Teyana Taylor’s second album, the 23-minute K.T.S.E. (short for Keep That Same Energy) was released with aplomb in June 2018. It was the last of Kanye West's’ five-album package from his Wyoming recording sessions; of those five albums, it’s also the only one by a woman. Our own Courtney E. Smith reviewed K.T.S.E., writing that Taylor’s music feels “intimate,” like she is “whispering stories from her life...into the ear of the listener.” Why then, did Taylor recently announce that she wanted to re-release K.T.S.E.? Why has West virtually stopped talking about her album? There has been some suggestion that the answer is old-fashioned workplace sabotage.
West released Taylor’s album without accompanying visuals or even a single. This decision substantially reduced any chances of publicity around K.T.S.E., knocking radio play, streaming placement, and YouTube streams right out of the realm of possibility. Contrast that with the PR-wide decision to court controversy with Daytona, Pusha T’s album in the Wyoming Sessions package. West reportedly paid $85,000 to license a photo of late singer Whitney Houston’s bathroom covered in drug paraphernalia. Criticism aside, it got people talking about Daytona.
Taylor also claimed that she’d intended for the record to be a lot longer than 23 minutes. Indeed, she alleged that “Never Would Have Made It” should have included two additional verses. “I’ve got two whole other verses that didn’t make it,” Taylor said on an recent radio interview with Hot 97’s Ebro In The Morning. “The first verse was about my mum, the second verse was about [her daughter] Junie, and the third verse was just about anyone who ever doubted me...That didn’t make it, so all you hear is Junie’s voice in the background and then you hear the verse about my mum...I felt a way. I notice everything that was not done. That’s not the version that I heard.”
Most suspiciously, Taylor says that she never heard the final version of K.T.S.E. before it was released. “...A shortened version shocked me upon its released [sic] date,” she wrote on Instagram, while also thanking West for his contributions to the record. Taylor also says that she wanted to avoid disappointing her fans by only “giving them 23 minutes.” Ultimately, Taylor is “open to agreeing to disagree,” and appears ready to move past K.T.S.E.’s botched rollout. After all, her album is so good that even sabotage couldn’t bring it down.
For a better clarity of my "publicized emotions" toward my album...I LOVE MY ALBUM and never said that I didnt AND BELIEVE IN MY ALBUM with all of me. My complaints never came from a place of anger but more so from a place of hurt that I felt that I owed the world more. After 5 years of patience I could have anticipated the culture would be hurt that all I had to offer them was 23 mins. I have a very loyal and active fan base that I'm extremely indebted to and that I am extremely dedicated to. Though a shortened version shocked me upon its released date i appreciate my brother Ye for helping me produce my most vulnerable, personal and soulful album to date. I think that our collaboration on this album shows and proves to add to the culture we creatives promise to push forward! I never meant for my passion to be mistaken for ungratefulness however i'm always open to agreeing to disagree, that doesnt take away from the bond I share with not only Ye but all of my G.O.O.D Music family. Yall know ima keep shit a buck! #KTSE and last but not least I want to thank everyone for the love and support of #KTSE! 💕