Did Kanye Make Taylor Famous?

It’s been almost a decade since Kanye West interrupted Taylor’s Swift VMA speech, sparking one of the most iconic and long-winded celebrity feuds of all time. There have been apologies, shady songs, cryptic tweets, and a lot of snakes. Despite this feud being basically ancient history by this point, I still feel as though it needs some re-evaluation and discussion in 2019.

A not-so-quick timeline of events:

2009: “Imma let you finish” happens. The camera cutting between Taylor’s excitement in winning what was one of the biggest awards in music in 2009 to Kanye shoving the microphone back in her hand after declaring that Beyoncé had “one of the best music videos of all time” is honestly tragic.

2010: Kanye apologises in one of his first official Twitter rants (he later retracted this apology twice). Taylor released a song called ‘Innocent’ saying that Kanye was “32 and still growing up”, the message of the song was shady but also forgave Kanye, sort of.

2015: This was back when Kendall Jenner was in Taylor’s ‘squad’, and everything was good in the world. Taylor presented Kanye with an award at their favourite spot, the VMA’s. Taylor referred to Kanye as her ‘friend’ in her speech before handing over the award, which is hilarious.

2016: Kanye releases his song ‘Famous’ with the line “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex, why? I made that bitch famous”. Taylor claimed that she had never agreed to him referring to her as a “bitch”, Kim Kardashian posted Snapchat videos of Taylor talking to Kanye on the phone, lawyers were threatened, Kim Kardashian branded Taylor as a snake, and suddenly everyone in the world became obsessed with the feud.

So, it’s 2019, and this still angers me, let’s discuss.

First of all, let’s talk about the line from Kanye’s track ‘Famous’: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex, why? I made that bitch famous”. There is so much wrong with this, regardless of whether or not Taylor agreed to it.

“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex” is pretty disgusting. First of all, Kanye’s been married to Kim Kardashian since 2014, so suggesting that he still wants to sleep with Taylor seems to be extremely degrading and insulting to both Taylor and his wife, who supported him throughout the whole fiasco. For Taylor, I’m sure she is worth a lot more than Mr Yeezy suggesting that he thinks about still hooking up with her.

“I made that bitch famous” seemed to cause the most controversy. Rightfully so, who is Kanye to take credit for Taylor’s career? Assuming that he is referring to the 2009 VMA’s in this line, Kanye is suggesting that Taylor was not famous before he ruined what should’ve been one of the biggest moments in her career. However, this isn’t exactly true. Before the 2009 VMA’s Taylor had already: released ‘Love Story” which is one of the biggest songs of all time (and a bop), finished a completely sold out arena tour and moved 7 million albums. Also, the simple logistics that Taylor had already physically won the award and beat out Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Kelly Clarkson before Kanye stormed the stage proves that she wasn’t exactly unrecognisable in 2019.

However, little attention was paid to how disgusting and misogynistic Kanye’s line actually was. I think that his words are a direct representation of how women are treated within any industry, it’s as if a man has to say that he made her famous for her career to be validated (which is completely untrue). Society’s views on women have changed drastically in just 3 years since this fiasco, if this exact situation happened today would the focus still be on if Taylor was a ‘snake’?

Despite this, I don’t think Taylor is entirely innocent in this situation. In a Tweet, Taylor stated that she had never agreed to be referred to as a bitch and that she “would very much like to be excluded from this narrative”. Sure, the video provided by Kim does not show Taylor agreeing to be called a bitch in Kanye’s song, but, she does refer to lyrics that she had heard being a “tongue-in-cheek compliment”. Kim’s ‘evidence’ is choppy and edited pretty badly so who really knows what Taylor technically approved, but it’s still pretty interesting to watch as she seems to support the song despite stating later that she had not been made aware that the call was being recorded.

Looking back at this from a 2019 perspective, the whole situation was a bit of a mess. Social media ‘cancelled’ Taylor in about 2 minutes, but it’s taken 3 years for people to actually start to be aware of the fact that a grown-man took credit for a young woman’s career. Personally, I am not interested in whether Taylor approved the line or not, I am more concerned about how Kanye walked away essentially untouched and ready to start campaigning to run for President one day. I think it’s safe to say that Kanye did not make Taylor famous, he instead fueled her drive to become one of the most successful female artists of all time.