Rapper Mykki Blanco undeniably makes “WTP,” one of the highlights off Teyana Taylor’s 2018 album K.T.S.E., with their animated ad-libs. But two years later, Blanco says they still haven’t been paid for their feature on that song — a credit it took a year for them to get. Now, in a July 17 Instagram post, they’re asking fans to stop streaming “WTP.” Blanco wrote that Universal Music Group still hadn’t paid them a feature fee for “WTP,” which they have writing and production credits on. They also said they wrote Kanye West’s rap verse on the song “Hurry.” (K.T.S.E. was one of West’s five G.O.O.D. Music releases out of Wyoming in 2018.) “The reason I have gone public with this is not to bad mouth @teyanataylor, but her ENTIRE team and Universal have treated me WITH SO MUCH DISRESPECT, THEY HAVE TREATED ME BAD YALL,” Blanco wrote. They added, “These people have been flippant, rude, they have lied, delayed, found me ‘harmless’ and ‘inconsequential.’”
Blanco has also worked with other musicians, including Charli XCX and Brooke Candy. They wrote that they decided to speak out because they were losing touring income during the pandemic. “I’ve had it, everything associated with this song and these people is ANTI- LGBTQ 🏳️🌈,” Blanco, who is transgender, wrote. “It’s a lie, after 2 years and during a pandemic they still act like paying me a simple feature fee is a joke. This song and these people do not support Black, Trans & Queer people, it’s a lie I’m done participating in.”
Update, 12:45 p.m.: Teyana Taylor has responded in a tweet, telling Kanye West, Mykki Blanco, Universal Music Group, and Def Jam Records to “figure this shit out and keep my pregnant ass outta this.” “ALL of it falls on Kanye,” she wrote, saying she didn’t know Blanco was on “WTP” until she heard K.T.S.E. days before its release. Taylor said she initially wanted someone else on the song but later personally paid to include Blanco in the “WTP” music video. “Mykki u wack for how u going out, cause YOU KNOW I have nothing to do with this & YOU KNOW I PERSONALLY made sure you was properly taken care of on my end,” Taylor added. She went on to claim Blanco emailed her “mom & my team who are ALL apart of the LGBTQ community saying if UMG key word UMG /GOOD MUSIC don’t pay you you are going to make it a PR nightmare is wack.”
Taylor claimed it all goes back to bigger issues with K.T.S.E., an album she has vocally disapproved of in the past. Blanco’s issue, she wrote — misgendering Blanco, who has used they/them pronouns as of early 2020 — “should be with the person/people who put actually put and/or asked [them] to to be on the record! Everybody who knows, know that I’ve had a BIG ISSUE WITH HOW KTSE WAS HANDLED AS A WHOLE! KTSE was more of a Kanye album than it was a Teyana Taylor album.” (Taylor replied that Blanco used he/him pronouns when she worked with them.) She ended her note by calling out Blanco for having “the audacity to say ‘this is not to bad mouth Teyana’ but in the same nutshell, have people on here placing all of the blame on me & my team?!” Meanwhile, the person we all really want to hear from is off playing presidential candidate.
Update, 3:45 p.m.: Teyana Taylor is now also asking fans to stop streaming “WTP” in the name of quashing this drama. In a new tweet, Taylor asked Kanye West and Universal Music Group to pay Blanco and “keep me out of the drama.” Taylor’s tweet comes after multiple tweets between her and Blanco, who alleged that Taylor didn’t reply to their manager, accountant, or lawyer. They also said they emailed Taylor’s mother because her mother is her manager. Additionally, Blanco wrote, “We not EVEN gonna get into the fact that you were very uncomfortable when you found out I had HIV.” In a separate tweet, they added, “Teyana don’t play me, this DOES NOT ALL FALL ON KANYE. Just own your side and move on.”
Update 7:30 p.m.: According to a spokesperson from Taylor’s label Def Jam, who sent a statement to Vulture Friday evening, an “agreement has been reached and the matter has been settled.”
“It is regretful that Mykki Blanco was not credited and compensated sooner. Although Def Jam and UMG were not party to the original agreement, once we were made aware of the issue by Teyana’s team, we intervened on her behalf and worked expeditiously to rectify it. We are happy to report that an agreement has been reached and the matter has been settled. Teyana Taylor, for her part, had no culpability in the matter.”
Update, July 20, 3:30 p.m.: Mykki Blanco confirmed on Twitter that they’d received payment for “WTP.” “I don’t have to worry about my bills for the next few months,” they wrote, saying they were paid within 24 hours of their initial post. “Y’all can say that even after two years I could have handled it another way,” they added. “I’m a working artist and in 2020 the smoke and mirror show is over. Respectability politics out the window and fuck everyone who shamed me — it’s the wild Wild West right now. I would rather be vulnerable than play myself.”
Correction, 11:30 a.m.: The story has been updated to refer to Blanco with they/them pronouns.