Kanye West and Taylor Swift's phone conversation over select lyrics in "Famous" took place in January. The rapper first played the song for the public in February, when he debuted his Yeezy Season 3 collection during New York Fashion Week. Almost immediately, he faced backlash over a lyric in the song referencing Taylor ("I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous"). The Kanye-Taylor feud that started in 2009 was reignited and continued to escalate as the months passed by. So why, just last night, did Kim Kardashian finally post the video to Snapchat of her husband's call with Taylor?
"Kim just felt like she had to defend her husband," a source close to the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star tells E! News. "All of Taylor's fans were tweeting saying they didn't even have evidence or a tape and were urging Kim to post it. So she did."
As the video Kim posted depicts, Kanye did gauge Taylor's reaction to the lyric, "For all my Southside n-----s that know me best/ I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex". The clip does not feature any audio of Taylor being informed of Kanye's "I made that bitch famous" lyric—the specific lyric to which Taylor took offense, according to her Instagram post last night.
"Where in 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 emotional response to being called 'that bitch' in front of the entire world," Taylor's post began. "Of course I wanted to like the song. I wanted to believe Kanye when he told me that I would love the song."
Kim hasn't publicly commented on Taylor's post. Privately, though, she thinks it's "so stupid," a source says. "[Taylor] says the word 'bitch' bothered her but on the Grammys stage she never mentioned that. She said, 'Don't ever let anyone say they made you famous.'" (Taylor used her Album of the Year acceptance speech at the 2016 Grammy Awards as an opportunity to diss the rapper for trying to "undercut" her success and "take credit for" her fame.)
"Kim thinks Kanye went above and beyond by checking with Taylor and that Taylor totally lied about their conversation," adds an insider. And while Kim's recording did not show Taylor specifically signing off on the "bitch" lyric, a source tells E! News, "That word means nothing. The song before he called Kim a 'bitch.' That word means nothing in hip-hop."
Kim personally doesn't seem to understand why Kanye's use of the word "bitch" in "Famous" caused offense to Taylor. "I mean, he's called me a bitch in his songs," she said in an interview with GQ, referring to "Perfect Bitch," Kanye's 2012 ode to her. "That's just, like, what they say. I never once think, 'What a derogatory word! How dare he?' Not in a million years."
As Kim told GQ, she felt like Taylor used "Famous" as an opportunity to "play the victim" even though she was in on the song from the get-go. "She totally knew that ["Famous"] was coming out. She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didn't," said Kim.
"I swear, my husband gets so much s--t for things [when] he really was doing proper protocol and even called to get it approved," she said. "What rapper would call a girl that he was rapping a line about to get approval?" Kim insisted, again, that Swift gave him the go-ahead. "Rick Rubin was there. So many respected people in the music business heard that [conversation] and knew."
Kim defended her decision to "talk s--t" about Taylor to GQ on last night's episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. "I never talk s--t about anyone publicly, especially in interviews. But I was just like I had so had it," she told Kourtney Kardashian. "I just felt like I wanted to defend him in it because it's like, she legitimately quote says, ‘As soon as I get on that Grammy red carpet I'm gonna tell all the press. Like I was in on it.'"
"And you know just another way to play the victim. It definitely got her a lot of attention the first time," Kim added.
Kim further opened up in a confessional, saying, "Kanye is always so honest and speaks his mind. And you know, when we were first dating, people would always talk s--t and he always had my back. At this point, I really don't give a f--k so I'll do whatever to protect my husband."
—Reporting by Ken Baker