It’s been seven years since Kanye West took the mic from Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards. A lot has changed for each respective artist since then. Though, evidently, not much has changed in the legacy of ‘Ye and Tay. Their feud was reignited earlier this year when Kanye shared “Famous” off The Life of Pablo which featured the lyric, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that bitch famous.” As they say, the rest was history.
The whole saga has at times felt convoluted, with the he say/she say reaching new levels throughout the last six months. To make it easier for you to digest, below is a timeline of the social turmoil between Kanye and Taylor over the “Famous” lyric.
Feb. 11: The star-studded debut of The Life Of Pablo at Madison Square Garden doubles as a night of surprises from Kanye. One of the biggest moments is when he plays “Famous,” which features the lyric, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that bitch famous.” Kanye and Kim are both outspoken about respectfully contacting Taylor about the use of her name in “Famous.” Soon after the song goes live at the TLOP premiere, Swift’s rep says she never heard the actual song and gives warning to Kanye about the use of misogynistic messages in his music.
Feb. 12: Kanye takes to Twitter and denounces Taylor Swift’s publicists claim that she was unaware of the lyric. Kanye says they spoke on the phone for over an hour about the song and she verbally admitted she couldn’t be mad at Kanye because he made her famous. Kanye states, “…Bitch is an endearing term in hip-hop like the word ‘nigga.'”
3rd thing I called Taylor and had a hour long convo with her about the line and she thought it was funny and gave her blessings
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 12, 2016
Feb. 15: Taylor Swift takes home the Grammy for Album of the Year for 1989. In her acceptance speech she says, “There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame, but if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and know that it was you.”
Taylor Swift served Kanye right up pic.twitter.com/uZn08NGa4x
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) February 16, 2016
Feb. 17: Paparazzi at LAX Kanye question him about his “Famous” lyric and he calmly says, “I want the best for that person,” and redirects attention at other issues that real people are having like unemployment. Kanye focuses the lense away from himself and Taylor and adds, “I don’t think people care about me or her in that way. People care about their families, their kids. If you like my music, listen to it. If you like her music, listen to it.” Things seem to simmer down.
Feb. 23: Kanye turns the heat back up and responds to Taylor Swift’s Grammy win for Album of the Year. “I made Dark Fantasy and Watch the Throne in one year and wasn’t nominated for either and you know who has 2 albums of the year.”
I made Dark Fantasy and Watch the Throne in one year and wasn’t nominated for either and you know who has 2 albums of the year.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
Feb. 24: During a special appearance at Yo Gotti’s album release party at the 1OAK nightclub in Hollywood, Kanye rants about Taylor’s Grammy award acceptance speech and reiterates he told her about the “Famous” lyric. To put it in a nutshell it, he says, “She had two seconds to be cool and she fucked it up!”
April 14: In an interview with Vogue, Taylor addresses her acceptance speech and says she’s over the beef with Kanye. “I think the world is bored with the saga,” she says. Smoothing things out, she goes on to say, “I don’t want to add anything to it, because then there’s just more… I guess what I wanted to call attention to in my speech at the Grammys was how it’s going to be difficult if you’re a woman who wants to achieve something in her life — no matter what.”
June 16: In her first ever cover story with GQ, Kim goes in on speculation surrounding “Famous.” She says Taylor Swift was fully aware of the lyrics and that Kanye’s claims about contacting her are true and recorded. “[Taylor] totally gave the okay. Rick Rubin was there, so many respected people in the music business heard that [conversation] and knew.” Taylor’s camp immediately fires back with a statement denying Kim’s claims.
June 25: Kanye drops the “Famous” visual which “features” a number of people who have infamously been aligned with Kanye’s career. Among them is a nude wax figure of Taylor Swift. The frame pans over her body as the bar “me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that bitch famous” is rapped in the video. A source close to Taylor tells Hollywoodlife, “Taylor is livid and horrified. She didn’t know what to do when she heard about what kanye did. She is bewildered, feels betrayed, and beyond frustrated with Kanye. It is like a complete nightmare.”
July 14: Kim vents on Keeping Up with the Kardashians about Taylor’s recent comments regarding the “Famous” visual. “I never talk shit about anyone publicly, especially in interviews,” she says before going claiming Taylor’s reaction to the visual is “another way to play the victim.”
July 17: Kim releases the video of the recorded phone call between Kanye and Taylor on Snapchat. The snaps clearly show a phone conversation between both parties about the use of the lyric, to which Taylor replies, “I think it’s like a compliment.” Following the release of the video, Taylor posts a message on Instagram calling out Kanye and Kim for sharing it. “Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song? It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotion response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world.” Swift goes on to say, “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I have never asked to be a part of, since 2009.”