In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Taylor Swift reveals the lead-up to her infamous phone call with Kanye West, and the actions she describes as “two-faced” surrounding their appearance at the VMAs in 2015.
“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,” Swift tells Rolling Stone, detailing the conversations she had with Kanye in the months prior. “Some events took place to cause me to be pissed off when he called me a b****. That was not just a singular event.”
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According to Swift, the two began to reconnect in an effort to undo some of the damage from that infamous moment in 2009 when West stormed the stage and stole the moment from the “You Need To Calm Down” singer at the MTV Video Music Awards. “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 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.’ But that’s where I was.”
Over dinners and conversations, compliments helped mend old wounds. “It just felt like I was healing some childhood rejection or something from when I was 19.”
Taylor continues to explain that Kanye asked her to be a part of his Video Vanguard Award presentation at the 2015 show, leaving Swift honored by the “sweet” words West offered up. But Swift was shocked when Kanye claimed that MTV invited her for ratings. “I’m standing in the audience with my arm around his wife, and this chill ran through my body,” she says. “I realized he is so two-faced. 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 s***. And I was so upset. He wanted me to come talk to him after the event in his dressing room. I wouldn’t go.”
“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, I was so touched that he would be respectful and, like, tell me about this one line in the song.”
But the call quickly turned into something else, being released by West and Kardashian in an effort to disprove claims that Taylor didn’t know about the lyrics to his song “Famous.” Once she heard the full track, everything changed.
“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.’”
Swift goes on to commiserate with Drake, who was surprised when Pusha T, a close associate of Kanye, revealed he had a son in one of his songs. West has denied his involvement.
“He literally did the same thing to Drake. 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,” Swift confesses. “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 s*** all day, but it’s the same thing.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Swift touches on politics, and the themes of Reputation and Lover. You can read the full interview with Rolling Stone here.