Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

Fans Are Finding Brand-New Easter Eggs In The "Look What You Made Me Do" Video After The Scott Borchetta And Scooter Braun Drama

Certain scenes from the video make so much more sense now.

On Sunday, Taylor Swift shared a Tumblr post in which she responded to the news that Scooter Braun's company, Ithaca Holdings, had acquired her former record label, Big Machine Records, for $300 million.

Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images

Taylor left Big Machine Records in late 2018 when her 10-year contract ended. She went on to sign a new deal with Republic Records.

In the Tumblr post, she revealed that Big Machine — and, by extension, Scooter — will retain the rights to all six of her albums "in perpetuity". She described the situation as her "worst nightmare".

"For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work," she wrote. "Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and 'earn' one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away."

Taylor has long spoken about the importance of artists being given the right to own their work. In fact, the Instagram post announcing her new record deal specifically referenced the fact that she would own the rights to all of her masters going forward.

And now fans have gone back and relistened to Reputation with the added context of disagreements between Taylor and Scott behind the scenes. Some fans have suggested that the songs now take on a whole new meaning.

But there is one song that fans have now become convinced is about Scott, Big Machine Records, and the rights to Taylor's masters. And that, my friends, is "Look What You Made Me Do".

how look what you made me do is likely to directed at scott and scooter+all the drama happening lately: a thread👀

Now, I know you're probably thinking: "Huh? 'Look What You Made Me Do' was released ages ago. How could it be about the current drama?" So let's firstly address the timeline.

Big Machine Records

According to the Financial Times, Taylor and Scott had been in talks about her potentially gaining ownership of her masters as early as 2015, following the release of the phenomenally successful 1989.

Getty Images

It stands to reason that after years of unsuccessful negotiations about her owning the masters, Taylor knew when recording Reputation — her sixth and final album for Big Machine — that she'd likely end up leaving the label without those rights. In other words, even though "Look What You Made Me Do" was released in 2017, it could well have been written about the situation with Scott and Big Machine.

Now let's get on with some lyric analysis. Ready? Let's go!

Big Machine Records

"I don't like your little games / Don't like your tilted stage."

genius.com

At the time of the release of "Look What You Made Me Do", this line was widely assumed to be a reference to Kanye's floating stage on the Saint Pablo Tour. However, the lyric seems to make far more sense in the context of the situation with Scott and Big Machine. Perhaps the "tilted stage" actually refers to the fact that Taylor felt negotiations about owning her master recordings weren't made on a level playing field because of the terms of a contract she signed at age 15.

"The role you made me play / Of the fool / No, I don't like you."

genius.com

It's no secret that it took Taylor six years and four albums before she was able to break away from country and release a pure pop record in the form of 1989 — something she admitted in 2014 caused unrest between her and Scott. Fans, including @peakybastard, are therefore speculating that this lyric refers to Taylor being required to perform and perpetuate the role of a "wholesome country girl" and "America's sweetheart" for the better part of a decade.

Country music is also traditionally associated with a conservative base, with Big Machine Records located in Nashville, Tennessee — a state where votes for the Republican party have increased across the four presidential elections held during Taylor's time with the label.

"I don't like your kingdom keys / They once belonged to me."

Big Machine Records
Big Machine Records

Again, this lyric confused fans at the time of the song's release. Now, however, @tayleidoscope13 is suggesting that the "kingdom keys" Taylor refers to here are her songs — and the knowledge that they'd no longer be hers after leaving Big Machine.

"You asked me for a place to sleep / Locked me out and threw a feast."

genius.com

When Scott first approached Taylor with an interest in signing her, she was 14 years old and Big Machine hadn't even been established yet. In fact, the company had no financing or infrastructure, but Taylor took a chance and signed anyway. She very quickly became the biggest name on the label's roster and arguably the reason it sold for hundreds of millions of dollars. Some fans, including @JamesHenryll, therefore think the lyric is a reference to how, after taking a chance on a fledgling company and becoming the linchpin in its success and value, Taylor's now been been "locked out" of owning her work while others reap the profits.

It's also very interesting that, in the video for the song, Taylor sings these lyrics while inside a gold cage surrounded by security guards.

Big Machine Records
Big Machine Records

Until this drama all kicked off, very few people could actually explain what this scene represented. And then in May this year, Taylor revealed that the "LWYMMD" video was so jam-packed with Easter eggs that it'd take "decades" for fans to decipher them all. Well, with the context of this feud, fans including @orbwars now think the imagery is a visual representation of the fight to own her masters — with Taylor and her songs literally being "held hostage". After all, she did reveal in her Tumblr post that the only way she could assume ownership of her work was to "earn" the masters back, gaining the rights to one old album for every new one turned in. This could potentially have resulted in another six-album, decadelong contract lasting into her forties. Taylor even went on to like a post on Tumblr commenting on her newfound "freedom" since leaving Big Machine.

While we're on the subject of the music video, people are also convinced that this "Et Tu Brute" inscription is a reference to Scott — not Kanye or Katy Perry, which is what was first assumed.

Big Machine Records

The Shakespearean phrase is used to signify an unexpected betrayal by a close friend.

Fans also have a new interpretation of the scene in which Taylor uses a chainsaw to cut the wings off a plane.

Big Machine Records
Big Machine Records

Again, this scene confused us all at the time. But now @swiftarmy1989 has posited that it symbolises "Scott and Big Machine giving her wings" but not allowing her "to fly" by giving her ownership of her work.

And Tumblr user alliesings11 has suggested that this moment in the video symbolises Taylor "carrying Big Machine".

Big Machine Records

"Look what you made me do."

genius.com

The song's title, which is also its chorus, has long baffled people — in fact, everyone has been speculating over what we "made [her] do" since the track was released. Well, some fans think that we now have an answer — Big Machine forced her to make the "excruciating decision" to leave the label, and her masters, behind.

Fans have also tied her decision to leave Big Machine to the jewellery spelling out "NO" in this scene of the video.

Big Machine Records

@redthirteenreputation wrote on Twitter: "what...if...... the 'No' is about her saying no to scott’s offer to resign with [Big Machine Records] and “earn” one album back at a time. She said no and instead left and signed with republic records.. hence 'look what you made me do'."

"The old Taylor can't come to the phone right now / Why? / Oh, 'cause she's dead."

Big Machine Records
Big Machine Records

In her Tumblr post, Taylor wrote about the turmoil she experienced in deciding whether to leave Big Machine. She explained: "I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past." This lyric reinforces the notion that she had to not only say goodbye to her work, but also sacrifice the "old Taylor" in order to leave her label and move forward with her career — a concept that plays out literally in the video.

In fact, this scene from the video hits pretty hard now.

Big Machine Records
Big Machine Records

As Tumblr user still-an-innocentt notes, in this scene Taylor sings "I don't trust nobody" while "standing on a mountain of her past work". And, as Tumblr user thefearlesstour points out, the Taylors in the pile are all fighting each other, desperate to reach the top, while the present-day Taylor stands calmly at the peak. Perhaps this reflects the battle she fought, and ultimately lost, to bring her past work with her into the next chapter — something she says she had to make peace with.

"I got smarter / I got harder in the nick of time / Honey, I rose up from the dead / I do it all the time."

genius.com

In the statement Scott released in response to Taylor's Tumblr post, he shared the text message she sent him revealing her plans to sign elsewhere. She wrote: "Since communication ran dry on our negotiations, I've done what I told you I would do and gone out exploring other options." Perhaps this lyric therefore refers to Taylor's decision to rise up from the disappointment of losing her masters and find a deal that allowed her ownership of future work — which is exactly what she did.