image, and not much musicality, and it works for her; she strains her voice powerfully in this subtle ode to her sexuality — but she’s put herself into an uninspired box that she will find hard to leave.
[4]

Maxwell Cavaseno: The less said about the calamity that is GOOD Music’s handling of K.T.S.E. the better in some respects. Musically on the other hand, it is either a wildly uneven album made by an artist who’s been constantly shepherded from distracted super-producer to distracted super-producer who can’t really help cultivate her identity for a full project, or an album where any potential highlights have been marred by Kanye-type fuckery regarding sequencing. “WTP” is easily somehow the most fully realized song, a vogue-ready throwback R&B/House track that both echoes Kanye’s half-discarded interest in house and of course, the other exhaustible Gemini wonder of the rap world, Azealia Banks. In spite of that, she still remains an incredibly minimal part of her own song, and this (along with K.T.S.E. in general) does little to finally unveil who Teyana Taylor is to a music world that’s never gotten a straight answer about that.
[4]

Alfred Soto: A throwback to early nineties big city house, and not without its charms (Teyana even sounds like Ru Paul), but it’s as if it’s trying to remain as anonymous as possible. 
[5]

Thomas Inskeep: Featuring contributions from Mykki Blanco and a sample of Octavia St. Laurent from Paris Is Burning — not to mention a title like “WTP,” which stands for “Work This Pussy” — not only is this wildly unexpected to come from Kanye’s Project Wyoming, it’s also absolutely destined to be used in some form on the next season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Not to mention to potentially become a vogue classic of 2018. Some will suggest there’s not enough there here; I’ll respond that that’s not the fucking point. This is a song for the runway, darlings. Period. And in that regard, it works expertly. 
[8]

Katherine St Asaph: A sleek bit of ballroom house that tells me precisely zero about who Teyana Taylor is, let alone convince me she’s a “motherfucking international sensation.” Her voice is unexpected, husky and bothered — and the exact opposite of insouciant, which is what this needs.
[6]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: As a homage to some of the most vital movements in New York LGBTQ culture? Excellent. As an exercise in carving out an identity for a relatively anonymous singer? Perfectly Struck. As a song? kind of annoying, tbh.
[6]

Will Adams: Knowing what we now know about K.T.S.E. — that it was yet another in a series of albums that confuse “sloppy” and “literally unfinished” for “raw” and “unfiltered” — “WTP” is even more of a letdown. It could have been the unexpected house stormer to close out an otherwise sturdy soul record. Instead we get a 2:47 snippet held together by staples in which the “work this! pussy” hook drops in and out jarringly, glorious piano stabs appear in the last eight seconds, and Taylor — who I believe has lots to say — is saddled with the mess.
[5]

Edward Okulicz: The hard-house 90s sound of “WTP” is a delight — all stabs and crashes and hits. It’s a little bit exhausting, but it’s short enough not to outstay its welcome, but even its short run time feels padded. It almost feels like a parody of what a female artist pandering to what I suspect is a largely gay fanbase would come out with. On the other hand, I am a largely gay fanbase, so:
[6]

Jonathan Bradley: Crashes into life as a sparse and filthy Bounce & B extravaganza, Taylor’s voice lazing over old-school cuts and stutters, before turning into a classic Chicago house banger when the beat really kicks in. Which is also good. 
[8]

Reader average: [8] (3 votes)

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