June 21st marked the evening Teyana Taylor hosted her exclusive album listening for Keep That Same Energy in Los Angeles, CA. Similar to Kanye West’s last shindig for his and Kid Cudi’s Kids See Ghosts in the city, details were confirmed the evening of with plenty of online users awaiting the live stream.
Entering the Universal Studios Lot in Hollywood, there was much anticipation as selected media, friends, and family were shuttled from the parking lot to the soundstage. Upon arrival, the theme of Harlem was immediately apparent, marked by the tall buildings in the backdrop, makeshift street lights, and incredibly real New York City cop cars with flashing lights.
The first things we noticed was merch. The lonesome van parked in the middle of the area was met with a long line of individuals, eager to retrieve their one-item souvenir. The options were a white or neon hoodie, long sleeve tee, and black and white hat — all of which came in handy as the temperatures cooled down.
Keep That Same Energy wasn’t just the album title, it was the entire theme of the evening. Teyana Taylor was walking around the function in the best of spirits, turning up, dancing, celebrating, and twerking with her close friends protecting her as she paraded through the studio lot.
It’s officially BET weekend and the vibes in Los Angeles are unmatched. Artists sighted include Migos, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Tony Williams, Nelly, Lil Kim, Monica, Sevyn Streeter, CyHi The Prynce, LeCrae, Dice Soho, Desiigner, A.Chal, Remy Ma, Papoose and many more that didn’t cross my path. There was absolutely no room for anything but good energy and good music (no pun intended).
At this point, it is half-past midnight and the party seems to have just begun… two hours later.
So what exactly was the delay in the music? Kanye West’s arrival, duh. Of course, the listening could not begin without Ye in attendance. When he did arrive, we all followed the leader into this huge warehouse that was smack dab in the middle of the famous Universal Studios Lot. The fog, the smoke, the laser lights, and bass-jumping speakers all set the tone for what was to come: Keep That Same Energy.
As soon as the first record was played, Kanye and Teyana were swarmed by the masses. Anyone who was inside that warehouse was witness to the beautiful disaster. As Ye (and his security) pushed their way through, it was hard not to get dragged. The irony in getting trampled in an attempt to escape the situation still baffles me.
One of my favorite parts was hearing Ty Dolla $ign’s vocals on a track, which reminded me how much the Los Angeles native has been killing the game. Another moment was hearing the record Teyana previewed on her IG a couple weeks back. It sounded great then, and even greater now.
Keep That Same Energy played back twice, and each record sounded better than the last. The party went on until the late hours of the evening. It was honestly the best one yet (although I didn’t go to Wyoming). It was the opposite of what you would expect an L.A. function to be, where everyone stands stiff and stonelike.
Leave it to Kanye to redefine what it means to throw an album listening party. It’s finally time for Teyana Taylor to shine like the G.O.O.D. artist that she is.
Ed. Note: We will update this post with the album stream once it becomes available.
Shirley Ju is a Los Angeles-based writer who grew up in the Bay Area. She lives, breathes, and sleeps hip-hop, and is literally on top of new music the moment it is released. If there’s a show in L.A., you can find her there. Follow the latest on her fomoblog.com and on Twitter @shirju.
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