The Taylor Swift Grammys speech was filled with a fury meant to call the attention of any potential Kanye West copycats out there. Taylor Swift’s Grammys speech was heated, passive aggressive, and laced with a lethal dose of anger. In fact, the rant seemed more Kanye West than Taylor Swift.
Taylor Swift let the rockets fly after coming on stage to accept her award for Album of the Year. She beat out the Alabama Shakes, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, and Chris Stapleton for the win. She won for her album, 1989. You could feel the steam rising off her. She brought up how she was the first female to receive an Album of the Year Grammy twice, and how nobody was going to stand in her way, nobody meaning Kanye.
— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) February 16, 2016
Taylor Swift would never directly bring up Kanye by name. She still hasn’t stated outright who “Bad Blood” was about, but fans who follow her career know she wants to avoid naming Katy Perry. Most of her songs are related to her life, and most of her life is out there for all to read about, so she gives people hints in her music and interviews without directly attacking. The same thing can be said here. Everyone knows she means Kanye.
If the general interpretation of Taylor’s serious tone is correct, she is mad about Kanye’s song “Famous.” West played the song at his Yeezy Season 3 event, where he played songs off his new The Life of Pablo album, along with showcasing his updated fashion line. He has since put the album on Tidal, but claims he is still working on it and has yet to release a final version.
— MTV News (@MTVNews) February 16, 2016
As CBS News reports, Swift and West had supposedly made up since their infamous encounter seven years ago. Swift and West seemed like friends, since Swift presented West his VMA Vanguard award last year, and in the speech that followed that award, Kanye was highly apologetic. He made references to the way in which he treated Swift in 2009 and the backlash he received from fans at performances. It would seem like a fitting apology. Even before that, he cried on TV about the incident during interviews.
Swift also seemed more cheery about the whole thing until recently. She would joke about the incident and make light of it over the years. She told GQ how she felt after the 2009 incident, and then after their 2015 encounter and official hug and make up.
“When the crowd started booing, I thought they were booing because they also believed I didn’t deserve the award. That’s where the hurt came from. I went backstage and cried, and then I had to stop crying and perform five minutes later. I just told myself I had to perform, and I tried to convince myself that maybe this wasn’t that big of a deal. But that was the most happenstance thing to ever happen in my career. And to now be in a place where Kanye and I respect each other—that’s one of my favorite things that has happened in my career.”
But looks like things have soured again. “Famous” looks back at that 2009 event, when Kanye got on stage to tell the MTV VMAs audience that Beyoncé made the best video ever, cutting into Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech. On “Famous,” Kanye has some new commentary to add. In one part, the lyrics have him taking credit for Swift’s popularity, due to his involvement in the 2009 incident and the associated controversy.
Before the song’s release, West contacted Swift in hopes that Taylor would premiere the song on her Twitter account. After the Yeezy Season 3 event, Taylor’s people said they declined to promote it, and responded with comments opposing the song’s whole idea, believing that it promotes misogyny. In response, Kanye released a string of justifications on Twitter, stating how Swift agreed to the song and was okay with it.
So the infamous pop music feud is back, and Taylor Swift’s Grammy speech could ignite a more pointed war between the two — either that, or another apology.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]