Taylor Swift and Kanye West’s 11-year feud


Christopher Polk

West takes the microphone from a shocked Swift at the 2009 VMAs.

Daphne L.

The feud between Taylor Swift and Kanye West began in 2009 when West famously interrupted Swift during a speech she was making (following her winning the “Best Music Video of the Year” title at the VMAs) to say that Beyoncé should’ve won the award. Although he apologized shortly after, he revoked that apology in 2013 when he told the New York Times that he has no regrets and only apologized due to peer pressure.

In 2015, it seemed that the two had made up. West made a statement that said he respects Swift. Swift concurred that she was ready to be West’s friend as she was happy with the level of respect he now had for her. She presented West with his Video Vanguard Award and delivered a nice speech, saying that West’s album was the first she ever downloaded on iTunes at the age of 12 and what a big fan she’s been of West ever since. Following the awards show, West even sent Swift flowers.

In 2016, West’s “Famous” song dropped, featuring a line that made a jab at Swift. It seemed as if Swift didn’t know about the line before the song came out, but Kardashian said that Swift did indeed know and even released a Snapchat video that showed West asking Swift in a phone call if she was okay with the line being included in the song, to which she said yes.

Swift posted on Twitter to say that the alleged phone call never took place, and she did not want to be part of the drama with West, stating that she never wanted to be part of it in the first place and was dragged into it in 2009.

In 2017, Swift released her Reputation album, which featured her song “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”, a song that seemed to be referencing the drama she had with West, especially in the lines, “There I was giving you a second chance / If only you weren’t so shady / But you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand / And therein lies the issue / Friends don’t try to trick you / Get you on the phone and mind twist you”.

Later, Kardashian made a statement claiming that she is over the issue, and Swift also said that she was glad to have been able to grow and learn from the experience.

With the 2019 release of Swift’s Lover album, she released some of her past diary entries, including the 2009 entry from the night Kanye interrupted her speech. It read, “Ahh… the things that can change in a week. If you had told me that one of the biggest stars in music was going to jump on stage and announce that he thought I shouldn’t have won on live television, I would’ve said, ‘That stuff doesn’t really happen in real life.’ Well … apparently …. It does.”

In 2020, just days after the COVID outbreak was declared a national emergency, the full extended phone call between West and Swift was leaked online.

Listeners found that Swift had been telling the truth–although West had technically called Swift about the song, he did not tell her all of the lyrics that mentioned her, and edited the lyrics he did share with her to make them sound better. Despite the obvious change in the narrative this evidence caused, Kardashian tweeted, “The video showed nothing new. We all knew that. I’m so confused right now.”

Three days after the leaked video came out, Swift posted on Instagram that instead of answering questions related to the new video, she wanted to share some organizations she suggested people donate to in order to help those in need during the pandemic, as well as posting a list of some organizations she herself had donated to.

Although West and Swift’s most famous moment in their feud was in 2009 at the VMAs, their feud has continued until 2020. Fans on both sides have commented in support of the musician they side with; however, Swift ultimately had the last word in the matter with the video coming out showing that she’d been telling the truth the whole time.