Taylor Swift ended her rekindled friendship with Kanye West in 2016 after he released the song “Famous,” in which he called her ‘that b****.’ ‘Ye actually called Taylor up to let her know about the song before he released it — Kim Kardashian leaked audio of the call months later — but he didn’t share that specific lyric with her, which led to her pulling the plug on their friendship. However, there were several other catalysts behind the reignited feud that the public didn’t know about…until now. Taylor dished all about it in a wild new interview with Rolling Stone.
“The world didn’t understand the context and the events that led up to it,” Taylor told the mag. “Because nothing ever happens like that without some lead-up. Some events took place to cause me to be pissed off when he called me a b****. That was not just a singular event. Basically, I got really sick of the dynamic between he and I. And that wasn’t just based on what happened on that phone call and with that song — it was kind of a chain reaction of things.”
Fans know that Taylor and Kanye’s beef started at the 2009 Video Music Awards, when he stormed the stage and interrupted her acceptance speech for Female Video of the Year, claiming that Beyonce deserved the honor instead. However, over the years, the two began reconnecting, and in 2015, Taylor actually presented Kanye with his Video Vanguard Award at the very same award show. There was more to that story, though.
“We’d go to dinner and stuff. And I was so happy, because he would say really nice things about my music,” Taylor admitted. “It just felt like I was healing some childhood rejection or something from when I was 19. But the 2015 VMAs come around. He’s getting the VanguardAward. He called me up beforehand — I didn’t illegally record it so I can’t play it or you. But he called me up, maybe a week or so before the event, and we had maybe over an hour long conversation and he’s like, ‘I really, really would like for you to present this Vanguard Award to me, this would means so much to me,’ and went into all the reasons why it means so much, because he can be so sweet. He can be the sweetest. And I was so stoked that he asked me that.”
However, when the show came around, Kanye had a different story to tell. “I make this speech and he screams, ‘MTV got Taylor Swift up here to present me this award for ratings!'” Taylor recalled (His exact words, per Rolling Stone, were: “You know how many times they announced Taylor was going to give me the award ’cause it got them more ratings”). “And I’m standing in the audience with my arm around his wife and this chill ran through my body. I realized he is so two-faced. That he wants to be nice to me behind the scenes, but then he wants to look cool, get up in front of everyone, and talk s***. And I was so upset.”
At the time, Taylor didn’t let onto how she was feeling publicly. In fact, she proudly posted a photo of the flowers that Kanye sent her on Instagram, but now, she reveals that there was more to that, too. “He wanted me to come talk to him after the event in his dressing room,” she said. “I wouldn’t go. So then he sent this big, big thing of flowers the next day to apologize. I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t want us to be on bad terms again. So, whatever, I’m just going to move past this.”
Things were going okay until that she finally heard all the lyrics to “Famous” in Feb. 2016 — not just the ones he told her about on the phone call. “When I heard the song, I was like, ‘I’m done with this. If you want to be on bad terms, let’s be on bad terms, but just be real about it,'” she explained. “And then he literally did the same thing to Drake.”
Taylor, of course, is referring to Kanye producing Pusha T’s album, on which the rapper exposed Drake for having a secret child. Kanye denied any involvement in the decision to make the revelation, but Taylor is not convinced. “He gravely affected the trajectory of Drake’s family and their lives,” Taylor said. “It’s the same thing. Getting close to you, earning your trust, detonating you. I really don’t want to talk about it anymore because I get worked up, and I don’t want to just talk about negative s*** all day, but it’s the same thing.”