Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Taylor has been embroiled in a feud with the reality star in her husband for years now, and boy, has it been messy. It all started when the singer won the award for Best Music Video at the 2009 Video Music Awards. But when Kanye jumped on stage in the middle of her acceptance speech and interrupted her, we were all pretty shook.
“Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had the best music video of all time,” he said.
Taylor opened up about the incidence in a diary entry, which she later published with her album Lover.
“Ahh… the things that can change in a week,” she wrote. “If you had told me that one of the biggest stars in music was going to jump on stage and announce that he thought I shouldn’t have won on live television, I would’ve said, ‘That stuff doesn’t really happen in real life.’ Well… apparently…. It does.”
And things got even worse when Kanye released a song, called “Famous,” which had some pretty nasty lines about Taylor. In the tune, he called her a “b—h” and claimed that he was the reason she was famous. He also included a naked wax figure of the “Look What You Made Me Do” songstress in the music video for the song. But after receiving a ton of backlash over it, Kanye took to Twitter, where he claimed that he had gotten Taylor’s approval before releasing the track.
“I called Taylor and had a hour long convo with her about the line, and she thought it was funny and gave her blessings,” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
But according to Taylor, that’s not what happened at all. A spokesperson for the singer told People Magazine, “Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account. She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that b—h famous.’”
And that’s when Kim got involved. She stuck up for her husband during an interview with GQ Magazine. She also called Taylor a snake on Twitter.
“She totally approved that,” she said of the song. “She totally knew that that was coming out. She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didn’t. I don’t know why she just, you know, flipped all of a sudden. It was funny because [on the call with Kanye] she said, ‘When I get on the Grammy red carpet, all the media is going to think that I’m so against this, and I’ll just laugh and say, ‘The joke’s on you, guys. I was in on it the whole time.’ And I’m like, wait, but [in] your Grammy speech, you completely dissed my husband just to play the victim again.”
After that, Taylor’s team released another statement.
“Taylor does not hold anything against Kim Kardashian, as she recognizes the pressure Kim must be under and that she is only repeating what she has been told by Kanye West. However, that does not change the fact that much of what Kim is saying is incorrect. Kanye West and Taylor only spoke once on the phone while she was on vacation with her family in January of 2016, and they have never spoken since. Taylor has never denied that conversation took place. It was on that phone call that Kanye West also asked her to release the song on her Twitter account, which she declined to do,” they wrote. “Kanye West never told Taylor he was going to use the term ‘that b—h’ in referencing her. A song cannot be approved if it was never heard. Kanye West never played the song for Taylor Swift. Taylor heard it for the first time when everyone else did and was humiliated. Kim Kardashian’s claim that Taylor and her team were aware of being recorded is not true, and Taylor cannot understand why Kanye West, and now Kim Kardashian, will not just leave her alone.”
But Kim came through with the receipts, and shocked us all when she shared a video to her Snapchat story of the alleged phone call.
“It’s like a compliment,” Taylor could be heard saying in the clip, referring to the line in the song. “I never would’ve expected you to like tell me about a line in your song. I mean, I don’t think anybody would listen to that and be like, ‘Oh, that’s a real diss.’ You gotta tell the story that way that it happened to you and the way you experienced it.”
She went on to add, “If people ask me about it, look, I think it would be great for me to be like, ‘He called me and told me before it came out — Joke’s on you, guys. We’re fine.”
But Taylor wasn’t about to sit back and watch it all go down, and she quickly responded to the video with a post of her own.
“Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that b—h’ in his song? It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that b—h’ in front of the entire world,” she wrote in the now deleted note on Instagram. “Of course I wanted to like the song. I wanted to believe Kanye when he told me that I would love the song. I wanted us to have a friendly relationship. He promised to play the song for me, but he never did. While I wanted to be supportive of Kanye on the phone call, you cannot ‘approve’ a song you haven’t heard. Being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part of the song is character assassination. I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I have never asked to be a part of, since 2009.”
Taylor went on to release a few songs about the situation, and shade the couple in a music video of her own. Yeah, we all couldn’t help but notice that the “Look What You Made Me Do” vid contained a few references to their feud. She later got real about the impact the situation had on her during an interview with Vogue Magazine.
“A mass public shaming, with millions of people saying you are ‘canceled,’ is a very isolating experience,” she said. “I don’t think there are that many people who can actually understand what it’s like to have millions of people hate you very loudly. When you say someone is canceled, it’s not a TV show. It’s a human being. You’re sending mass amounts of messaging to this person to either shut up, disappear, or it could also be perceived as, ‘Kill yourself.’”
“All people were saying was, ‘She’s calculated. She’s manipulative. She’s not what she seems. She’s a snake. She’s a liar.’ Literally millions of people were telling me to disappear,” she continued. “When you’re going through loss or embarrassment or shame, it’s a grieving process with so many micro emotions in a day.”
Taylor also opened up about it to The Guardian. The singer revealed that at the time, she stopped trying to explain herself, even though she “definitely” could have.
“Here’s why,” she said. “Because when people are in a hate frenzy and they find something to mutually hate together, it bonds them. And anything you say is in an echo chamber of mockery. You can either stand there and let the wave crash into you, and you can try as hard as you can to fight something that’s more powerful and bigger than you. Or you can dive under the water, hold your breath, wait for it to pass and while you’re down there, try to learn something. Why was I in that part of the ocean? There were clearly signs that said: Rip tide! Undertow! Don’t swim! There are no lifeguards! Why was I there? Why was I trusting people I trusted? Why was I letting people into my life the way I was letting them in? What was I doing that caused this?”
She also spoke out about the infamous phone call during an interview with Rolling Stone.
“The world didn’t understand the context and the events that led up to it. Because nothing ever just happens like that without some lead-up,” she said. “Some events took place to cause me to be pissed off when he called me a b—h. That was not just a singular event. Basically, I got really sick of the dynamic between he and I. And that wasn’t just based on what happened on that phone call and with that song — it was kind of a chain reaction of things.”
“I started to feel like we reconnected, which felt great for me — because all I ever wanted my whole career after that thing happened in 2009 was for him to respect me,” she continued. “When someone doesn’t respect you so loudly and says you literally don’t deserve to be here — I just so badly wanted that respect from him, and I hate that about myself, that I was like, ‘This guy who’s antagonizing me, I just want his approval.’ But that’s where I was. And so we’d go to dinner and stuff. And I was so happy, because he would say really nice things about my music. It just felt like I was healing some childhood rejection or something from when I was 19.”
But when Kanye won the Vanguard Award at the 2015 VMAs, everything changed.
“He called me up beforehand — I didn’t illegally record it, so I can’t play it for you. But he called me up, maybe a week or so before the event, and we had maybe over an hourlong conversation, and he’s like, ‘I really, really would like for you to present this Vanguard Award to me, this would mean so much to me,’ and went into all the reasons why it means so much, because he can be so sweet,” the singer said. “He can be the sweetest. And I was so stoked that he asked me that. And so I wrote this speech up, and then we get to the VMAs and I make this speech and he screams, ‘MTV got Taylor Swift up here to present me this award for ratings!’ And I’m standing in the audience with my arm around his wife, and this chill ran through my body. I realized he is so two-faced. That he wants to be nice to me behind the scenes, but then he wants to look cool, get up in front of everyone and talk s–t. And I was so upset. He wanted me to come talk to him after the event in his dressing room. I wouldn’t go. So then he sent this big, big thing of flowers the next day to apologize. And I was like, ‘You know what? I really don’t want us to be on bad terms again. So whatever, I’m just going to move past this.'”
And that’s when he called her and told her about including her in his song.
“I was like, ‘OK, good. We’re back on good terms.’ And then when I heard the song, I was like, ‘I’m done with this. If you want to be on bad terms, let’s be on bad terms, but just be real about it,” Taylor added.