Sunday night, Taylor Swift felt the brunt of social media for maybe the very first time in her idyllic career. When Kim Kardashian-West revealed the footage of her husband Kanye West’s conversation with Swift over the lyrics to his “Famous” track, emojis came out. Jokes became aplenty, and on Monday people had to walk to the water cooler still shocked and wondering how could they get in on the action.
Well, after they finished catching a Geodude on Pokémon Go.
Point is, the story still may need explaining just so you can get a perfect idea of why this is a pointless yet important story all at once. So we’re about to run this down and help everybody out, right? Right.
Let’s break down the criminal liability Kim and Kanye could face over the Taylor Swift recording https://t.co/3wLrrGJP30— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) July 19, 2016
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Kanye West (39): Rapper, fashion designer, Adidas spokesman, owner of four classic albums, one dud and two good ones.
Taylor Swift (26): Singer, squad wrangler, two-time Grammy winner for Album of the Year, maker of albums about her ex-boyfriends.
Kim Kardashian-West (34): Reality TV star, owner of emoji brand, wife, mother, and maybe the greatest Snapchat director of the 21st century.
Why did we need a cast of characters?
Well, you sort of need to know who everybody is. And some people have forcibly removed any idea of Kanye, Taylor and/or Kim out of their heads; Kanye and Kim, specifically.
OK, so they’re all equal parts annoying and possibly somewhat terrible. What happened?
An episode of Kim’s reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians aired involving Kanye making his latest album, The Life of Pablo, and anguishing over a phone call to one T. Swift. Kim, a woman who may be more knowledgeable about filming every single thing you do than anybody on the planet, revealed to the world that she was her husband’s biggest fan.
Reporter: So did Kanye call you about the Famous line?— Raylo (@Powerful) July 19, 2016
Taylor Swift: pic.twitter.com/hiRxNbmTmV
No, she got on Snapchat around 10 p.m. Central Sunday, right after the episode finished airing on E!, and revealed that Taylor Swift knew about “Famous” before the public did and Kanye did the sweetest thing ever — he called her and told her about it.
So, she knows about a song of his; big deal.
Kanye says in the song, “me and Taylor might still have sex, I made that bitch famous…”
Wow, that’s pretty terrible and insensitive. And Taylor was OK with it?
Yes and no. At the time of the recording, Taylor was cool with the line, declaring it to be “tongue-in-cheek." Rick Rubin was there in the room on the couch, thus making him the most unassuming third party in all of this. Then after the album came out with the song, Swift backtracked. She and her team denied any knowledge of the song and once more made Kanye West asshole number one. She then sniped at him via her Album of the Year acceptance speech in regards to Kanye making her famous.
Even about the “bitch” line?
Yes. I don’t think you can dispute the fact that Taylor knew about that part of “Famous” when in the conversation between West & Swift, she alludes to selling 7 million copies before the 2009 VMA Awards. There’s also Swift discussing an IG post of which Kanye sent her flowers and it was her most liked photo on Instagram (which is the most millennial and annoying thing of all of this) and then some. In other words, the smoking gun about America’s biggest non-Beyonce pop star also being a manipulative, image conscious, always-play-the-victim individual was found.
In the hands of Kim Kardashian-West.
C’mon, we’re talking Taylor Swift, America’s Sweetheart. Surely she wouldn’t do such a thing.
Well, her team had already threatened legal action about the song and Kim Kardashian-West alluded to it in an interview she did with GQ a few months ago. And she may have some legal right to sue them, due to California having laws against taping conversations. But it’s only valid if both parties were in California at the time of said taping. Swift did reveal a statement she wrote on her phone about the situation but it wasn’t a new one. As in, she’d been preparing it for months in wait.
Mind you, this is the same week that Calvin Harris found himself the scorn of a T. Swift breakup and decided to flip the script about a pop hit they worked on, “This Is What You Came For.” Also, I didn’t know Calvin Harris wasn’t Calvin Harris’ real name and he purposely made his stage name black-sounding to be cool. She’s now dating Loki, aka young Hank Williams, Sr. aka Tom Hiddleston, so I’m sure there’ll be a breakup anthem written about him in a year or so.
Plus, Taylor’s super-rival Katy Perry (aka the possible reason why “Bad Blood” even exists) warned the world about “Regina Georges in sheep’s clothing." Which prompted every single “SHE DOESN’T EVEN GO HERE” alarm to go off in my head whenever I see Taylor Swift.
There are more important things to talk about... Why can't people use their voice for something that fucking matters?— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) July 18, 2016
OK, we know you don’t like Taylor. That’s fine, perfect even. But has there been any other blowback from this?
Hmm, Selena Gomez tweeted about us focusing on real issues, yet Twitter users clapped back asking why hadn’t she tweeted about the real-life situations going on in her native Dallas or Baton Rouge or even Black Lives Matter. Or even the dreaded All Lives Matter. She then responded to a fan about it in a now deleted tweet, “oh lol so that means if I hashtag something I save lives? No- I could give two fucks about ‘sides’. You don’t know what I do.”
BTW, Taylor and Selena are BFFs, so you know who’s side she’s on. So the real blowback from all of this has hit Swift on Instagram, Twitter and more. It's never good when you're part of a #KimExposedTaylorParty on social media.
All right, so just so I have this right: Kim Kardashian-West protected her husband by taping a phone call between him and Taylor Swift; she being the same woman he interrupted at the ’09 VMAs to recognize Beyoncé. Taylor didn’t know she was being taped but knew about the song so it’s all fake outrage on her part for the sake of her image. I got that right?
You do. Great job.
So who’s the winner in this?
Wait — what?!
Look, this is a temporary win for Kim Kardashian-West because after hitting the world with soul-food struggle plates, she managed to get on the good side of the general public. It’s also a temporary win for Kanye because it gets people talking about Pablo and the good parts of that album and definitely not the “Famous” video, which tries way too hard to be artsy. It’s the biggest loss of Taylor Swift’s career because in a career of reconciliation whenever she’s been involved in drama (Nicki Minaj, John Mayer, Nashville), there’s no coming back from literal evidence that you lied about something.
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Beyoncé wins because this has gone on for seven years and she hasn’t said a single word about it. And we still get to remember that the actual video of the year in 2009 was “Single Ladies." Do you even remember what Swift’s video was that year? No, no you don’t.
Okay, we the general public — who look for things like this to add a little light to this dark and frustrating-ass world — were the real winners. Followed by Kim Kardashian-West, who may have filmed the first lawsuit-ready/husband-vindicating flurry of 10-second clips in human history. Is there a game I can compare this to so all my friends can laugh with me?
If you know the dynamics of spades then you’ll be perfect. Because no card game is better suited for treachery, teamwork and trust than spades.
Hold on, what’s spades?
Fine, UNO. That work? Taylor had been beating the world and hitting UNO, UNO-out at every opportunity. Kim finally got a hand with a multitude of draw fours and reverses and threw them all out on Taylor for the world to see. Finally, somebody made Taylor the butt of jokes.
I love UNO!
Of course you do. I hope you get a Ultralight Beam with a little Bad Blood over it too.