And Finally Artist News

Taylor Swift and Kanye West feud blows up again

By | Published on Tuesday 24 March 2020

Kanye West - Famous

With all this pandemic stuff going on lately, we have totally neglected to bring you up to speed on the actual big news of the moment – the reignition of the feud between Taylor Swift and Kanye West. For that we apologise. Let us rectify that now, because it really blew up last night. Strap in!

So, back in 2016, Kanye West released his famous song ‘Famous’, in which he raps, “For all my Southside niggas that know me best/I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that bitch famous”. Upon release, Swift objected, saying that she hadn’t been consulted beforehand. She later admitted that West had run the “sex” line, but said that she hadn’t been told that she would be referred to as a bitch.

Coming to her husband’s defence, Kim Kardashian then released clips of a video shot in the studio while West was recording his ‘The Life Of Pablo’ album – on which ‘Famous’ appeared – apparently showing that Swift was consulted on the full lyric and that she gave him consent to use it. Cue a big old fight in which everyone in the known universe took sides, firmly believing one or the other to be a dickhead. Obviously, West was used to lots of people thinking he’s a dickhead, but Swift found the resulting backlash harder to deal with.

Anyway, last week the full 25 minute video of that phone conversation leaked, apparently vindicating Swift. It shows that, while West did run part of the lyric past her, he did not mention the latter bit that she subsequently took issue with. In fact, after she hears the initial line and agrees that it’s funny, she says that her concern before she heard it was that he was going to call her a bitch.

As well as this, she and West discuss alternative versions of the “sex” lyric – the initial version being more misogynist – and Swift expresses reticence at West’s request for her to launch the song by tweeting it, because she feels it may be used against her.

She explains to West that she feels that she’s on the verge of overexposure and that people are looking for a reason to take her down. Fears that subsequent events proved were all founded. The video also shows them both to be fairly self-absorbed and obsessed with numbers, but let’s just focus on this lyric thing. After all, that’s why we’ve gathered here today.

Swift initially said nothing about this new video when it first leaked, although she ‘liked’ a few Tumblr posts siding with her on it. Then yesterday she issued a statement via her Instagram story which she tried to mask as a non-statement.

She wrote: “Instead of answering those who are asking how I feel about the video footage that leaked, proving that I was telling the truth the whole time about *that call* (you know, the one that was illegally recorded, that somebody edited and manipulated in order to frame me and put me, my family, and fans through hell for four years)… swipe up to see what really matters”.

Swiping up on the post takes you to the donation page for the Feeding America charity, which runs a network of food banks in the US.

“The World Health Organisation and Feeding America are some of the organisations I’ve been donating to. If you have the ability to, please join me in donating during this crisis”, she added on a second post, linking to the WHO’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

Now, I believe I said this article wasn’t going to be about COVID-19. Nice try, Taylor, trying to get us the conclude this story on a coronavirus angle. Luckily, Kim Kardashian knows what’s important. In a string of tweets last night she responded to Swift’s statement/non-statement, saying: “Taylor Swift has chosen to reignite an old exchange – that at this point in time feels very self-serving given the suffering millions of real victims are facing right now”.

Oh for fuck’s sake, will everyone stop talking about this public health crisis for a moment and focus? Oh, hang on, there’s more: “I didn’t feel the need to comment a few days ago, and I’m actually really embarrassed and mortified to be doing it right now, but because she continues to speak on it, I feel I’m left without a choice but to respond because she is actually lying”.

What’s the lie specifically? That Kardashian ever claimed the ‘bitch’ line had been cleared by Swift, that’s what. “To be clear”, she went on, “the only issue I ever had around the situation was that Taylor lied through her publicist who stated that ‘Kanye never called to ask for permission’. They clearly spoke so I let you all see that [through the release of the original snippets of the call]. Nobody ever denied the word ‘bitch’ was used without her permission”.

And more still: “At the time when they spoke the song had not been fully written yet, but as everyone can see in the video, she manipulated the truth of their actual conversation in her statement when her team said she ‘declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message'”.

Continuing her ‘reluctant’ response, Kardashian says: “The lie was never about the word bitch. It was always whether there was a call or not and the tone of the conversation”.

“I never edited the footage (another lie)”, she adds, assuming the “somebody” referenced in Swift’s post is meant to be her. “I only posted a few clips on Snapchat to make my point and the full video that recently leaked doesn’t change the narrative”.

And as for the claim that the video was illegally recorded, she continues: “Kanye as an artist has every right to document his musical journey and process, just like she recently did through her documentary”.

Though, we should add, for any artists out there documenting their own musical journeys, please do note you should always get permission from all callers before recording phone calls (certainly if you ever intend to release them).

But anyway, she must be finished now. No? Oh, OK: “Kanye has documented the making of all of his albums for his personal archive, however has never released any of it for public consumption and the call between the two of them would have remained private or would have gone in the trash had she not lied and forced me to defend him”.

“This will be the last time I speak on this because honestly, nobody cares”, she concludes, apparently having forgotten that she’d just rapidly fired off eight other tweets about it, which is almost certainly something only someone who cares would do. “Sorry to bore you all with this. I know you are all dealing with more serious and important matters”.

Well, there you go. There are actually still some questions to be answered about all this. Possibly. Or maybe Kim and Taylor are both right that it doesn’t matter and everyone should shut up. Whatever, at least we got through this key bit of music news without anyone dwelling on the bigger crisis currently facing us all. Anyone who says they saw it mentioned is a liar. And I have tapes to prove it.