back to top
Celebrity

We Have All The Receipts In The Feud Between Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, And Kanye West

Here we go again.

Posted on

It all started when Kim uploaded video of Kanye on the phone with Taylor to her Snapchat. In the video, Kanye discusses the controversial song "Famous" where he references Taylor by name.

But last night's events weren't an isolated incident. This tangled web of celebrity drama has been going on since late 2008, so long ago that it was when George W. Bush was still president.

Advertisement

Yup, the Taylor/Kanye saga actually begins not at the 2009 VMAs, but in a 2008 Allure interview where she claims she literally had a dream where she collaborated with the rapper.

Allure

Taylor told Allure, "I had this dream that Kanye West called me and said, 'I wanna rap on one of your songs.' Then I woke up and was really mad that it was just a dream."

But the real drama begins a year later. It's the 2009 VMAs and Kanye West is attending with his girlfriend at the time, Amber Rose. Kanye walks the carpet with a bottle of hard liquor in hand, and is also seen drinking from the bottle inside the show.

Early in the show, the trophy for Best Female Video is awarded. The award is one of the most hotly contested of the night — Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Pink, and Kelly Clarkson are all nominated.

Taylor wins for "You Belong With Me," which some consider an upset — Beyoncé was nominated for her visionary "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" video. One of those surprised people is Kanye. After Taylor steps up to accept her award, he storms the stage and grabs the microphone from her.

Advertisement

You probably know what happens next — Kanye's bizarre speech while Taylor looks on, visibly shocked. You can watch the whole video of the incident here.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Kanye grabbed the mic and proclaimed, "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!"

Advertisement

Many celebrities rushed to defend Taylor while others were quick to condemn Kanye — including President Barack Obama, who described her as a "perfectly nice person" and the rapper as a "jackass" in a leaked recording.

Kanye gave several public apologies to Taylor in the aftermath: two written on his blog (he deleted the first one) and one on The Jay Leno Show.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

In the interview, Kanye tells Leno, "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."

Taylor also commented on the incident in an appearance on The View just days after the VMAs. Following her appearance, Kanye reached out to her to personally apologize.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Taylor said of the incident, "Well, I think 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 said she would be open to talking to Kanye face-to-face following the incident.

Advertisement

In November 2009, Taylor hosted SNL and used part of her monologue to address the feud — Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis played security guards charged with preventing Kanye from jumping on stage, and she closed the monologue with the line "Kanye West is not here."

Later in 2010, Swift performed "Innocent", a song off of her new album Speak Now, at the 2010 VMAs. The song was written in response to the 2009 VMAs interruption — she said in an interview it was important for her to write a song "to him." Some read the performance as a vehicle for Taylor to put the controversy behind her, but others saw it differently.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

The Washington Post's review of the song calls it "a small masterpiece of passive-aggressiveness, a vivisection dressed up as a peace offering."

Kanye also closed out the show without incident — only to go on a series of interviews in the fall where he seemed to walk back his apology to Taylor AND try to justify his actions from 2009's show.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

On Ellen, West said the VMAs incident was "a moment of sincerity" but also acknowledged he was drinking that night.

In an interview with Access Hollywood, he also said Taylor's album Fearless was undeserving of a Grammy for Best Album.

And in an interview with Minnesota radio station KDWB, Kanye said of the incident: “It’s like, what’s so arrogant about that moment? If anything, it’s selfless."

Advertisement

This is also where he first starts to acknowledge that not only did the incident hurt him, but Taylor benefited from it — and was aware of this savvy PR move.

In a November 2010 New York Times interview, he discusses private conversations with the singer where Taylor claims she's come to his defense in when people discuss the incident with her.

He contradicts this sentiment in a November 2010 performance in New York, Kanye proclaimed that "Taylor never came to my defense in any interview, and rode the waves and rode it and rode it."

But things take a turn for the better and a peace settles over the relationship for several years. In the spring of 2011, proving the power of Anna Wintour, Kanye and Taylor bump into each other at the Met Gala and seem to have a positive interaction.

Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

From an October 2011 New Yorker profile of the singer: "At the Costume Institute Gala, Swift hesitated for a second, and then, realizing that there was no time to wait for advice, continued walking up the stairs toward West. As she neared the door, he held a hand out, and the two exchanged a studiedly casual, 'down low' high five. When it was over, Swift stopped just inside the museum, looking giddy."

Then in 2012, Jay-Z (Beyoncé's husband LOL) parodies the 2009 incident at the BET Awards, and Kanye laughs it off.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Jay Z playfully interrupts Kanye's acceptance speech, and Kanye laughs it off, saying he was just defending Jay's wife back in 2009.

Also in 2012, a profile with Rolling Stone reveals that Swift has a photo of the 2009 VMAs incident at her Nashville home with the caption "Life is full of little interruptions," a phrase that's also in the liner notes from Speak Now.

Advertisement

And in August 2013, Taylor's friend Ed Sheeran posts this picture of a gift the pop singer gave him that seems to indicate she has a sense of humor about the 2009 VMAs.

instagram.com

The gift says, parodying Kanye's rant, "I'm gonna let u finish but this is the best JAM OF ALL TIME."

Then, at the 2015 Grammys, Kanye is photographed talking with Taylor and poses for pictures with the singer — as does his wife, Kim Kardashian. Things seem to be peachy between the three celebs.

Advertisement

Also at the 2015 Grammys, Kanye nearly repeated history when he went on stage while Beck accepted the Award for Album of the Year (it won over, amongst other works, Beyoncé's self-titled album).

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

After the Grammys, Kanye speaks to Ryan Seacrest and says he and Taylor will be collaborating on new music soon. This never happens, though the two musicians do have dinner together in New York later in February.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Later in the year at the 2015 VMAs (dammit MTV, what is in the water at the VMAs?!?) Taylor presented Kanye with the Video Vanguard Award, and gave a long and passionate speech about her friendship with the singer that also poked fun at their complicated past.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Taylor jokes that she first met Kanye "at this show, actually." She also claims Kanye's College Dropout is the first album she and her brother bought on iTunes.

"Kanye defines what it is to be a creative force in music, fashion, and well, life" she said. "I guess I have to say to all the other winners tonight, I'm really happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but Kanye West has had one of the greatest careers of all time."

Watch a full video of the presentation here.

Advertisement

Following the show (Taylor won Video of the Year) Kanye sent her flowers. Taylor Instagrammed a picture and used the hashtag #KanTay2020 and #BFFs, seemingly in reference to Kanye's VMAs speech where he declared he would one day run for president.

In a September 2015 cover story with Vanity Fair, Taylor said the two weren't ready to be friends until he respected her.

Vanity Fair / Via instagram.com

Taylor said she was at the point with him that "Kanye and I both reached a place where he would say really nice things about my music and what I’ve accomplished, and I could ask him how his kid’s doing."

And in an October 2015 cover interview with GQ, Taylor states that the evolution of her relationship with Kanye is "one of my favorite things that has happened in my career."

GQ / Via instagram.com

Shes says of the 2009 VMAs and the aftermath, “When the crowd started booing, I thought they were booing because they also believed I didn’t deserve the award. That’s where the hurt came from. I went backstage and cried, and then I had to stop crying and perform five minutes later. I just told myself I had to perform, and I tried to convince myself that maybe this wasn’t that big of a deal. But that was the most happenstance thing to ever happen in my career. And to now be in a place where Kanye and I respect each other—that’s one of my favorite things that has happened in my career.”

Advertisement

OK, so this seems like one of the great celebrity feud redemption stories, right? Kanye and Taylor had buried the past and became BFFs. But all of that changed earlier this year with the release of his song "Famous" off his most recent album, The Life of Pablo.

However, Taylor's publicist claimed otherwise in an official statement to BuzzFeed News:

"Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single 'Famous' on her Twitter account. She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, 'I made that bitch famous.'"

Advertisement

Later in 2016, GQ dropped an interview with Kim where she backed up her husband's claims regarding Swift's approval of the "Famous" lyrics. But Kim went one step further and said not only did the call happen, but Kanye had VIDEO RECORDING of the conversation.

GQ / Via instagram.com

“[Taylor] totally approved that [lyric],” Kim says, shaking her head in annoyance. “She totally knew that that was coming out. She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didn’t. I swear, my husband gets so much shit for things [when] he really was doing proper protocol and even called to get it approved.”

Included in the GQ interview was this INSANE statement from Taylor's publicist regarding the conversation between Kanye and the pop star.

“Taylor does not hold anything against Kim Kardashian as she recognizes the pressure Kim must be under and that she is only repeating what she has been told by Kanye West. However, that does not change the fact that much of what Kim is saying is incorrect. Kanye West and Taylor only spoke once on the phone while she was on vacation with her family in January of 2016 and they have never spoken since. Taylor has never denied that conversation took place. It was on that phone call that Kanye West also asked her to release the song on her Twitter account, which she declined to do. Kanye West never told Taylor he was going to use the term ‘that bitch’ in referencing her. A song cannot be approved if it was never heard. Kanye West never played the song for Taylor Swift. Taylor heard it for the first time when everyone else did and was humiliated. Kim Kardashian’s claim that Taylor and her team were aware of being recorded is not true, and Taylor cannot understand why Kanye West, and now Kim Kardashian, will not just leave her alone.”

Advertisement

Oh, and by the way, Kim's interview dropped the day AFTER Taylor's relationship with actor Tom Hiddleston went public. Some alleged that Taylor timed the public reveal of the relationship to divert attention from Kim's interview.

Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston are together and we have the details right here: https://t.co/GRAwEuLQwV

Later in the summer, Kanye dropped his controversial music video for "Famous" at an event at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. In the video, Kanye appears naked in bed with both Kim and Taylor, along with a slew of other celebrities and public figures.

Then in July 2016, E! released a clip from this weekend's Keeping Up With The Kardashians where Kim discusses the GQ interview with her older sister, Kourtney.

Kim Kardashian exposing Taylor on #KUWTK 😭

In the clip, Kim says, "[Taylor] legitimately, quote, says, 'As soon as I get on that Grammy red carpet, I'm gonna tell all the press, like, I was in on it.'"

"It definitely got her a lot of attention the first time," Kim goes on to say. "I just don't think that he should be punished for it to this day."

That brings us to the events of last night. Prior to the airing of last night's episode, Kim subtweeted Taylor, seemingly referencing the fact that in the past week, Taylor's Instagram has been hit with a barrage of snake emojis in the comments following an insane Twitter rant by her ex, Calvin Harris.

Advertisement

Kim uploaded more than a dozen Snapchats to her Story, seemingly showing the video she claimed existed of Kanye discussing the lyrics for "Famous" on the phone with Taylor.

instagram.com
Advertisement

So it seemed like Taylor DID know about the song in advance. But in that statement uploaded to her Instagram, Taylor took serious issue with the fact that she didn't know about Kanye calling her a "bitch" in the song — and stated she never heard ANY of the song in advance of its release.

The aftermath of last night's events is still being felt in the celeb world — Selena Gomez has entered the ring, as has actress Ruby Rose (both are close friends with Taylor) and Kim's sister Khloé has gotten into a messy Twitter spat with actress Chloe Grace Moretz, who has been publicly critical of Kim in the past.