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In "Evermore," Taylor Swift Finally Unpacks The 2016 Drama With Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, And Tom Hiddleston In More Detail Than Ever Before

"Past me, I wanna tell you not to get lost in petty things. Your nemeses will defeat themselves before you get the chance to swing."

In case you missed the news, Taylor Swift just released her ninth album, Evermore!

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The album comes just five months after the release of Folklore, her critically acclaimed eighth album, and continues its premise of merging fact and fiction.

While Folklore told us the stories of a teenage love triangle, Taylor's grandfather and the woman who previously owned her Rhode Island home, Evermore has tales of extramarital affairs, a rejected proposal, and even a true crime song in which Taylor murders her friend's husband. Basically, it's a wild ride.

However, as was the case on Folklore, Evermore also contains songs about Taylor's real life. And it seems she's used this album to explore the fallout of all the drama from 2016 in a way we haven't heard musically before.

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Back in 2016, Kanye West released his song, "Famous," which included the lyric: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous." While he insisted that Taylor had known and approved of the lyric in advance, her publicist issued a statement saying she'd never been made aware of the specific line referring to her as "that bitch."

Just a few months later, Kim Kardashian uploaded a video on Snapchat of the phone call between Kanye and Taylor where they discussed the song and she apparently gave approval. It did not, however, show him telling her about the "I made that bitch famous" line.

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After the video was released, the hashtag #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty began trending worldwide, with people rushing to declare her "cancelled."

And while all of this was going on, Taylor had split from long-term boyfriend Calvin Harris — who also publicly dragged her on social media — and jumped into a new relationship with Tom Hiddleston.

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The pair embarked on a wildly public romance where they were photographed together no less than 24 times in their first three weeks together, before splitting in September. By the end of the summer, the general mood towards Taylor had shifted so dramatically that she retreated from the public eye completely for over a year.

Taylor returned with her sixth album, Reputation, in November 2017. However, somewhat surprisingly, the record only contained three songs about the drama from the year before — "Look What You Made Me Do," "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things," and "I Did Something Bad."

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Interestingly though, these songs were written from the perspective of a bitter character and designed to play into the notion of Reputation as a bombastic vengeful album aimed at Taylor's detractors. In reality though, the album wasn't about revenge at all — the remaining 12 tracks explored the feelings involved at the start of a new relationship.

By Taylor's own admission, Reputation was a masterclass in the art of bait and switch and actually gave us very little insight into 2016. And by the time her seventh album, Lover, was released in 2019, she'd changed tack entirely with a thematic record about love.

However, it seems that the benefit of hindsight has offered her a new perspective, and Evermore unpacks all of the pain she experienced back then with emotion and clarity.

Things begin with the song "Long Story Short," which seems to open with Taylor revealing the "misery" she felt and nightmares she had over the fallout with Kimye.

The pre-chorus describes her feeling backed into a corner and "surrounded" by negativity, while the people she thought would defend her walked on by.

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In the past, Taylor has opened up about feeling as though she discovered who her true friends were during this period of her life. In her 2017 poem, "Why She Disappeared," she described her "fair-weather friends" being "blown away" and failing to support her in her most vulnerable moment.

This is also something she touched on in "I Forgot That You Existed" from Lover. In this song, Taylor described feeling disappointed by someone she once cared about taking pleasure in the demise of her reputation and doing nothing to defend her.

In the chorus, Taylor sings about "clinging to the nearest lips" during the worst period in her life, but ultimately says that the person she rebounded with was "the wrong guy." This presumably is a reference to her relationship with Tom Hiddleston who she was dating at the time of her fallout with Kimye.

And Taylor goes on to suggest that she decided to choose her current boyfriend Joe Alwyn — who she also met that summer — over Tom.

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In the pre-chorus, Taylor describes showing up at Joe's door having "dropped [her] sword." This line not only echoes the themes of sneaking around to be with Joe in several songs from Lover, but also lyrics from "Daylight." In that song, she and Joe stop playing games, "throw out [their] cloaks and daggers," and decide to be together.

The song then goes back to addressing her public feuds. We first have this reference to people no longer holding keys to golden gates.

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This echoes the lyric: "I don't like your kingdom keys / They once belonged to me" from "Look What You Made Me Do." This lyric was interpreted as a reference to Taylor having the keys she once held to the music industry snatched away from her in the wake of Kimye-gate. Four years later, however, she's regained her dominance and power and left her nemesis behind.

And, finally, Taylor includes the advice she'd give to her past self.

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These lyrics presumably refer to the public reckonings her nemeses Kanye West and Scooter Braun have endured over recent years, with many people now siding with her.

The events of 2016 are also explored in more depth on the track "Evermore," which closes out the standard edition of the album. This song opens in November, with Taylor trying to make sense of "where she went wrong" in July.

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We can assume that this refers to November 2016, since Kim Kardashian's Snapchat video — and Taylor's "cancellation" — occurred in July. The lyrics also mirror the comments Taylor made last year where she revealed replayed everything in her mind and wrote embittered poetry — presumably the letters addressed to the fire here — in a bid to work out how she'd misstepped so badly.

"People had so much fun hating me, and they didn’t really need very many reasons to do it," she told Rolling Stone. "I felt like the situation was pretty hopeless. I wrote a lot of really aggressively bitter poems constantly. I wrote a lot of think pieces that I knew I’d never publish, about what it’s like to feel like you’re in a shame spiral. And I couldn’t figure out how to learn from it. Because I wasn’t sure exactly what I did that was so wrong."

The second verse reveals that Taylor was still feeling "unmoored" and attempting to process the events of that summer in December. She goes on to say that she finds herself "rewinding the tape" in a bid to discover where she went wrong.

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This could be literal or metaphorical — Taylor may have watched Kim's Snapchat video repeatedly, or she may have simply recounted the events on a loop in her mind. Either way, the use of "double-crossed" makes it clear that she felt deliberately deceived and betrayed.

But "double-crossed" could also be wordplay, which we know Taylor's a big fan of.

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She could be referring to feeling as though Kimye depicted her as a double-crosser by releasing the video that seemingly contradicted her public statements. But it could also be a nod to her feeling as though she's been "crossed" by Kanye twice — firstly at the 2009 MTV VMAs where their feud originated, and secondly in 2016.

And the song ends by emphasising that Taylor made it through 2016 with the support of her ~lover.~

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The reference to "November" in the first verse and the "cabin creaking" beneath her in the final chorus are both interesting details since they echo "Call It What You Want" from Reputation.

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In this song, Taylor asks her new lover to "run away" with her in "late November" after all the events of that summer. It was always unclear whether this was metaphorical, or whether Taylor and Joe really did make a getaway where she could process the drama. But the suggestion in this song that they spent some of the winter in a cabin implies that they did indeed escape together.

But "Evermore" being the final word on the album is interesting too, since it's also used in "Long Story Short" — the other song about 2016 — and perhaps underscores just how transformative that period was for her.

However, this word also calls back to "New Year's Day" from Reputation, which is about finding a relationship worth staying in despite the struggle. This track contains the lyric: "You and me forevermore."

So it's use again in this song — and indeed the album title — suggests that Taylor made it through 2016 and beyond with the support of her forever love. Cute!

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Ellie Woodward is Celebrity and Entertainment Editor for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

Contact Ellie Woodward at ellie.woodward@buzzfeed.com.

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