Taylor Swift’s new album, Reputation, officially arrived today and one immediate takeaway is that the singer is still obsessed with Kanye West. The album’s lead single, “Look What You Made Me Do”, made several subtle references to her on-again, off-again frenemy. Her lyrics are even more explicit on the track “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”.
“It was so nice being friends again/ There I was, giving you a second chance/ But you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand,” Swift sings.
She goes on to make specific mention to the leaked phone call between herself and West discussing the lyrical content to the latter’s track “Famous”. Upon the song’s release in 2015, Swift claimed no prior knowledge of the lyrical content, but a phone call leaked by West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, showed otherwise. On “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”, Swift refers to the call as a “trick” and a “mind-twist,” singing, “And therein lies the issue/ Friends don’t try to trick you/ Get you on the phone and mind-twist you/ And so I took an ax to a mended fence.”
Swift even references West’s strained relationship with JAY-Z: “But I’m not the only friend you’ve lost lately/ Mm mmm/If only you weren’t so shady.” And during the song’s closing bridge, she interpolates lyrics from West’s song “Runaway” — “Let’s have a toast for the douchebags” — by singing, “Here’s a toast to my real friends”
For his part, West has said his reference to Swift on “Famous” — “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that bitch famous” — was a joke for which he received permission from Swift to include. Regardless of who’s actually telling the truth, one would think there’s more pressing issues to sing about in 2017 than an eight-year-old feud with a man who recently sought treatment for mental health issues. But maybe that’s just me.