If you heard Kanye West’s new album The Life of Pablo yesterday (Feb. 11), you probably remember a few specific lines from track four, “Famous.” On it, he says, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.”
It turns out that Kanye actually reached out to Taylor Swift to ask if she could release the song on her Twitter beforehand, according to a statement from Swift’s spokesperson. Taylor declined, and warned Kanye about “releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message.” The statement also claims Swift was “never made aware of the lyric, ‘I made that bitch famous.’”
The line immediately drew flak from people far outside the hip-hop world, such as Gigi Hadid and Austin Swift, Taylor’s younger brother. Hadid made the stiff reassurance that his “attendance somewhere does not mean [he agrees] with everything being said in the music playing there. My friends know of my loyalty.” Young Swift took a more millennial approach – posting a video on Instagram of him throwing his Yeezys in the trash.
Kanye’s lines come after years of tension, stirred and “soothed,” between him and Taylor. Everyone knows Kanye made the biggest blunder of his career when he interrupted the poor girl onstage at the MTV Music Awards in 2009. The public backlash was so sharp that he ended up making something of an apology album to society at large with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.