The track, which premiered on Thursday, contains a few not-so-flattering lines about Swift. “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that bitch famous,” Kanye raps in the song’s opening verse. He goes on, “For all the girls that got dick from Kanye West/ If you see ’em in the streets give ’em Kanye’s bests/ Why? They mad they ain’t famous/ God damn/ They mad they’re still nameless.”
Initially TMZ reported that Kanye received Swift’s approval to include the lyrics after telling her they were simply a joke. However, in a statement issued early Friday morning, a spokesperson for Swift disputed the report, saying Kanye had reached out to Swift only to ask her assistance in promoting the track.
“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,” Swift’s spokesperson said in the statement.
What’s more, Swift “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!”.
Meanwhile, Swift’s brother Austin responded to Kanye’s lyric by throwing his Yeezys in the trash.
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.