When Taylor Swift’s Lover album finally dropped on Aug. 23, listeners were greeted with the sound of Idris Elba’s voice when they got to track 11, “London Boy.” Before the song kicked off, Idris is heard saying, “We can go driving on my scooter, just ‘round London.” At first glance, it might be odd to have the Luther star on a pop song, but since both Idris, 46, and Taylor, 29, appear in the upcoming film adaptation of Cats, this isn’t that unusual. However, where Taylor sampled Idris is kind of odd.
Luther’s sample came from an appearance on The Late Late Show in 2017. During the episode, host James Corden, 41, brought up how Idris auctioned off chances to win a Valentine’s Date with himself on Omaze. He ended up raising $750,000 for the charity We Can Lead, an organization that helps teenage girls in Africa. The lucky winner was a woman named Diane S., from Colorado. When asked what they were going to do on the date, Idris offered up the idea of taking her on a scenic tour. “It depends on what Diane wants. If Diane wants to pound yams, we’re doing that … we can go driving on my scooter, around London.”
“Oh, I would love a ride on your scooter,” James said, “and I don’t even mean it the way it sounds. I would feel so safe.” To demonstrate, James cuddled up next to Idris, fulfilling the dream that many women (and men!) have had about The Wire star.
“We could go driving on my scooter, you know just around London.” 🛴🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/Opd8AqxE9w
— Taylor Swift News (@TSwiftNZ) August 23, 2019
So, if Taylor brings out a giant butterfly on her next tour and it’s named Diane, we have Idris to thank. This odd callback to his 2017 interview is just one of the many references and Easter eggs throughout Lover. “I Forgot You Existed,” for example, brings up her feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. “I forgot that you got some popcorn as soon as my rep started going down, down, down,” she sings, even working in a Drake namedrop. “I couldn’t get away from ya, in my feelings more than Drake. … I thought that it would kill me but it didn’t, and it was so nice, so peaceful and quiet, I forgot that you existed, it isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference.” Yikes. Considering it’s the 10th anniversary of the “I’mma let you finish” moment at the MTV VMAs, the timing of this epic diss is amazing.
“Paper Rings” includes a few references to her earlier songs, like “Last Kiss,” “How You Get The Girl,” and “New Year’s Day.” The song “Daylight” offers an update to the liner notes on her album, Red. “I once believed love would be (Burning red) But it’s golden Like daylight, like daylight.”