On Friday, Dec. 4th, Teyana Taylor adds her name to a list of artists who felt compelled to announce their retirement from music. In a lengthy Instagram post, she wrote,
"Wow, who did that? Y'all did that! 🥺Thank you 💗 I ain't gone front in times of feeling super under appreciated as a artist, receiving little to no real push from the "machine," constantly getting the shorter end of the stick, being overlooked, I mean the list on and on lol.. I'm retiring this chapter of my story with the comfort that i can depart with peace of mind seeing that all the hard work & passion put in was indeed loved & supported somewhere in the world! To all my supporters from day 1 & all my new ones I love you and I thank you for everything & don't worry y'all know 🤎 all hustlers have the understanding that when one door closes another will open...either that or I'm pickin da locks petunia!!! So wassup😜🤎😘"
Teyana Taylor's retirement announcement came as a shock to many. Some possibly assumed it was a knee jerk reaction to being snubbed by the Grammys.
This got me thinking about why are we seeing artists with so much more music to give announcing premature retirements?
NO ANNOUNCEMENT NEEDED
I never understood the retirement announcement because I never understood what exactly they were retiring from. Artists don't work desk jobs. Do they expect a potluck?
How do you retire from making art? Are these artists who often spent years grinding so they can live a fantastic life off their music, telling fans they will no longer sing or rhyme words together?
When artists make retirement announcements, especially rappers, it's a sign they are probably not really retiring, just over the industry. A lot of these artists do a "Jay-Z retirement." This is why many are suspicious about these declarations and think it is a promotion tactic.
Two of my favorite artists, Lauryn Hill and Andre 3000, never made retirement announcements. They just went away and did their own thing. If they want to return to music, they can, and without all the "I tHoUgHt yOu rEtIrEd" talk all over social media.
FRUSTRATED ARTISTS MAKE ANNOUNCEMENTS
If you look at the most recent retirement announcements, Nicki Minaj - 2019, Logic - 2020, and now Teyana Taylor, they all have something in common.
These are not artists who have nothing more to give. They are not artists who have all tapped in fully to their greatness and squeezed out every ounce of creativity they have in their music or other forms of art.
These are all artists who feel underappreciated, disrespected, bullied, etc.
Nicki Minaj, who is inarguable is a legend in two different genres, was blackballed and the media sold to the public she was upset over other girls getting attention. After another artist tried to physically attack her, the culture said she deserved it for "poking the bear."
Logic was ridiculed continuously for rapping about his personal experience growing up biracial and rapping too fast. Joyner Lucas admitted the reason he publicly bashed Logic was out of jealousy of his success. Another retired rapper, Joe Budden, made it a point to repeatedly teardown Logic for fun on his podcast. Logic revealed that Joe Budden was partially to blame for his depression.
I would never allow the poster child for a medicine cabinet and someone who hides behind the word "retired" to avoid admitting failure to dictate my mood. But, I get media personalities now have STANs and they create hard to shake narratives by constantly only feeding the public one version of an artist.
Now, we have Teyana Taylor, who feels overlooked.
One time is an incident, two times a coincidence, three times is the start of a trend.
I feel like artists who announce retirements are really retiring from the bullying, attacks, underappreciation, and the neverending row of critics who are rampant in R&B and Hip Hop right now. It's more of a cry for compassion than anything.
FLOWERS FOR RETIREMENT OR DEATH
Artists have come to realize that only in retirement or death do they get their flowers. That has to be a sad realization if you are an artist that really puts your blood, sweat, and tears into what you do.
After Teyana Taylor's announcement, she received an outpouring of support from her fellow artists like Cardi B, The Game, and Swizz Beatz.
That is all sweet, but we have got to really start giving flowers to artists who have put in the work instead of just those artists who are currently hot or that are "likable." Don't try to give flowers only when artists are on their way out.
And artists, stop with the retirements. Just admit you're frustrated and need a break from the industry or better yet just take a break. You owe us no explanation.
I look forward to Teyana's next project.
Comment, Like, Share...Thanks!