Taylor Swift is back with a new song, the announcement of a new album, and seemingly out for blood, too. On Thursday night, the 27-year-old singer released "Look What You Made Me Do," the first single from her upcoming sixth studio release Reputation.
The record finds Taylor moving more into the dance-pop realm, but even more striking than the melody is her lyricism throughout the song, which appears to feature several lines directed at Kanye West. Even before the song was released, people were convinced Taylor would be addressing the Chicago rapper and his wife Kim Kardashian on this latest project based off the album cover and the snake video promos she shared.
Taylor and Kanye have a checkered past that goes way back, and it took a turn for the worse last year over Kanye's "Famous" song, which included the lines: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that bitch famous."
Taylor took offense to the lyric; Kanye maintained he called her to approve prior to the song coming out. A few months after the song was released, Kim shared audio of Kanye playing Taylor the song and her approving it, though the "bitch" part was allegedly never played for her before it made it onto The Life of Pablo.
The damage was done. Public perception took Kanye and Kim's side, Taylor was a snake, and she left the public eye after announcing, "I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I have never asked to be a part of."
And now here we are with what appears to be Taylor's response. She even released a lyric video so people didn't get her words wrong when deciphering the meaning behind them. Let's jump into it.
The first verse of the song sounds tailor-made for Kanye, especially these lines:
I don't like your little games
Don't like your tilted stage
The role you made me play
Of the fool, no, I don't like you
Note "tilted stage," which is another way of describing Kanye's stage setup during the Saint Pablo Tour in 2016:
Then there's, "The role you made me play of the fool." This is likely a reference to the infamous phone call between Kanye and Taylor that Kim shared which made it sound like Taylor was aware of the lines about her on "Famous."
Taylor's not done though. Peep the hook:
Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time
I've got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined
From Taylor's point of view, the whole incident framed her as the bad person, and she basically went into hiding up until now ("I rose up from the dead"). And let's be honest: if Taylor has her own list of people who have wronged her, Kanye is at the top of the list, along with Katy Perry, who Taylor may have a few bars for on her too ("I don't like your kingdom keys/They once belonged to me").
The world moves on, another day, another drama, drama
But not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma
Translation: controversy happens all the time and then gets swept under the rug, but Taylor isn't going to let time forget how Kanye wronged her.
I don't trust nobody and nobody trusts me
I'll be the actress starring in your bad dreams
Again, after Kim leaked the phone call, Taylor sees no reason to trust anyone because it may come back to bite her. And she's certainly going to do what she can to get revenge.
"I'm sorry, the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now."
"Oh, 'cause she's dead!"
This break can be viewed as a reference to the phone call, with the old Taylor "dying" when she was painted the villain.
Naturally, the perceived shots had Twitter in a frenzy, with support leaning in Kanye's favor:
"I hate your tilted stage" was really the best Taylor Swift could come up with to diss Kanye? pic.twitter.com/3um9ti7XZt— diana ❁ (@dianaxvargas) August 25, 2017
Taylor gonna dedicate a whole album to weak ass disses against Kanye and then he'll rap one funny ass bar about it and win all over again— Bobby (@SullivanBobby) August 25, 2017
both of these songs are by taylor swift. both are about kanye west. how. did she go, from that. to this. pic.twitter.com/BcI4p8dLN7— marley 🌌 (@marleyemmaaa) August 25, 2017
Didn’t Taylor wanna be “excluded from the narrative”? But then she goes on to sell snake merch and throw shade at Kanye thinking it’s cute?— reuben (@issalovatic) August 25, 2017
Maybe the wildest coincidence of this all? Taylor Swift's new album Reputation will be released on Nov. 10, which marks the tenth anniversary of Kanye's mom's death. I'm not saying it was intentional; make of that what you will.