The saga continues.
Taylor Swift is revisiting her long-running feud with Kanye West. During an interview for the October issue of Rolling Stone, the pop superstar recalls trying to mend her relationship with the rapper following the now infamous 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
“I started to feel like we reconnected, which felt great for me — because all I ever wanted my whole career after that thing happened in 2009 was for him to respect me,” Swift tells the magazine. “When someone doesn’t respect you so loudly and says you literally don’t deserve to be here — I just so badly wanted that respect from him, and I hate that about myself, that I was like, ‘This guy who’s antagonizing me, I just want his approval.'”
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Taylor Swift returns to Rolling Stone's cover in our new issue, giving one of the most revealing interviews of her career. Click the link in our bio to read the story in full, where she tells Brian Hiatt her side of the last three years, from the backstory of that infamous phone call to her musical evolution and much, much more. “People had so much fun hating me, and they didn’t really need very many reasons to do it," she says. "I felt like the situation was pretty hopeless.” Photograph by @erikmadiganheck
Six years later, West asked Swift to present him with the Video Vanguard Award at the 2015 VMAs. “He called me up beforehand — I didn’t illegally record it, so I can’t play it for you,” she says. “But he called me up, maybe a week or so before the event, and we had maybe over an hourlong conversation, and he’s like, ‘I really, really would like for you to present this Vanguard Award to me, this would mean so much to me,’ and went into all the reasons why it means so much, because he can be so sweet. He can be the sweetest. And I was so stoked that he asked me that.”
But when West got on stage to accept the award, she wasn’t prepared for what he would say. “And so I wrote this speech up, and then we get to the VMAs and I make this speech and he screams, ‘MTV got Taylor Swift up here to present me this award for ratings!'” RS points out that his exact words were, “You know how many times they announced Taylor was going to give me the award ’cause it got them more ratings?”
The comments didn’t go over well with Swift. “And I’m standing in the audience with my arm around his wife, and this chill ran through my body. I realized he is so two-faced,” she says. “That he wants to be nice to me behind the scenes, but then he wants to look cool, get up in front of everyone and talk shit. And I was so upset. He wanted me to come talk to him after the event in his dressing room. I wouldn’t go.”
But after Kanye apologized, she decided to move past it. “So then he sent this big, big thing of flowers the next day to apologize. And I was like, ‘You know what? I really don’t want us to be on bad terms again. So whatever, I’m just going to move past this.’ So when he gets on the phone with me, and I was so touched that he would be respectful and, like, tell me about this one line in the song.”
On his 2016 song “Famous,” Kanye raps the infamous line, “To all my southside ni**as that know me best, I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex.”
Despite Kim Kardashian posting footage of the phone call on Snapchat, Swift claims West never told her that he was going to use the line, “I made that bitch famous.” “Where in the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song? It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world,” she wrote on Instagram at the time. “Of course I wanted to like the song. I wanted to believe Kanye when he told me that I would love the song.”
In the Rolling Stone interview, Swift says she was ready to forgive West before hearing the song. “And I was like, ‘OK, good. We’re back on good terms.’ And then when I heard the song, I was like, ‘I’m done with this. If you want to be on bad terms, let’s be on bad terms, but just be real about it.'”
She also compared her experience to what Kanye did to Drake. Drake claims Kanye gave Pusha-T the intel about his son that he used on his diss track “The Story of Adidon.” However, West has denied any involvement in the revelation.
“He literally did the same thing to Drake,” added Swift. “He gravely affected the trajectory of Drake’s family and their lives. It’s the same thing. Getting close to you, earning your trust, detonating you. I really don’t want to talk about it anymore because I get worked up, and I don’t want to just talk about negative shit all day, but it’s the same thing. Go watch Drake talk about what happened.”