I’ll never forget the words I spoke after the infamous Kanye West-Taylor Swift showdown during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. My uncle had sent me a series of messages about what a douche Kanye was after he told Taylor Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time, and though I agreed and wholeheartedly believed Kanye was unequivocally wrong in that situation, there was one thing I knew to be even more true: “Taylor Swift is a young white girl in America,” I told my uncle. “She’ll be alright.”
There’s no debating Taylor has been more than alright in the seven years since that embarrassing moment, already being deemed one of the best-selling artists of all time at 26, having sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and 130 million single downloads. And while I wouldn’t necessarily agree with Kanye’s conjecture that he made that b-tch famous, it’s pretty obvious Taylor gained a few more backers in her corner who were willing to do whatever it took to save her from the big, bad black man. And one can’t help but see Taylor was hoping to rekindle that white tears magic one again when she renounced Kanye’s “Famous” single off of his latest album The Life of Pablo. That is until another white woman of Armenian heritage called her bluff.
In a week that’s seemingly full of surprising heroes, Kim Kardashian saved the day when she blasted a taped phone conversation between Kanye and Taylor with the rapper asking the singer for permission for the lines he planned to use about her in his new single: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that b-tch famous.” The video was released in response to Taylor denouncing the song as misogynistic and her spokesperson claiming no such conversation ever happened. This on top of the country singer’s 2016 Grammy acceptance speech in which she stated: “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.” That was a very different version of the woman who told Kanye after he rapped his lyric to her before the song’s release that it was “like a compliment, kind of…Yeah, I mean, what’s dope about the line is it’s very tongue in cheek either way. And I really appreciate you telling me about it, that’s really nice”
How do we get from nice to undercutting? Let Taylor tell it, it’s in Ye’s use of the b-word to describe her, as her Instagram post relayed following the airing of the damning phone conversation.
Here’s the thing about this situation. Taylor has a right to be mad about anything that’s said about her in word or lyric, but in this instance she’d have to be as mad as herself as she is Kanye.
Taylor may not want to be included in the Kanye narrative, as she claims, but what she should be more focused on is her thinly woven narrative as the white female victim that’s unraveling more and more by the day. I’d be more inclined to believe Taylor’s words if there was any amount of consistency to them. But when you first claim to be mad about someone taking credit for your success, but then say it’s really about being called a b-tch and no one hears you take a stand against a married man saying he might have sex with you, I have to ask what all of her hoopla is really about? And resolve that the answer is nothing.
Taylor’s distinction between approval and support holds little bearing. Though the public may not have heard the entire conversation between the two parties, nothing in that exchange suggested Taylor was the least bit uncomfortable with the song Kanye told her he’d be releasing. While she’s listing off all the things Kanye doesn’t get to do, someone should inform her that after repeatedly telling someone who reaching out to you about a sketchy lyric you consider a compliment is nice, you don’t get to go back and flip the script and play victim. The angry black man trope may have worked in her favor in 2009 when Kanye was actually wrong, but this time she’s the one who’s going to have to answer for her antics.
Of course, being in the state America is currently in, plenty onlookers are still going to have Taylor’s back because…white tears, and the simple fact that Kanye is one of the most polarizing entertainers in the biz. But between this incident and the drama with her ex Calvin Harris, I think people are starting to get the sense that Miss Swift is responsible for a lot of the bad blood in her extended circle.