Thoughts on the Swift/West Feud

Charlotte McConathy, Assistant Communications Officer in Training

At the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards, Kanye West jumped on stage and stole the mic from 17 year-old Taylor Swift as she accepted her award. Interrupting her speech, Kanye proclaimed that Beyonce deserved to win the award over Taylor. A few years later at the 2015 VMA’s, Taylor presented Kanye with his award and the feud seemed to end there. When Taylor debuted her ballad “Innocent” at the 2010 VMA’s, Kanye took back the apology he had previously made on Twitter. The song has lyrics like “Who you are is not where you’ve been / You’re still an innocent / … It’s okay / Life is a tough crowd / 32 and still growing up now,” that are said to be calling out Kanye for the way he made Taylor feel at such a young age. In response, Kanye told the New York Times “I don’t have one regret. If anyone’s reading this waiting for some type of full-on, flat apology for anything, they should just stop reading right now. I have, as a human being, fallen to peer pressure.”

    In 2016, Kanye released his song “Famous,” which at one point claims that he made Taylor famous and calls her a derogatory term. Kanye claimed Taylor approved her name being in his song; however, Taylor’s agent denied these allegations. After a year of silence from Taylor Swift, she debuted her song “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” (which many fans assumed was about Kanye,) along with her groundbreaking Reputation album. Lyrics like “So why’d you have to rain on my parade?

I’m shaking my head, I’m locking the gates,” and “There I was giving you a second chance/But you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand,” made it obvious to fans that the song was about Kanye. The release of this album marked the end of Taylor’s sweet, innocent, lovestruck phase.  

The entire Kanye vs Taylor situation caused many fans to take sides and defend the singer they sided with on social media. Kanye’s fans were attacking Taylor Swift all over social media. At one of his concerts, fans began a derogatory chant against Swift after West performed his song “Famous.” Kim also spoke out in support of Kanye claiming that Taylor agreed to the lyrics of “Famous” and she even released an audio clip that made fans believe she agreed to the lyrics. Taylor’s mental health declined dramatically because of this back-and-forth relationship with Kanye and Kim.

When the controversy around the two singers was at its peak, I was in middle school and didn’t know much about the feud. I had always loved Taylor’s music, so when “Reputation” came out in November of 2017, I was thrilled. As a 6th grader, “Reputation” introduced me to intense music and passionate lyrics. After becoming obsessed with the album, I began researching Taylor and her sudden need to completely change the type of music she was famous for. Now, I cannot stand to listen to Kanye and his music. In my opinion, Taylor’s music has just gotten better with every album released, but I cannot say the same about Kanye. 

This is not a “new” thing for these two singers. Kanye is known for always doing brash, crazy things and fans are always waiting for him to do something stupid. Taylor’s fans are also always waiting for her to go through a breakup and release a new song bashing her most recent ex. Both of them take this feud very seriously, and this is probably because they crave attention and fame. All of the publicity surrounding them earns them money and almost reality show type news coverage. They are constantly being filmed, asked questions, and painted as characters. Their desire for this attention will never end, which is why Taylor is constantly arguing with an ex-friend, an ex-boyfriend, or someone no one would ever expect. 

    In my opinion, the entirety of the fallout between Taylor and Kanye was completely ridiculous and dragged out for far too long. If Kanye and Kim had not pointed fingers at Taylor and tried to call her out for something she didn’t do, this problem would have been resolved long ago. While I do believe Kanye is the main person in the wrong in this situation, I will admit that Taylor took things too far and easily could have resolved the issues out of the view of the public eye.

    Feuds like this have been happening more and more in the public eye. Today’s teens are constantly waiting for the next drama-filled breakup to happen so they can choose sides and post about it every day. In today’s day and age, people are attracted to drama, which is exactly why this scandal blew up as much as it did.