Teyana Taylor - The Cassette Tape 1994

Ask any R&B head what was the most slept-on project of 2014, and most will name Teyana Taylor’s debut effort VII. The G.O.O.D. Music singer-sometimes-rapper’s first long player was solid from start to finish, propelled forward by a modest radio single in “Maybe,” but otherwise, it touched down in the summer and went mostly overlooked. The fault seems more on G.O.O.D. Music as a label than on Taylor as an artist.

Which is why when Teyana announced plans for a new mixtape, most of her fans rejoiced. Like her debut album, Taylor’s The Cassette Tape 1994 faced delays before seeing the light of day (the mixtape “trailer” on the singer’s Instagram implied a July release). But at long last, The Cassette Tape touched down at midnight last night. Initially, The Cassette Tape could only be downloaded through the MyMixtapez mobile app; thankfully, however, Walk Like Us (with whom Taylor collaborated to release TCT1994) has provided a stream of the project via audiomack.

Clocking in at only five tracks, The Cassette Tape 1994 feels like a tease, an appetizer even. As the “1994” in the tape’s title implies, The Cassette Tape maintains a nostalgic sound throughout (“Undercover,” which appeared in the mixtape trailer, samples Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison,” for example), though some of its tracks sound more 80s-inspired than ripped from the ’90s (like intro track “Your Wish is My Command”). But, just as they were on VII, the slower grooves are where Taylor thrives (“Tonight” is a certified mood setter; and “Touch Me” turns into pure aural sex that ends before it truly begins, following a Grace Jones clip from the film Boomerang). And the mixtape’s sole feature, basketball player Iman Shumpert (Taylor’s real-life boo), plays a nice rapping counterpart on “Who’s Gonna Make It Home,” a track on which Teyana breathes new life into K.P. and Envy’s classic “Shorty Swing My Way.”

Stream and download Teyana Taylor’s The Cassette Tape 1994 mixtape, by way of Walk Like Us, down below.