It’s been a whole decade since the infamous VMAs incident that started the Taylor Swift and Kanye West mess. There’s still bad blood between the two mega stars, but Swift hasn’t talked so candidly and openly about the feud until now. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the Lover singer went into detail about their tumultuous relationship and ripped the Chicago polymath as being “two-faced”.
Swift started from the beginning with the 2009 MTV VMAs, where Kanye interrupted her Best Female Video award speech to protest her win. “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you. I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!” he said. While the confrontation left her rattled, the Jesus is King rapper later apologized and Swift was hopeful that the two would be able to move on in harmony,
“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. When someone doesn’t respect you so loudly and says you literally don’t deserve to be her e— 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.’ But that’s where I was . . . And so we’d go to dinner and stuff. And I was so happy, because he would say really nice things about my music. It just felt like I was healing some childhood rejection or something from when I was 19.”
Her optimism was short-lived, however. Prior to the 2015 MTV VMAs, Kanye called and asked if Swift would be interested in presenting him with the Vanguard Award. “He can be the sweetest… I was so stoked that he asked me that,” Swift recalled. She accepted his invite, believing it would be a good opportunity to finally put their rift behind them.
“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!’ And I’m standing in the audience with my arm around his wife, and this chill ran through my body,” Swift explained.
“I realized he is so two-faced,” the “ME!” singer continued. “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.”
Swift said that Kanye again called to apologize for his behavior, and yet again, she hoped their friendship was on the mend. The 29-year-old star finally gave up on the efforts after the massive scandal surrounding Kanye’s “Famous” track — which featured the line, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous” — and the infamous phone call between the two, leaked by Kim Kardashian,
“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. The world didn’t understand the context and the events that led up to it. Because nothing ever just happens like that without some lead-up. Some events took place to cause me to be pissed off when [West] called me a bitch. That was not just a singular event. Basically, I got really sick of the dynamic between he and I. And that wasn’t just based on what happened on that phone call and with that song — it was kind of a chain reaction of things.”
Swift said Kanye’s backstabbing behavior isn’t confined to just her. “He literally did the same thing to Drake,” she told Rolling Stone, referencing the drama between Drizzy, Kanye, and Pusha-T. Despite being friends and colleagues, Drake said Kanye was the one to supply Pusha-T with info about his secret son, which Pusha then made public on his track “The Story of Adidon”.
“He gravely affected the trajectory of Drake’s family and their lives,” Swift added. “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.”
Read the entire, in-depth Swift interview on Rolling Stone.