Are we unfairly giving Kanye West a bad rap for 'Famous'?
February 29, 2016 at 10:51 am
At the Yeezy Season 3 show, he premiered his new album, The Life of Pablo. I went from Kanye is crazy to Kanye is a crazy genius. However, in classic 'Ye fashion, the album couldn't have gone on without a hitch. On the track entitled "Famous," a line references West's enemy-turned frenemy -- seemingly turned enemy again -- Taylor Swift. The line goes: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b*tch famous / I made that b*tch famous" The Internet went into an uproar. Again, he had a Twitter rant prepared for us to explain why:
I did not diss Taylor Swift and I’ve never dissed her…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 12, 2016
2nd thing I asked my wife for her blessings and she was cool with it— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 12, 2016
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
4th Bitch is an endearing term in hip hop like the word Nigga— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 12, 2016
5th thing I’m not even gone take credit for the idea… it’s actually something Taylor came up with … — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 12, 2016I'm not going to get into the debate of his comparing these "hip-hop terms of endearment," or that the fact that the line is one of mainstream hip-hop's more misogynistic lines of recent memory -- but was this all an inside joke between Taylor and Kanye and we just didn't know? A representative for Swift released a statement saying that Kanye did reach out to Taylor, but it wasn't for approval of the song, but a request for her to release the song on her Twitter acount. She allegedly declined and cautioned the release of the song
The "Famous" controversy died down for little while, until Taylor Swift's not-so-surprising Album of the Year win at the Grammys. In her acceptance speech, many would say she took direct shots at West and the song. She directed her speech to young women, stating "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..dont let those people sidetrack you." We were saved from another Twitter rant from Kanye, but two days after the Grammys, he performed on Saturday Night Live. Audio was leaked from backstage, where he went off on the show's production staff and also called Swift "fake."
Kanye was NOT lying when he said he called Taylor before the diss track. she's an evil, manipulative devil. pic.twitter.com/3QmkxKkpuZ — Danny (@dannyyonce) February 20, 2016Then bombshell news came Taylor, did in fact not only knew about the song -- but a Grammy producer confirmed she had an advanced copy of the track. Ken Ehrlich told Entertainment Tonight, "She had an advance of the track. She commented on it in a very funny way, she’s smart." After his comments slowly made circulation, he would later retract the comments, telling HollywoodLife: "I misunderstood what Taylor had told me. Under the pressure of rehearsals, rather than say that she was aware of the song, I said she had heard a track when in fact she had not and what she said to me didn’t imply that at all." Despite Ehrlich retracting his comments, Charlamagne tha God also came out saying that he knows for a fact Swift knew about the song, and that it was a plan between she and West. He said, "Kanye is absolutely right when he said he called Taylor. After it was going to be a commotion, Taylor was supposed to come out like 'ah, joke's on you.' She flipped it." Kanye continued on the path of clearing his name, ranting against Swift again when he appeared at a Los Angeles nightclub, insisting that Swift knew about that song before it was released
All of this brings me to this question: are we chalking this up to Kanye just being Kanye, or is he telling the truth? In my opinion, the mainstream media's coverage on the matter seems to be very one-sided. When the we first heard the song played during Yeezy Season 3, its like news writers couldn't help themselves. 5 minutes later, I scrolled down my Twitter timeline to see a flurry of thinkpieces on Kanye's latest misogynistic move. However, when he said "Famous" wasn't a diss and that it was a plan between he and Taylor, I noticed a decrease in thinkpieces and an increase in the "Kanye needs help" tweets
Kanye went on another rant about Taylor Swift last night...https://t.co/uHSqm3VYdI— Complex (@ComplexMag) February 24, 2016
I'm in no means trying to play the role of a Kanye apologist, but did we ever think about his reasoning for dissing Taylor Swift in a song and lie about it -- especially after their infamous public makeup just last year at the VMAs?