Teyana Taylor is heating up the pages of Playboy.
The R&B siren covers the magazine’s September issue. But instead of disrobing, the 27-year-old shows off her fiery red hair and six-pack abs poolside at a Los Angeles mansion in the smoldering shoot, photographed by Ben Watts.
“I’ve had this six-pack since I was, like, six,” says Taylor, who flaunts her curvy figure in a bikini. “I was like a Ninja Turtle.”
The mother of one, who released her sophomore album K.T.S.E. in June, also speaks about her journey and constant grind. “Patience has been my biggest challenge. There’s times where I’d just be laying in bed, crying,” she says. “I’d been doing this for so many years and it was just not happening.”
But Junie, her two-year-old daughter with Iman Shumpert, helped her through tough times. “She’d be like, ‘Mommy, what’s wrong? Don’t cry.’ And I’m like, ‘You right. I’m happy. I got you. I have my wonderful husband. Life could be much worse.'”
In the issue, she also opens up about staying true to herself. “I’m not difficult; I’m just not willing to belittle myself—to settle,” she explains. “I’m going to have self-respect. I’m going to be a strong woman all across the board whether you like it or not. Maybe that’s why it took me so long to get where I wanted to be. I was never willing to be what someone else wanted.”
Taylor, who is currently on tour with Jeremih, can also be seen in the upcoming Netflix film The After Party. “Once this music is out, I might really consider that I’ve done damn near everything I’ve ever wanted to do.”