Taylor Swift straight up changed the game when she dropped the music video for her new single "Look What You Made Me Do" during the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. As if the song wasn't already a legit jam, she ended up creating a mini movie that is basically the most glam self-roast fest if I ever did see one. Tay has been releasing music since 2006 and confirmed that yes, she's heard everything anyone has said about her during these many years. Everything. Like ever.
She collaborated with legendary director Joseph Kahn yet again, adding another one to their long list of masterpieces (hello "Blank Space," "Bad Blood," "Wildest Dreams" and "Out of the Woods") and he took to Twitter to let us know they actually started working on this project back in January.
So yes, girl has been brewing up her big comeback for quite some time now. Any keen-eyed Swiftie might've picked up on a few Easter Eggs in the vid, spotting all of the subtle details she dropped, calling out every aspect of her life the world seemed to have an opinion on. We here at J-14 decided to help give you a guideline of every little detail Taylor referenced in "LWYMMD," in order of their appearance. Need to have those facts after all. Let's break it down:
Taylor as a zombie.
We open with a graveyard. Yes, a creepy grave site where we see Taylor's reputation is dead and buried. A nod obviously to her upcoming album titled Reputation and the fact that her rep has been dragged through the mud quite a bit in the past so it's all long gone.
The out emerges zombie Taylor crawling out of her own grave. She's dressed in that blue "Out of the Woods" dress, so no, she didn't make it out of the woods.
That song she has said is about being in a fragile relationship you know is going to come crashing down, leaving you with a constant frantic feeling just waiting to reach that moment of "are we OK? Are we finally in the clear from this all?" So Taylor is letting us know she has been feeling that way in her life, she hasn't been fine and while we thought she was "Clean," and had made it out of this chapter of her life, clearly she was literally feeling she was still trapped in the woods all this time.
The Calvin Harris moment.
She threw some subtle shade at her ex, featuring the name Nils Sjoberg on one of the tombs in the graveyard. That is the pseudonym she used in the song she co-wrote for Calvin, "This Is What You Came For". As we all know, that breakup came with plenty of public drama when Calvin vented his feelings about the split and the fact that she confirmed she did work on the song with him on Twitter. So those days are dead and over.
The $1 seen around the world.
Tay just recently won her sexual assault case against Denver-based former radio DJ David Mueller after she claimed he groped her while they posed for a photo together at a 2013 meet-and-greet. She countersued him for $1, since she doesn't need any money from him and simply wanted to share her story and help other victims not be afraid to share their experiences and bring justice to those who harm them either.
Now since this video was shot back in May and in early August is when this trial went down, we wonder if that dollar bill was added in during post-production. Still, we're liking this symbolism and going with it.
Taylor and the snake emoji 🐍 have come a long way. It was something that was all up in her Instagram comments after Kim Kardashian shared videos on her Snapchat of Tay talking to Kim's husband, Kanye West, where the songstress seemingly approved Kanye's lyrics he wrote about her in his song, "Famous." As you know by now, Kim then took to Twitter and pretty much called Taylor a snake for lying, since Taylor claimed she didn't approve all the lyrics, most specifically the line "I made that b—h famous." But now, she is embracing the snake, sitting upon a throne of them
And one beloved snake even pours her tea.
She is spilling the tea while she sips the tea a snake is pouring for her. Pure genius. On the armrest of the throne, it is engraved "et tu brute," which means, "Even you, Brutus?" It's from the William Shakespeare play Julius Caesar from the scene when Julius gets stabbed to death by his friend. DRAMATIC, RIGHT?
So she's letting us know that she was betrayed by those she thought were her friends. Possibly she's calling out Kimye here since they had cleared the air from that 2009 VMAs drama when Kanye interrupted Taylor during her acceptance speech and Tay and Kim were once on good terms too. Until the Snapchat incident obvi.
The car crash.
So this one has a ton of possible meanings here. What first came to mind was the reference to a lyric from her song "Red," that goes "Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street." But, there's more to it here. See in the scene, Taylor crashes her car and there are paparazzi on hand, taking so many pics as she holds her Grammy. This could easily mean that while everyone is always focused on her personal life, we should be focusing on Taylor's music and the fact that she is a very accomplished artist with 10 Grammy awards to be exact. It could also be telling us that when she won "Album of the Year" at the 2016 Grammys, there was tons of hoopla and unnecessary drama surrounding her big win, since that was after the Kim/Kanye video scandal and everyone was saying she called the rapper out in her acceptance speech to get attention. And purposely crashing your car is well, a rather extreme way to get attention, so for sure could be a play on that incident too. Plus, the golden fancy AF car looks like the one Katy Perry drove in her "Waking Up In Vegas" music video too.
Along with Taylor kind of looking like Katy here, cira blonde-hair Witness era, this might be the Katy shout-out, since they have had plenty of drama over the years. Plus, the leopard in the car with her has a gold chain featuring the number 13, Tay's lucky number that she even used to draw on her hand during concerts.
So a lot of layers with this car scene.
The bank heist.
Taylor and some friends legit rob a bank but it's not just any bank, it's "Stream Co." This is a direct shout-out to the fact that Taylor once had her music removed from the streaming services Spotify and Apple Music and addresses the open letter she wrote to Apple Music about why she hoped they would change the way they pay songwriters.
Apple changed their policy because of her and today, she has all of her music on that streaming channel, along with Spotify. When this all went down though, there were people who called her greedy, simply wanting more money, which is why she's holding cash that is legit up in flames during this scene. Let's take note of the cat masks too since Taylor is a self-proclaimed cat lady for life. Some things never change.
In the video, Taylor is seen as the ringleader building up an army of robotic, Barbie-doll like gal pals who pretty much all look the same, part of her Squad University. Little cat reference again because yes, that would be the mascot.
Then they somehow end up dead, lying on the ground next to her in broken. A bit morbid tbh.
But this is 100% calling out how everyone had a problem with the fact that she had her squad of famous besties, since people criticized this seemingly exclusive, cool kids only clique she curated for being a bunch of models who all look the same and bow down to Queen Taylor.
The exes call-out.
Taylor has poked fun at the fact that she's "got a long list of ex-lovers" when she dropped the bop that is "Blank Space" and during the dance scene in the video, starring her BFF Todrick Hall who led the charge with some mega-fierce choreography, she is calling out her love life yet again. She has eight male dancers behind her during this scene, which might be a reference to her eight most famous former relationships: Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Meyer, Jake Gyllenhaal, Conor Kennedy, Harry Styles, Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston. But the real kicker is when the dancers reveal their "I ❤️ TS" shirts they unveil only after she snaps her fingers at them.
Everyone blasted Tom for wearing this shirt during Taylor's Fourth of July bash and the narrative of Taylor forcing her boyfriend into this public proclamation of love was born. So she made it come true in the video. Oh, and if you want one of these, you can now buy one from her official merch store.
Taylor was known for her "bad dancing" since she had that whole dance like no one is watching vibe about her, as often scene while she sits in the crowds of awards shows. But as her song says, we MADE her learn how to dance and she breaks it down in this video. And the butt grab at the end.
We are taking this as another reference to her court case, since this time, she is full control of what these guys are doing. We see you, girl.
The death of old Taylor.
She legit killed off every version of herself ever and it's an insanely amazing as you're thinking. Can you imagine being on set that day as Taylor dressed up in all those old outfits though? Iconic. But the best part was for sure her "You Belong With Me" costume since on the t-shirt she wore this time, she included the names of her friends like Selena Gomez, Todrick, Gigi Hadid, the Haim sisters, Abigail Anderson, Lily Aldrige, Lena Dunham, Ed Sheeran and Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.
A little LOL for us all! Taylor dropped so many hidden gems in this video but the most interesting is the one she saved for last. She featured 15 of her personas and there are 15 tracks on Reputation listed on iTunes.
Is this a hint as to what the album is going to sound like in some way by the order of the Taylors? It's too early to tell. There's also a fan theory Tay actually liked on Tumblr which suggests these personas are simply versions of herself she created for each era of her musical career, but her true self isn't what's portrayed in the media and is forced into the background. This is why there is one Taylor painting the word "Reputation" on the plane and the other Taylors are in front. TOO MUCH, TOO MUCH.
But the fact that she mocked herself and everything anyone has said about her (for example, she's playing the victim, the fake surprise face, when she used to say "Y'all," wanting to be excluded from this narrative) shows a new era truly is upon is all. Bravo creating this work of art, T.