Kanye West’s new album The Life of Pablo contains a not-so-friendly lyric about Taylor Swift. On track four, “Famous”, Kanye raps, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that bitch famous”
Kanye famously interrupted Swift at the 2009 MTV VMAs after she won Best Female Video over Beyoncé. The incident had serious repercussions for both artists: After his co-headlining tour with Lady Gaga was canceled, Kanye spiraled into a deep depression, re-locating to Asia and then Europe, all of which culminated in his self-reflective opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Taylor, meanwhile, ascended to pop superstardom.
Update – Thursday, February 11th at 11:05 p.m. CT: TMZ reports that Kanye received permission from Swift to use the line in question. Kanye reportedly told her that the lyric was a joke.
Update – Friday, February 12th at 12:15 a.m. CT: A spokesperson for Swift disputes TMZ’s report. In a statement, Swift’s spokesperson says, “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.” What’s more, “Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that bitch famous.'”
Update – Friday, February 12th at 8:05 a.m. CT: In a series of tweets, Kanye denied that he dissed Swift, explaining that he and Swift spoke for an hour about the line “and she thought it was funny and gave her blessing.” He added, “I’m not even gone take credit for the idea … it’s actually something Taylor came up with … She was having dinner with one of our friends … and she told him I can’t be mad at Kanye because he made be famous!”.
Swift’s brother Austin responded to Kanye’s lyric by throwing away his pair of Yeezys.