Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West: How She Claps Back at the Rapper on Reputation

In "End Game," "I Did Something Bad" and "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things," the singer seemingly takes aim at her longtime rival

By Zach Johnson Nov 10, 2017 1:40 PMTags

Look what you made her do, Kanye West.

Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated sixth studio album, reputation, shortly before midnight—and in some of the 15 tracks, the singer seemingly takes aim at her longtime rival. Historically, Swift has never identified any of the people who inspired her lyrics—but for the fans who have been following her career for over a decade, it's easy to read between the lines. But, in fairness to the 27-year-old singer-songwriter, all of the lyrics are open to interpretation.

Swift's issues with West date back to the 2009 MTV VMAs, when he stormed the stage during her acceptance speech to declare that Beyoncé "had one of the best videos of all time." Years later, the musicians made up—and it lasted until February 2016, when West name-dropped her in his "Famous," off his album, The Life of Pablo. "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? /I made that bitch famous," he rapped. "Goddamn / I made that bitch famous." Swift called him out during her acceptance speech for Album of the Year at the 2016 Grammys, and months later, his wife, Kim Kardashian, later published excerpts of Swift's phone call with West.

Suffice to say, it became a very messy situation.

Decoding Taylor Swift's Reputation Lyrics: Stories of Love, Secrets and a Getaway Car
Mert & Marcus/Big Machine Records

Swift stopped feeding into the drama, at least publicly, but that all changed with reputation. Here, E! News highlights which lyrics are seemingly directed at Kardashian—but mostly at West:

"End Game"

• "And I bury hatchets, but I keep maps of where I put 'em."

• "You've been calling my bluff on all my usual tricks / So here's a truth from my red lips."

"I Did Something Bad"

• "I never trust a narcissist / But they love me so I play 'em like a violin / And I make it look oh so easy / 'Cause for every lie I tell them, they tell me three / This is how the world works / Now all he thinks about is me."

• "If a man talks s--t, then I owe him nothing / I don't regret it one bit, 'cause he had it coming."

• "They're burning all the witches, even if you aren't one / They got their pitchforks and proof / Their receipts and reasons / They're burning all the witches, even if you aren't one / So light me up."


"This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things"

• "It was so nice being friends again / There I was, giving you a second chance / But then you stabbed my back while shaking my hand / 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."

• "But I'm not the only friend you've lost lately / If only you weren't so shady."

• "Here's a toast to my real friends / They don't care about that he-said-she-said / And here's to my baby / He ain't reading what they call me lately / And here's to my mama / Had to listen to all this drama / And here's to you / Cause forgiveness is a nice thing to do / Haha, I can't even say it with a straight face."

"This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things," more than the others, is the clearest clap-back, as Swift calls out his fractured friendship with Jay-Z. She also references lyrics from "Runaway," from West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The line "Here's a toast to my real friends" is a direct reference to his lyrics in the first verse of the song, released in 2010: "Let's have a toast for the douchebags / Let's have a toast for the a--holes / Let's have a toast for the scumbags."

Other people who reportedly inspired Swift's album include boyfriend Joe Alwyn, rival Katy Perry and ex-boyfriends Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston. Swift will perform on SNL Nov. 11.