Kanye West faces backlash over Taylor Swift lyric attack

Swift’s spokesman said she was unaware of the line from West’s new song Famous in which he says ‘I made that bitch famous’, but that she had warned him not to release a misogynistic song

Kanye West has already got himself embroiled in a row with an old adversary following Thursday night’s launch of his new album, The Life of Pablo.

The track Famous includes the line, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.” The Taylor in question is Taylor Swift, and the line refers to the 2009 MTV VMAs, when West took to the stage and interrupted her acceptance speech to say: “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.” The incident prompted President Barack Obama to call West a “jackass”.

Following the playback of The Life of Pablo at Madison Square Garden in New York, Swift’s spokesperson issued a statement saying West had asked Swift to share 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,’” the spokesperson said.

Kanye West releases album and fashion collection at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night

Close associates of Swift have made their displeasure about the line known. The singer’s brother, Austin, posted a video on Instagram of him throwing his Yeezy trainers into the bin, with the caption, “Getting a head start on some spring cleaning. Here we go again.”

The model Gigi Hadid, a close friend of Swift, who was at the event, tweeted: “My attendance somewhere does not mean I agree with everything being said in the music playing there. My friends know of my loyalty.”

The controversial businessman Martin Shkreli managed to insert himself into the evening’s events, too. Fresh from citing the fifth amendment, which gives a person the right not to say anything that might incriminate them, when asked by a congressional hearing about his purchase for $2m of the Wu-Tang Clan’s one-off album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, he offered to buy the rights to The Life of Pablo.

Shkreli tweeted West, attaching a photo of a letter, in which he said: “I have been a tremendous fan of your music for many years. Specifically, the album The College Dropout inspired me to succeed at a young age.

“I am writing to you in hopes of convincing you to withhold the release of your forthcoming studio album. Instead of releasing this product for your millions of fans, I ask you to sell this recording solely to me, for the price of $10m. I believe you (and your partners) will find this financial arrangement more attractive than your current course of action.”

Here is my initial offer for the album. @kanyewest Thanks for your consideration and I look forward to your response pic.twitter.com/opJ7mlfraK

— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) February 11, 2016

Those who are already bored by the saga of West’s album – with its ever-changing title and West’s boasts about it being the greatest record ever – might prefer to sate their Kanye appetites by turning to another product he announced at Madison Square Garden: a video game called Only One. “The idea of the game is my mom travelling through the gates of heaven,” he told the audience.

He showed a trailer for the game, in which his mother ascends to heaven astride a winged horse. Sales of the Call of Duty franchise are unlikely to be affected.


Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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