If you have not heard of the Taylor Swift, Kanye West feud you must be living under a rock. Since there is so much stuff, I am going to break it up into multiple posts. It all started at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards. Taylor was in the middle of her acceptance speech for Best Female Video when Kanye jumps on the stage and says, “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you and I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!”. With that, the feud of the century was born. I remember watching that, and feeling so mad that someone had the nerve to steal Taylor’s hard earned moment.
On September 15, 2009 Kanye stated on the Jay Leno “It was rude, period. I don’t try to justify it, ’cause I was in the wrong. Dealing with the fact that I hurt someone or took anything away, you know, from a talented artist – or from anyone – because I only wanted to help people. My entire life, I’ve only wanted to do and give something that I felt was right and I immediately knew in this situation that it was wrong.” At this point in time, I felt like I was going to give Kanye a chance because he seemed like he really felt bad for what he did.
That opinion quickly changed when I heard about Taylor’s interview with The View where she states “My overall thought process was something like: ‘Wow, I can’t believe I won, this is awesome, don’t trip and fall, I’m gonna get to thank the fans, this is so cool. Oh, Kanye West is here. Cool haircut. What are you doing there?’ And then, ‘Ouch.’ And then, ‘I guess I’m not gonna get to thank the fans.'” She also confirms that Kanye has not reached out to her to apologize. It wasn’t until after that interview that Kanye reached out to Taylor to apologize. In my opinion, he seemed like he was trying to get more publicity.
On September 4,2010 Kanye took to Twitter, which was a new social media site, to publicly apologize to Taylor. He also later wrote “We’re both artists, and the media and managers are trying to get between us. She deserves the apology more than anyone. Thank you [Twitter co-founders] Biz Stone and Evan Williams for creating a platform where we can communicate directly.” During this time period, Kanye mentioned that he wrote a song for Taylor. Before anyone got to hear his song, Taylor beat him to the punch and performed her song ‘Innocent‘.
Taylor marked the one-year anniversary of the Kanye fiasco with a performance of her brand new song ‘Innocent‘, which includes the lyrics “Who you are is not what you did / You’re still an innocent.” While fairly vague, most critics take the lyrics as a tacit blend of forgiveness and revenge, with The New York Times dubbing the song “an extremely savvy insult masquerading as the high road”.
In November 2010, according to a Cosmopolitan article written by Emma Dibdin, ‘Kanye backtracks on his apology in several separate interviews, claiming that interrupting Taylor was “selfless” and not arrogant on his part, because she didn’t deserve to win the award. “Taylor never came to my defense at any interview,” he complained, accusing Swift of exploiting the incident for publicity.’ It seems to me that if anyone was using the incident for publicity it was Kayne.
Resources: Cosmopolitan article A timeline of Taylor Swift and Kanye West’s feud.