Seven Newton County women are making a splash in the rap/hip hop scene, and they don’t plan to stop on their way to the top.
The local musical group Taylorgirlz, known as TGZ for short, has been performing in venues around Atlanta and has even amassed followings in surrounding states. Despite their succes, the group’s members only envision bigger things to come.
"We’re going all the way to the top" Tadysha Taylor said.
The group includes Tadaysha Taylor, 18, Tikeria Taylor, 15, Unique Chapman, 17, Shantel Allison, 17, Uquinta Caraway, 18, Tierra Kirk, 17 and Britney Maddox, 15.
TGZ has been together for 18 months, but the girls never thought the group would ever become as popular as it has. Tadaysha and Tikeria’s father, Michael "Taylorboi" Taylor, is the adult mentor, group manager and biggest inspiration as to why the group came together.
"The thing that inspired this group to come together was my dad; he does music too, so after seeing he was doing it, we were like, we would probably be good at it too," Tikeria Taylor said. "So, a group of friends came together, and we never thought it was going to be something real, but people started liking us and wanted us to perform at their parties."
The girls have produced several songs since they splashed onto the scene in July 2012, but there is one in particular they say showed everyone that TGZ had staying power.
"When we first dropped ‘Hold Up’ everybody went and I guess that’s because it’s a song that was already out. So we put our own lyrics and vibe to it and it just went crazy," Tadaysha Taylor said.
The girls were also proud of their song "Bang Bang," however, some in the community were put off by the title, which members said was misunderstood.
"Bang Bang is not a negative message. It’s just our way of having fun and putting our own slang into something," Tadaysha said.
Along with the rap life comes the night life and the limelight, and as performers, the girls have certainly had their share.
"We’re usually out everywhere, but most of our performances happen in clubs, especially in Atlanta," Tadaysha Taylor said. "We’re pretty much all-around rappers".
Like every other musical group, the girls do have spare time away from performances and the studio, but they spend their time continuing to work.
"We’re always promoting and just enjoying each other’s company," Tadaysha Taylor said.
TGZ may have originated in Newton County and the Metro Atlanta area, but those aren’t the places where the girls are the most recognized. In fact, their biggest support isn’t even in Georgia.
"I would most definitely say Alabama and Florida," Tadaysha Taylor and Allison said.
Despite the fame and glamour, or maybe because of it, TGZ has been heavily criticized by some of their peers for being "stuck-up," but the girls see it completely different.
"It’s just being very confident. We’ve been criticized ever since we started rapping, so, we don’t really take what anyone else says to us. We just take it as this is what we’re going to do and we’re going to move this way, and if you don’t like it, we’re still going to do it," Tadaysha Taylor said.
"If nobody is talking, then you’re not doing anything right. If no one is paying any attention to you and you don’t have any naysayers you’re not doing something right," Tikeria Taylor said.
TGZ members feel that throughout their time together they have not only grown up and matured as performers, but also as young women.
"We’ve learned to be more respectful of ourselves and our bodies," Tadaysha Taylor said.
"We don’t reveal any of our cleavage and we don’t use profanity in any of our songs and anybody can listen to our music because it’s clean," Tikeria Taylor said.
TGZ also wants everyone to know their goals and dreams are much bigger than just remaining in the local community.
"We would absolutely sign with a larger record label if we were given the opportunity. The only thing we probably would say is we would like more say so on our end. We don’t want to change the way we dress, how we look and the way our music sounds," the groupmembers said.
Even though TGZ doesn’t plan on remaining local forever, they do plan to take the TaylorBoi Entertainment label with them.
"What we do is this: If the bigger label didn’t sign our dad, we wouldn’t sign with them. It would be passing up a great opportunity, but we love our dad" Tadaysha and Tikeria Taylor said.
Members realize graduation is looming and college is right around the corner, but they said those life events won’t prevent the group from staying together.
"None of us are going out of state. We’re all going to be in the Metro Atlanta area and we can drive to meet up. Some of us are going to Georgia State and some of us are going to Kennesaw State so we’re not going far at all," Tadaysha Taylor said.
TGZ’s music can be found online at www.livemixtapes.com and on YouTube.