Teyana Taylor Says Pharrell Williams “Didn’t Protect” Her As A Teen Signed To His Label

Teyana Taylor and Pharrell on the set for the video shoot for “Google Me, Baby” on February 5, 2008 in Brooklyn, New York. Brian Ach/WireImage

Despite the past, the two creative superstars are now on good terms.

Teyana Taylor has opened up about her time as a teen pop star signed under Pharrell Williams.

Within the latest episode of Angie Martinez’s IRL Podcast, the multi-hyphenate talent reflected on her past desire for Williams to work harder for her music career.

During the intimate conversation, the 32-year-old explained how she initially connected with the “Happy” performer.

“Getting signed to a man, it was like a figure to me…I looked at these people like figures. 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-sh*t without probably even knowing. Some of those conversations still need to be had

“I had a really really really really deep and honest conversation with Pharrell because you know, he was the first person to sign me. He was Skateboard P, I was Skateboard T. 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.”

She continued “He didn’t know any of those things,” explaining to Martinez that the producer was not aware of her troubled relationship with her biological father. “For me, I was like his baby twin.”

Teyana Taylor attends the Daily Front Row’s 7th Annual Fashion Los Angeles Awards on April 23, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

As the conversation went on, she further detailed the entire ordeal.

“He’s not confrontational at all. He’s literally one of the sweetest people in just the whole wide world, you know what I’m saying? So, it wasn’t that he didn’t protect me, it’s just that a lot of hands started going into the cookie jar…it’s P, he not bout to be like ‘no, yall ni**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.”

Teyana Taylor attends Focus Features’ “A Thousand And One” Screening and Conversation With Teyana Taylor, Director A. V. Rockwell and Harlem’s Dapper Dan at AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9 movie theater on March 29, 2023 in New York City. Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Focus Features

Despite the past, the two creative superstars are on good terms.

“I just recently shared that with him. It might’ve been right after “Fade” came out,” elaborated the “Rose In Harlem” singer. “That’s what made it even doper. Because for me, I was at the top top top when that sh*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. 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.”

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.

Teyana Taylor, Iman Tayla Shumpert Jr., Rue Rose Shumpert, and Iman Shumpert attend the 2023 Sundance Film Festival “A Thousand And One” Premiere at The Ray Theatre on January 22, 2023 in Park City, Utah. Unique Nicole/Getty Images

The Harlem native signed to Williams’s Star Trak Entertainment imprint in 2007 before being released in 2012. At the time she cited “politics,” however confirmed that there was “no beef” between the two parties. In the months following her departure, the A Thousand And One star signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music.

In the full interview, the mother of two also discussed her faith, raising children, her relationship with Beyoncé, and more. Watch the IRL podcast below.

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