Kanye West has shared some details about what his life was like in the aftermath of the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, where the rapper awkwardly interrupted Taylor Swift on stage when she won “Best Female Video.” Ye, 44, said in a new interview on the Drink Champs podcast, which can be seen above, that he “did a personal exile to myself” and traveled to Japan with assistant and designer Virgil Abloh following the incident. Kanye recalled the extreme backlash he received at the time — going as far as to say that “all of America hated” him for what he did to Taylor, 31.
The “Stronger” rapper also reflected on what others said to him after the VMAs incident. “‘You wrong for this one, you won’t win this,’ you know, everybody telling me, ‘You shouldn’t have ran on-stage, you were rude,’ ” he said. For those that remember, Kanye’s behavior at the 2009 awards show led to significant backlash against the rapper, while then-19-year-old Taylor garnered universal sympathy. Kanye had interrupted Taylor while she was accepting her award for “Best Female Video” to declare that the prize should’ve gone to Beyoncé instead. Ye eventually apologized, and the incident was buried.
However, a new scandal involving Kanye and Taylor erupted after Ye dropped his song “Famous” in 2016 with this controversial line: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b–ch famous.” Taylor wasn’t too happy about being called a “b–ch.” Kim Kardashian then caused an uproar after releasing footage of Kanye on the phone with Taylor, who could be heard approving of the “might still have sex joke.” This sparked a hate campaign against Taylor, as people threw snake emojis at the pop star. However, Taylor’s reputation was cleared in March of 2020, when an alleged audio clip of the full phone call dropped and seemed to prove that Kanye didn’t actually ask permission to call Taylor “that b–ch” in his song.
Kanye and Taylor have appeared to squash their beef. In fact, in Sept. 2020, Ye publicly promised to help Taylor in her mission to take back her masters after Scooter Braun purchased Big Machine Label, Group, the recording company that owned the rights to Taylor’s first six albums. “All artists need to be free and own their rights. Taylor Swift deserves that, just like everyone else,” he told Billboard.
As Taylor’s fans know, the superstar has succeeded in her goal to take back ownership of her music. She’s re-recorded two of her first six albums and released them as Fearless: Taylor’s Version and Red:Taylor’s Version. Both albums feature all the original songs, as well as new tracks that never made the cut back in the day.