Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert recently opened up about juggling their busy careers and parenting in an exclusive cover story interview with EBONY, and according to the bustling duo, “it ain’t easy!”
Shumpert, who’s an NBA free agent, has been bouncing back and forth between various creative projects including a tour in celebration of his historic Dancing with the Stars win back in November along with a bevy of acting roles. Taylor, who is finishing up the final leg of her Last Rose Petal concert tour, also has her hands tied with a number of production and acting endeavors outside of music. Through it all, their relationship remains impenetrable and the lovebirds have been pouring an endless amount of sweat equity into their family life. The stars welcomed their eldest daughter, Junie, in December 2015, and five years later, Taylor gave birth to baby Rue in September 2020.
The multi-hyphenate couple divulged personal tidbits about their unique family dynamic along with the legacy they hope to spearhead for their adorable daughters. Taylor also opened up about the breast cancer scare she experienced back in August and The Aunties Production founder finally set the record straight about the TikTok video that claimed she allegedly abused drugs.
Check out some highlights from the interview below.
On Black Love
“Black love looks like the pain you share with someone else, so it’s not as heavy. It means unconditional love because you’re going to celebrate together when it doesn’t hurt anymore. It’s affectionate and unapologetic; it is bold and needed in a world full of hate. I love Black love.”—Iman
Iman On Being A “Girl Dad” To Junie & Rue
“She sees her mom do a lot of things that are just bold. Whether it’s in fashion, whether it’s on stage, whether it’s in a quick snippet of an interview—it’s very bold and she watches her mom do it. So, for her to even try and emulate that at such a young age, it’s our job to nurture that and to keep preaching that. What I love most about being a girl dad is the consistency my daughters have in making sure that I don’t harden my heart.”—Iman
Teyana On Raising Junie To Be A Strong Black Girl
“She’s so fearless. Junie has inspired me—even as a woman—in so many ways. I thought I was bold, but Junie is really just her parents, times three. People say, ‘Oh yeah, she gets it from [her] parents.’ No, Junie is Junie, and she has sprinkles of us throughout. She is one of a kind. I love her power and fearlessness in being able to call me out like, ‘No, I’m not comfortable with this. I don’t want to do that. This is how it’s going to go down, mom.’ We let her express herself emotionally. We think that’s important. If Junie wants to be an engineer, then a drummer, or she wants to do ballet, and then tap, we will give her every little thing that she needs until she decides what she wants. We allow her to do whatever it is that her heart desires. And I think that’s what also keeps her respectful because sometimes when you hold on to kids too tight, when they get older, they rebel. Finding a great balance with children is very important.”—Teyana
On the Rumors Following Teyana’s Hospitalization
“These types of rumors and lies hurt the most because I take pride in being a mother and would never be that irresponsible. I’ve never used drugs a day in my life, nor do I smoke, and only drink occasionally. My health issues were never a secret, we actually outwardly shared them with the world on our reality tv show, We Got Love. The show captured my health complications after my second pregnancy. I had to have emergency surgery in the middle of filming because there were small lumps found in my breast. Fortunately, they were not cancerous. However, the thought of the cancer scare with the lumps in my breasts, and the thought of my kids not having me around, was scarier than childbirth. Just the overall thought of something happening is one of my worst fears. So, for someone to take that and make it a joke is extremely hurtful. It makes me emotional thinking about it. Both of my pregnancies were incredibly difficult because I had cholestasis, a rare liver disease that causes bile to build throughout the bloodstream, causing extreme itching and preterm and or stillborn birth. This is the reason why both of my children delivered a month early. Pregnancy in general puts your body through a lot of stress. Being a mother in itself is a lot of stress.” – Teyana
On Alleged Drug Use Accusations
“Although people look up to me for maintaining my career and still being able to be a mom and a wife, it’s really not easy. Till this day I still struggle with postpartum depression. Touring with two kids and doing 90-minute shows night after night on top of meet & greets right after, could cause anyone’s body to break down. That was simply what happened to me. Nothing more, nothing less. Just because we are public figures, and whether we choose to have nannies or not, we enjoy having our children in our presence. Straight off stage I’m in bed with my babies. There’s no room or energy to focus on anything else, besides jumping back into Mommy mode. A sweet letter pinned to my fans in Connecticut turned into something very nasty and heartbreaking. I say that because my oldest, Junie, is coherent enough to understand TikTok, which is unnerving. To read the comments on my page being flooded by people’s assumptions of me and my family and creating stories and scenarios that doesn’t exist and never have, I will ABSOLUTELY ALWAYS respond and protect the integrity of my family…” –Teyana
“If she did coke, why would I be cool with that? Why would I not care about my kids enough to say, “Yo, you can’t be around my kids?” It’s disrespectful in so many ways that people don’t think through. How would everyone just be cool with this lady doing this with two kids on a tour? Like, you think our kids wouldn’t see it? You think no one would know that if someone was overdosing? Just the way it was broken down I’m like, bro, I cannot believe this is real. Like we’re waking up to this. Like we’re really having a conversation about a TikTok?’ I don’t know where people get off. I live a real life and that’s really my wife, these really are our kids, we really love each other, and we’re really going to go hard.” –Iman
Read the full EBONY cover story here.