On July 17th, social media exploded after an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians and a Snapchat story from Kim herself that seemed to shed some long overdue truth on the resurgence of Taylor Swift and Kanye West drama from early in 2016.
In February of 2016, Kanye West released his track “Famous” which contains the line, referring to Taylor Swift, “I made that b**** famous”, and immediately Taylor’s reps released a statement saying she was totally unaware of the lyric and the public wasted no time lashing out at Kanye.
Kanye took to Twitter in a series of Tweets that explained, however, that Taylor was made aware of the lyric and even thought that it was funny, in his next tweet, he included the part of the line specifically that she was made aware of – which poses as an important fact down the timeline.
Kanye was called everything in the book but most settled on painting him as a liar while Taylor was called a victim. Many celebrities and fans took sides and the majority thought that this was just another time in Kanye’s life where he pushed a limit too far. It was made worse when later, in the same month, Taylor took to the Grammy stage with a statement that looked a lot like a stab at Kanye.
As the first woman to win album of the year at the Grammys twice, I want to say to all the young women out there: there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame, but if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you’ll know it was you and the people who love you who put you there and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.
While most members of the audience nodded along with Taylor and applauded her, some were beginning to wonder if things weren’t exactly as they appeared, and those suspicions continued to build as the months progressed and those who loved Kanye continued to defend him.
In June, Kim Kardashian-West was interviewed by GQ where she made it clear, once again, that Taylor did know about the lyric being used in the song “Famous”, approved it, and that Kim had the conversation on tape.
She totally knew that that was coming out. She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didn’t. I swear, my husband gets so much s–t for things [when] he really was doing proper protocol and even called to get it approved.
This bold statement from Kim, still standing strong in defense of her husband, made it a little harder to keep turning a blind eye to the situation and finally, on July 17th, Kim released part of the taped conversation that finally put the ‘he said, she said’ to rest.
Amidst the many things discussed by Kanye and Taylor during the phone call, the point that caused the most drama, apparently made Taylor most uncomfortable, and stands out the most in Kanye’s defense is this part of the conversation, and the coinciding tweet from Kanye beginning with “4th” back in February.
You gotta tell the story the way that it happened to you and the way you experienced it. Like, you obviously didn’t know who I was before that. … It doesn’t matter if I sold 7 million of that album before you did that, which is what happened. You didn’t know who I was before that.
While without being personally invited in on this conversation or being a fly on the wall, we wish we had been, there’s no way for us to know EXACTLY what part of the song she’s talking about here. However, this is definitely one of those situations where, if life were a movie, all the flashing lights and bright bar signs would be pointing to the lyric “I made that b**** famous”.
In fact, if this were referring to the part Taylor says she was okay with, Kanye saying they “might still have sex”, her response makes little to no sense at all. Kanye not knowing who Taylor was before that has nothing to do with the line about sex – it DOES, however, have something to do with the line about making her famous.
This didn’t sit well with Taylor, and hours later she took to social media with this statement defending herself and again painting Kanye in a negative light.
Through the course of the last few months, Taylor seemed to first be upset that Kanye was taking credit for her fame, acting as if she had no idea he even made such an off the wall claim. When Kim posted the snap chats and it seemed like Taylor did, in fact, know about the famous statement, then her anger was focused on the fact that he used the word bitch….
While in the grand scheme of things, all of our personal opinions mean absolutely nothing here, social media did explode into Team Kimye and Team Taylor and the feud quickly turned into something way bigger than it needed to be, both at the hands of fans and other celebrities.
Two questions were posed, however, that were impossible to ignore – when Taylor called herself a victim of character assassination – was she a bit pot calling the kettle? And if Kanye was trying to be respectful, was b**** really the right word to use?
Taylor is known for making music about ex-romances, and while that is not unheard of in the industry, her lyrics are pointedly accusatory at the males in her life while painting herself in an innocent light. In addition, her speeches on stage after winning awards have been downright, and obviously, pointed at specific ex’s who looked shocked, put nicely, to be at the receiving end of her very public statements. If Taylor feels so wronged by not being filled in, exactly word for word on Kanye’s song, is it fair to have this strong of a reaction if she herself didn’t send copies of these lyrics to the ex’s in her life before putting them on her album? She may not have used words as strong as the one Kanye did, but her obvious shows of “this is exactly who I’m talking about and this is exactly how he hurt me” carry just as much weight.
And did Kanye, who tried to be a friend to Taylor, mislead her by not specifically stating that he planned to call her a b**** in the song, even if – in the rap game – it’s a term of endearment? Should he have made that clear, without any sort of question remaining, that he planned to say that specifically?
The only people who truly know, verbatim, what was discussed in that phone call are Kim, Kanye, and Taylor but assumptions can be made and perhaps this will be a lesson for everyone involved and even those outside of the equation. Standing up for yourself is important, standing up for your truth is necessary, and taking responsibility for your actions, even if it paints you in a light a little less rose-colored than you’re used to, means a lot more in the long run than holding on to your pride.