Taylor Swift: The Fame In Question

The saying goes there’s always 3 sides to a story; his, hers, and the truth. But in the mess that is Kanye & Kim vs. Taylor Swift, it seems that there may be more sides before we actually get to the truth.  The world has been buzzing since last night when Kim Kardashian took to her snapchat to upload a video recording showing Kanye on the phone with Taylor Swift discussing the song on his most recent album ‘Life of Pablo’ entitled ‘Famous’. Why is this so juicy you ask? Well, America’s Sweetheart Taylor claimed that she never approved the message of the song and ‘warned’ Kanye about such a misogynistic message.  However, the clips posted by Kim say otherwise. 


On the song ‘ Famous’ Kanye boasts that he may one day have sex with Taylor and that he ‘made that bitch famous’. Of course, when people heard the track they gave Kanye the side eye but the rapper has always maintained that he got Taylor’s blessing. However after winning album of the year at the 2016 Grammy’s Taylor shaded Kanye in her acceptance speech by telling young girls that one day someone may want to take credit for their success and or fame and they have to just focus on the work they put into their crafts. Taylor’s reps then released a statement claiming that she never approved the ‘I made that bitch Famous’ line. Kim, however, has always maintained that Taylor was well aware and as someone who always has a camera crew around she had proof and has (finally) decided to share it with the world. Now Taylor seems to be doing a bit of backtracking as she now claims her issue was with the use of the phrase ‘that bitch’ even though this isn’t what she insinuated in her Grammy speech or what her reps claimed earlier this year. In her Instagram statement (I wish celebs would stop these) Swift called it all an ‘assassination of character’ and reminded people that she didn’t ask to be a part of this narrative strategically mentioning the 2009 debacle. Which to be honest came off as her trying to give us an ‘I’m the victim!’ reminder. It’s a bit of a peculiar place for Taylor Swift to be because for the first time people are questioning her credibility, something that hasn’t happened since Kanye ‘made that bitch famous’.  

The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards where Kanye interrupts Swift's speech. This is the incident he references in 'Famous'.

The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards where Kanye interrupts Swift's speech. This is the incident he references in 'Famous'.


But did Kanye make Taylor Swift famous? Let’s cancel all the noise about the song and explore the notion for a minute. In September of 2009 Kanye West famously got on the VMA stage and interrupted Taylor’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video and boldly exclaimed what we were all secretly thinking—That Beyoncé had the best video and was snubbed. That moment would prove to be a turning point in both of their careers. Kanye has since always been painted as the bully who hurt and embarrassed poor sweet Taylor Swift. Taylor was launched into superstardom as everyone wanted to know more about this sweetie that Kanye hurt. After that moment 1. Everybody knew who Taylor Swift was and 2. Everybody wanted to protect her and bring down Kanye who had hurt her. That isn’t to say that Taylor didn’t have success before Kanye, in 2006 she had a top 10 hit on the country charts. In 2006 she also released her debut album which sold 2.5 million copies and she also gained a number 1 country hit. And by the time of the 2009 VMAs she was making strides with her album Fearless which was released in 2008. However, there’s something to be said about Taylor going from a cute and successful country artist to a well know Country pop star seemingly in the blink of the eye thanks to that VMA moment. If Kanye had let Taylor have her moment she probably would have gone on to continue being successful and maybe even still reach the success she has today. After all, Kanye didn’t write her songs, he didn’t produce her albums, he didn’t do any of that. However what Kanye did do was give a sweetheart a little bit of scandal and make her a little more interesting. So while he didn’t make her famous he definitely helped make her more famous. And with this new controversy over Kanye’s ‘famous’ song, it seems he’s the gift of fame that keeps on giving.