On her new already-platinum-selling album Reputation, Taylor Swift takes multiple barely-veiled shots at Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, and the “Famous” phone call. You know, the one where Swift cried foul over a lyric in West’s “Famous” (“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous”), only for Kardashian West to leak Swift’s conversation with her husband, revealing that she had approved the line all along.
The most explicit reference to the feud is in “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” where Swift sings, “It was so nice being friends again / There I was giving you a second chance / But you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand.” (She and West went from enemies after the 2009 MTV VMAs, when he interrupted her acceptance speech, to friends back to enemies.) She later adds, “And therein lies the issue / Friends don’t try to trick you / Get you on the phone and mind-twist you / And so I took an axe to a mended fence.”
Swift was on an incredible hot streak before the “Famous” drama: 1989 was a huge success; and the tour made headlines with every Squad stop. “So why’d you have to rain on my parade?” Swift asks. “I’m shaking my head / I’m locking the gates.” Not that she needs West: “Here’s a toast to my real friends,” she sings (a nod to Kanye’s “toast for the douchebags,” and his 2016 single, “Real Friends”), “They don’t care about the he said, she said.”
Swift, who also mentions West’s well-documented falling out with his mentor Jay-Z (“But I’m not the only friend you’ve lost lately / Mm mmm / If only you weren’t so shady” — snake emoji), doesn’t sound optimistic about a reconciliation. “And here’s to you / ‘Cause forgiveness is a nice thing to do,” she sings, before adding, “Haha, I can’t even say it with a straight face.”
There are other lyrics on Reputation that might be about Yeezy (“If a man talks shit, then I owe him nothing” from “I Did Something Bad,” for instance, and “I never trust a narcissist / But they love me”). But “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” might as well be called “This Is Why I, Taylor Swift, Can’t Have Nice Things (The Kanye and Kim Song).” West recently performed for the first time in over a year — he might have something to say at his next show.