There’s a longer video of Kanye West & Taylor Swift’s ‘Famous’ 2016 phone call

Embed from Getty Images

Last year was the 10-year anniversary of Kanye West drunkenly stage-rushing Taylor Swift at the VMAs. The infamous Imma Let You Finish moment. The moment that defined so much of what came afterwards for both Taylor and Kanye. Taylor spent years afterward winning nearly every award she was up for, all while embracing her victimhood status to great effect and great profit. For Kanye, the decade saw a massive public shaming, followed by bursts of creativity, terrible public statements and ridiculousness.

In that decade, Taylor and Kanye also had years where they were on bad terms, then they were on good terms, then they had another spectacular falling out. The last (and final?) falling out was in 2016, when Kanye dropped an album (The Life of Pablo) which included the song “Famous,” which had these lyrics: “For all my Southside n–gas that know me best/I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that bitch famous.” Taylor ended up winning a slew of Grammys right around that time and she made a big deal about how Kanye was taking credit for making her famous and that he was a misogynist too. In the immediate wake of “Famous” being released, Kanye said that he got permission from Taylor to name-check her in the song. But Taylor denied it and said for months that Kanye had done that without her knowledge.

Months later, Kim Kardashian released – on Snapchat – parts of a phone conversation between Kanye and Taylor where they were discussing the lyrics to “Famous.” It became clear that Taylor had a lot of knowledge about what Kanye was going to say. Suddenly, Taylor’s argument became that she had no knowledge of the “bitch” line specifically, and that alone was her beef. Nevermind the fact that the call revealed that Kanye was being generally solicitous and wanting her permission, and that Kanye and Taylor spoke for some time about the lyrics. He called her because, in his mind at that moment, he wanted to talk to her artist-to-artist, and he wanted to see if she would be cool with *some variation* of the lyrics he ultimately used. Do I think that if Taylor had said, in that moment, on that call, “please don’t say any of that, none of that is okay with me,” Kanye still would have done it? For sure. He still would have used those lyrics. And if that had been the situation, the conversation would have been a lot different around all of this. But the fact is… Taylor did not say that.

So, a new video from that 2016 conversation has been released. The Snake Fam is amplifying it like this proves that Taylor was right all along. It’s true that Kanye didn’t ask Taylor about the use of “bitch.” But… as he tosses out variations of the lyrics he ultimately uses, it’s clear that Taylor is quite aware of most of the final-version lyrics and the sentiments behind them. Which, guess what, was the point of the Snapchats from Kim Kardashian back in 2016. In case you still want to relitigate all of this – which the Snake Fam still seems eager to do, because I guess they’re bored during the quarantine – you can see the transcript from the call here at People Magazine, and I’m including the video below.

I’m not Team Swift or Team Kanye at this point, honestly. I cancelled Kanye years ago, and I only cover him occasionally when he’s doing something terrible, newsworthy or gossip-worthy. He’s a MAGA idiot and he’s trying to be a fake Evangelical scammer these days. Taylor isn’t cancelled at all and has done some admirable things. I actually enjoy covering her most of the time, but I just wish she and her fans would move on from all of this. Taylor was still trying to relitigate this in her September 2019 Rolling Stone cover story too. Please let it go.

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Getty.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

49 Responses to “There’s a longer video of Kanye West & Taylor Swift’s ‘Famous’ 2016 phone call”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Eleonor says:

    Why are we talking about this AGAIN?

  2. Allz says:

    God her fans are so annoying. They really think (I include buzzfeed too) this exonerates Taylor. Nah, this video proves nothing new? Her fans are even trying to say Taylor has a legal stand to sue Kim. Kanye has been cancelled since he wore that MAGA hat and said slaves were voluntary. Let it go, Taylor and fans, no one but you guys care about this feud anymore. Taylor sucked doing what she did, Kanye sucked and continues to suck. It just makes Taylor look dumb for bringing this back up.

    • sunny says:

      This! We all have kanclled Kayne to varying degrees, and most can agree he is a jerk but in this situation, Taylor was also in the wrong. Especially how she and her supporters framed it through the lens of an innocent, pure white woman being wronged by a black aggressor.

      Every time you think Taylor may be making progress, she reminds you that she is petty and juvenile. What a waste of time.

    • ennie says:

      This is not more about KW than it is about Kim who was manipulating the situation and called TS a snake using emojis and all that.
      I dislike everything Kardashian related, including that husband of hers, illness cannot justify his horrid behavior in general. TS is an intelligent, talented, hard working woman. I think she did not whole KW situation, starting with the awards. I am in a foreign country and that award thing was very small, irrelevant, compared to what her songs achieved a few years back.
      She is not perfect either, she used this too, I guess trying to make the best of it, not letting them getting away with it, I think she did not deserved to be used like this by that “christian” family, they are despicable and will hang to anyone more famous than them to profit from them.

      • Ronaldinhio says:

        I think Kim was bored with T.S. trying to play a victim and manipulate the situation in a racist manner
        The only thing that didn’t happen was he didn’t run the I made that bitch famous line past her – once she realised she had been taped it became all about that.

        She was fine for the sex line, knew he was writing and name checking her and he had called her and she gave him carte Blanche – do what you need to for your relationship blah blah
        He had no need to call her at all. He was sideswiped by her bullshit.

        This new people pleasing Schtick is another version of T S that she is serving up and cos she says it we all buy it. Nah.

        I think she lies and manipulates and when called out tantrums pivots and tries to rewrite the situation with her always looking like the victim

        Kim did the right thing. I would have done the same
        Also I would divorce Kanye – he is a pita matched only by Swift

  3. OriginalLala says:

    They are all problematic for different reasons. I have to admit this was entertaining to read about while is isolation though lol.

  4. Allz says:

    Can I ask how she is vindicated? She lied initially saying she never spoke with him about the song. Then she lied and said warned him against it. Then she lied and said she never heard the parts about him sleeping with her/making her famous. Then her final statement was that she never heard that he would use the word “b*tch”. That I guess has been proven, but is that really the victory her fans think they have? She lied, agreed to parts of his song, then tried to come out as victim. He in return became villainized, then actually became atrocious without Taylor’s help. No one is rooting for Kanye anymore. I guess that would and should be Taylor’s victory, but she still lied and sucked during that time.

    Ugh sorry the comment I was responding to was deleted.

    • Sara Jules says:

      She is not remotely vindicated. She initially said that he never called her. Yet, there is an on camera interview (three days before the Grammys) where the producer of the Grammy’s says she had an advance of the tape. She made him retract it the next day. All are shady but one remains immature like her 10 year old fans.

  5. Wigletwatcher says:

    Swift got cancelled ages ago for those paying attention. She does have great PR though. This orginal phone call discussion had so much underlying racism of scary black man vs. defenseless white woman.

    • Scollins says:

      She’s also got great talent though it may not be our own cup of tea. Can’t deny her sales records. She is and was a great role model esp for young girls. So I’ll give her my respect.
      Kanye imo is at his nastiest ever running his evangelical scam.

      • Beach Dreams says:

        Great talent??? She’s a horrible singer and her so-called “great songwriting” is incredibly juvenile. Plenty of talentless artists have sold lots of albums, and yes I am including Taylor among those ranks. Sales do not indicate talent.

      • Lady D says:

        You don’t think hundreds of millions in sales indicates any talent? If she was a flash in the pan she wouldn’t be worth almost half a billion. Although, having said that, I’m reminded of Paris Hilton who has no talent and is worth a billion along with her inheritance.

      • Wigletwatcher says:

        You don’t need talent to be successful. You just need a proper launching and full team for a sustainable image. Which she has always had. She was primed from the start.

        It can be argued pretty easily kanye has more talent. If we strip away the image, politics, personal life and focus on just the musical abilities, of course.

      • Holly hobby says:

        If you grew up listening to Ronstadt Nicks King etc you will know what talent is. Swiftly can’t even sing live without auto tune (see atrocious duet with Nicks). Sorry to say a lot of today’s entertainers are being sustained by image and fans (see the juvenile snake fam. Aren’t any of these kids in college by now? Still grabbing the pearls over this?). Yes it’s literally idol pop.

        The real mark of an artist is if they can sustain that career over 4 or more decades. Frankly I can’t see 40 yr old Taylor singing teen lyrics at this point.

      • Caty Page says:

        I think a lack of record sales don’t indicate a lack of talent, but arguing that high record sales aren’t an indicator of talent is pretentious.

        People willing CHOSE to buy her music, which means they enjoy it. So claiming she isn’t talented when millions of her albums have been willingly purchased just means you think your taste is objective and that you can decide who has talent and who doesn’t.

      • sa says:

        “People willing CHOSE to buy her music, which means they enjoy it. So claiming she isn’t talented when millions of her albums have been willingly purchased just means you think your taste is objective and that you can decide who has talent and who doesn’t.”

        Thank you @Caty Page! I’m not going to wade into the discussion of Taylor Swift’s talent, but it is one of my pet peeves (I have too many) when people think that their subjective opinions are the final objective arbiters of other subjective things, like talent or what’s best… It drives me batty every Oscar season with all those ‘what will win and what should win’ lists – I always want to scream that they should be more honest and call it a ‘what will win and what I personally want to win’ list.

      • SomeChick says:

        She was very good on Tiny Desk. Which was a solo, acoustic set. She performed for nearly half an hour.

        TBH I was surprised, because before that all I knew of her music was Never Ever Ever.

        She also writes her own stuff. It may not be to someone’s taste. But she does have talent.

  6. monstercat99 says:

    I don’t necessarily agree with this take, team – and before it gets pulled apart, I do think there is an incredible amount of important and valid Taylor criticism that has been played out (rightly so!) over the years. The way this call played out though, came across as calculated and manipulative. The line about “making her famous” was near-throwaway, and you can tell from the audio she was uncomfortable about it, so much so she put up a pithy defence of her album sales for fearless. And again, no “that bitch”. I think this call was a mixture of Taylor’s 1989 era “eager to please-ness” and finding it hard to find a way to walk back on ideas Kanye was spinning (e.g. her saying would need to hear the song/have to think about it, and she sounds uncertain.) Yeah, she walked along with a lot of the call at times, but I think the level of *purposeful* obfuscation on Kanye’s part was enough to leave any person walking away and wondering what they’d really spoken about or agreed to – it was so amazingly vague and scattered. It’s very “do first, apologise later” on Kanye’s end and on some level, I for one *owe Taylor an apology* because a younger, less wilier me has “been part of this narrative” of the goodbye Taylor era.

    also who leaked this lol

    • Lyli says:

      Well said.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        Good point. Neither really looks good in all this and both are problematic in different ways. Kanye promoting that it’s ok for girls to be subjected to virginity tests, his ‘slavery is a choice’ bs, and being a deplorable on top of everything else make him the bigger problem though.

    • Kate says:

      Yeah, I agree with this, she definitely sounds like a woman who is trying to accommodate something she is not entirely comfortable with. I forget how she initially reacted and so maybe she did make it sound like she had never had a conversation with him, but also when Kanye raps her the line about having sex she says she’s relieved because she thought he’d be mean and call her “that dumb stupid bitch”. And he reassures her that no he wouldn’t be mean like that and then DOES refer to her as “that bitch” in the end. I can see why she was upset and I kind of do think it backs up her statement that she never approved him calling her that bitch.

      But yeah, I mostly never want to think about any of this ever again except for wanting to know who leaked this and why now.

    • Hollz says:

      This exactly.

      I think Kris leaked it, as part of the exit plan to get Kim/the kids away from Kayne and his MAGA craziness.

    • Oh-Dear says:

      I agree with this take – I don’t think that you can ignore that she is still younger woman in a male-dominated industry who has always had men shaping her career. It is not easy to speak up in those spaces as articulately and forcefully as we all wish it were. And Kanye, at that point still had respect, producing credits, he was still one of the rappers on the most respected lists and the Kardashians are a force. This exchange needs to be read within that whole context.
      I think it is situations like this and with Scooter that have shaped her desire to speak about autonomy and female empowerment. She does it very poorly, and I don’t think she is the best messenger because she is an upper class white girl who had tons of good advice early on but that should not erase her current position in pop culture and the impact she can have on the way the industry works.

    • Cate says:

      My thoughts exactly!

  7. lucy2 says:

    I’m home with time, so I watched this. They’re both awful, and neither looks good here.
    She lied about it initially, got called on it, and then played the victim.
    His lyrics are gross, and putting her on the spot to approve of it and promote it is lousy.

    Then she had to listen to his endless rant about how him designing shoes was gong to save the world, and how much in debt he is…?

  8. Anilehcim says:

    Kim and Kanye are absolute garbage. Kim is not a feminist and I’m over anybody trying to act like she is. Kanye has no respect for women, period.

    HOWEVER…. This is just another case of Taylor’s baby-ish refusal to grow up or take accountability for anything publicly. Enough with the perma-victim bullshit. She’s a grown woman who makes her own decisions on various levels in her life. She is powerful and in control in so many situations. She could have and should have told Kanye she was uncomfortable with this and did not agree to it. She SOUNDED uncomfortable, yet she didn’t tell him that she was. Don’t start crying after the fact like you’re a victim when you were straight up asked how you felt about something and you weren’t honest.

  9. Juju says:

    Is it wrong that I’m actually glad to see this in the news? so much of what is online right now is about what’s going on in the world which is hugely important and consequential and I just need to read about something that doesn’t really matter at all. My brain needs this fluff!

    • Anilehcim says:

      Juju, it is not wrong at all. I’m so here for any kind of escapism I can get at this point. We all need a break. Wishing you and everyone here the best during this time <3

  10. Ann says:

    This feud is never going to end, is it? It’s entirely one sided at this point. Kanye hasn’t engaged with Taylor since the receipts, even after 2 albums and a documentary. Her and the diehard swifties need to let this go. But they won’t.

    • Oh-Dear says:

      do you think Taylor released this? How would she have obtained the video? This is completely the Kardashians.

      • Ann says:

        Taylor’s team had the lead on this and were doing the hashtags before any Kardashian. Nobody in the KarJenner or Kanye camps are commenting on this buy Taylor is liking tumblr posts and is trending. I think this is all Taylor’s team. How they got the footage is a mystery to me but none of this feels like a Kardashian play. It screams snake army to me.

    • Jules says:

      I’m also side-eyeing that someone mysteriously leaked this. This is a PR move by someone, calculated. Someone had this and was waiting for a certain time. And here we are at a time when there is a global pandemic and everyone is home glued to the news. Wtf. These two famewhores are so addicted to their own image it’s disgusting. No winners here.

  11. FC says:

    The big question…who leaked this? Kris? If so, is there a divorce coming, or is there some other reason she’s trying to throw Kanye to the snakes right now?

  12. Beach Dreams says:

    This doesn’t really change anything. And apparently Taylor’s been spending time on Tumblr liking her fans’ screams of vindication. How pathetic on her part.

  13. Anony83 says:

    I have absolutely zero skin in the game for this feud as I don’t particularly like either of these people but I do think that Kim (and lets not forget that KIM was a big part of bringing this all back to a head in 2016 or whenever) absolutely made the decision to purposefully post an edited version of the video that was as flattering to Kanye as humanly possible.

    I mean, I think what the video shows (and showed in either version) is that “celebrity feuds” are frequently largely manufactured for and by the media. And blaming one side or the other is silly as it very much takes two to tango. Taylor wasn’t some poor white up and comer who didn’t know any better; she’s a businesswoman who has always shown she has excellent PR instincts (as long as that PR is a narrative that SHE wants to drive) but Kanye was also some innocent dude who was unfairly attacked because of his race.

    While I would love to NEVER hear about this controversy again, I think this expanded video does serve as a reminder that neither side of this has been innocent or entirely truthful in how they’ve dealt with the “feud.” And that the feud wasn’t nearly as intense as the media wants us to believe until after Kanye dropped this song. Was the lyric in question really worth Taylor’s reaction? Nah, not really. But this concept that she knew exactly what he was going to say and approved it seems like a stretch. (I mean, doesn’t she specifically say in the video that she can’t affirmatively approve a lyric she hasn’t even heard the final draft of yet? As a lawyer, I actually applaud her for wanting to see the ACTUAL text before approving it.)

  14. Other Renee says:

    I liked country pop Taylor even though I’m not a country music fan. I liked the song “Shake It Off” and that was the last thing I liked of hers. She is what I would call an entertainer rather than a singer. Mediocre voice but packaged well and probably does a great choreographed show.

    This thing with Kanye is so boring. Eye roll inducing.

  15. Earthbound says:

    Kanye and Kim did lie and misinterpret. Taylor didnt. She explicitly states in the phone call that she was afraid the line was going to be that she was a ‘bitch.’
    And Kanyes like no…blab.
    This makes them look bad, not Taylor . And I like Kanye as an artist, not Taylor so much.
    I’m glad she released her own receipts, I would too.

    • Dara says:

      Taylor didn’t lie or misrepresent? Are you kidding? First she *lied* about never even talking to Kanye. Then she *lied* about discussing the lyrics to the song. And again when she said she never gave him her approval. I’ll grant that she told the truth about one word, but didn’t she also tell Kanye she would let everyone know she was in on the joke and knew about the song all along and then did the exact opposite? And have you forgotten the famous “I want to be excluded from this narrative I never asked to be a part of”? That’s the biggest misrepresentation in all of this if you ask me.

      You can defend Taylor for a lot of legitimate reasons, but her honesty in this particular situation is not one of them.

  16. Case says:

    Neither side is innocent, and Taylor DID make a huge mistake by acting at first like she didn’t know about the song, or cautioned him against releasing it, etc. She outright lied there, and we’ve known that for a long time.

    That said — she’s clearly uncomfortable in that call, and Kanye went on to use a sculpture of her naked body in the music video for this song. So yeah, I’m team Taylor on this, even though she was completely in the wrong to have lied about it initially.

  17. Oliviajoy1995 says:

    There has always been a lot of hype about this song “Famous” when I never one time heard it on the radio or anywhere else for that matter. Kanye and Kim were a**holes for only releasing parts of the call and Taylor even paying this song any attention in the first place when the song never amounted to anything and she gained a lot of victimhood off of it makes her look like an a**hole too. These three need to move on and never speak of it or eachother again.

  18. Ramona Q. says:

    It took him EIGHT MONTHS to come up with THAT line? Not impressed.

    • Jules says:

      lol right? there are layers upon layers of idiocy to all of this.

      • Peaches says:

        Remember when Kanye was everything? College dropout, late registration, graduation, were pry the only albums I ever bought and listened to nonstop. How sad to see it come to this.

  19. julieJ says:

    Taylor didn’t release this. If she had this, it would have been released a LONG TIME AGO. I believe the Trashy Kardashy’s did as they feel any publicity is good publicity. Or this could be a preemptive strike for when KKW finally files for divorce from Kanye-Slavery-is-a-Choice-West. No dogs in this fight. All are pathetic

    • Jules says:

      Hmm, I dunno! We’ll have to see who ends up really benefitting from this and if it’s meant to distract from something else. And we don’t know what really goes on behind the scenes. Shady deals, money, bargaining. At this rate I wouldn’t even be surprised if Kanye and Taylor are actually in cahoots with each other and trolling us all. this feud is so ridiculous.

      • julieJ says:

        I never even thought of that. Or as people have said, KUWTK has had very low ratings. This could be to bolster those.

  20. Leah says:

    He’s annoying, she’s annoying and twiddlebang was the most annoying celeb thing in 2016. Tom Hiddleston now looks like he’s aged about 25 years from the entire episode, and Kanye and Taylor are still acting like two junior high school girls.

    They deserve each other. They both need therapy.