Kendrick Lamar’s Mr Morale & The Big Steppers is soaring on global charts since its release on Friday, and one of the album’s standouts is the electrifying performance of Taylour Paige, who appears as a guest on the song We Cry Together.
One thing that sets Lamar apart from his peers is the appreciation fans have for the intent he places behind every song. This is prevalent on his fifth studio album, where themes ranging from the black condition, to materialism in black communities are deeply explored throughout the double-disc project.
Thus far, the standout song that’s encapsulated discourse on social media is We Cry Together, a rap duet between Lamar and Paige who, before this album, had never appeared as a performer or a co-writer on an album’s credit list.
if someone makes the "taylour paige is an industry plant she got 0 listeners on spotify" tweet im going to go feral SHE WAS LITERALLY THE STAR OF AN A24 MOVIE LAST YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— GRIMVVICE (@GRIMVVICE) May 13, 2022
Here are five things we know about Taylour Paige
But, who exactly is this woman whose vocal delivery on the highly emotional and relatable song is impressive, to say the least?
Well, here are five must-know facts about Taylour Paige:
She grew up a short distance from Kendrick Lamar’s hometown
Kendrick Lamar, who’s 34 years old, was born and raised in Compton, only 22km (13.7 mi) away from Inglewood, where Paige is from.
She was a protege of Debbie Allen
Let’s re-emphasise this, Paige is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a rapper. The 31-year-old’s background is in dance and acting. In fact, after a training stint at the Westside Ballet Academy, Paige moved to Washington DC where she joined the Kirov Academy of Ballet and later met her mentor, choreographer, director, executive producer, and actress Debbie Allen.
Paige spent the better part of her adolescence, between 2001 and 2009, working at the academy, under the tutelage of Allen.
She has starred alongside Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis on a Netflix film
One of her key highlights in acting came in 2020 when she was cast alongside the late Chadwick Boseman and veteran actress Viola Davis as Dussie Mae, on the George C Wolfe-directed drama Ma Rainey’s Black Bottoms.
Here is Paige talking about how she obtained the role in an interview published by FabTV in December 2020.
She is an award-winning actress
Paige was honoured with an award for Best Female Lead at the 2022 Independent Spirit Awards for her role on the 2020 black comedy film Zola.
Paige was a LA Lakers cheerleader before the fame
Everyone has a start. Before the glitz and glam of Hollywood swooped her in the direction of stardom, Paige, at some point in her life, was a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010.