It looks like Taylor Swift isn’t ready to make peace with Kanye West after all, at least not right now. Swift graces the cover of the new issue of Rolling Stone for an interview about new album Lover, almost quitting music and her on-and-off-again feud with Kanye.
Swift had no problem being candid, admitting how she repeatedly sought West’s respect after their 2009 MTV VMAs debacle. “I just so badly wanted that respect from him, and I hate that about myself, that I was like, ‘This guy who’s antagonizing me, I just want his approval.’ But that’s where I was. And so we’d go to dinner and stuff. And I was so happy because he would say really nice things about my music. It just felt like I was healing some childhood rejection or something from when I was 19,” she says.
Swift and West would later call a truce and even became friends, occasionally going out to dinner and hanging out. Then, Swift reveals how in 2015 West asked her to present him with his Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs.
“But the 2015 VMAs come around. He’s getting the Vanguard Award. He called me up beforehand — I didn’t illegally record it, so I can’t play it for you,” she says. “But he called me up, maybe a week or so before the event, and we had maybe over an hourlong conversation, and he’s like, ‘I really, really would like for you to present this Vanguard Award to me, this would mean so much to me,’ and went into all the reasons why it means so much, because he can be so sweet. He can be the sweetest. And I was so stoked that he asked me that.”
After Swift gave her speech introducing ‘Ye at the awards show, she claims West’s tune quickly changed and that he allegedly called out MTV for using her to solely boost their show’s ratings.
“And so I wrote this speech up, and then we get to the VMAs, and I make this speech, and he screams, ‘MTV got Taylor Swift up here to present me this award for ratings!’ [His exact words: “You know how many times they announced Taylor was going to give me the award ’cause it got them more ratings?”] And I’m standing in the audience with my arm around his wife, and this chill ran through my body. I realized he is so two-faced. That he wants to be nice to me behind the scenes, but then he wants to look cool, get up in front of everyone and talk shit. And I was so upset.”
According to Swift, West allegedly apologized again after she failed to meet up in his dressing room to discuss his outburst. She claims the rapper sent her a huge bouquet of flowers as his peace offering.
“He wanted me to come talk to him after the event in his dressing room. I wouldn’t go,” she recalls. “So then he sent this big, big thing of flowers the next day to apologize. And I was like, ‘You know what? I really don’t want us to be on bad terms again. So whatever, I’m just going to move past this.’ So when he gets on the phone with me, and I was so touched that he would be respectful and, like, tell me about this one line in the song.”
Swift admits to speaking with West about his 2016 Life of Pablo single “Famous,” but says after hearing the song in its completed version, she was disturbed by West’s decision to include the lyric “me and Taylor might still have sex.”
“And I was like, ‘OK, good. We’re back on good terms.’ And then when I heard the song, I was like, ‘I’m done with this. If you want to be on bad terms, let’s be on bad terms, but just be real about it,'” she says. “And then he literally did the same thing to Drake. He gravely affected the trajectory of Drake’s family and their lives. It’s the same thing. Getting close to you, earning your trust, detonating you. I really don’t want to talk about it anymore because I get worked up, and I don’t want to just talk about negative shit all day, but it’s the same thing. Go watch Drake talk about what happened.”
Swift’s mention of Drake stems from the rapper’s sit-down with LeBron James last year for HBO’s The Shop, where he called out West for telling Pusha T about his previously undisclosed son and the Toronto rapper’s relationship with his baby mother. “I knew something was gonna come up about my kid. They had to add the deadbeat dad thing to make it more appealing,” said Drake regarding his lyrical spar with Push.
Billboard reached out to West’s camp for comment. Check out Swift’s entire interview with Rolling Stone here.