Since 2009, “Imma let you finish, but…” has been one of the most recognized phrases in pop culture lexicon. But the exact way that drama continued to unfold in the years since has remained shrouded in mystery, until now. In a candid new interview, Taylor Swift called Kanye West “two-faced” — and told her side of the events that led up to the pair’s now-infamous 2015 phone call (and subsequent fallout).
To recap, Swift and West’s relationship had been contentious since West interrupted Swift at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards during her Best Female Video acceptance speech. At that time, the general public rallied around Swift. But when she expressed her displeasure in 2016 over his single “Famous,” circumstances had changed. He was married to Kim Kardashian West, who released secretly-recorded piecemeal audio seeming to prove that Swift was onboard with the song lyrics behind the scenes.
According to Swift, though, it wasn’t that cut and dry. “The world didn’t understand the context and the events that led up to it. Because nothing ever just happens like that without some lead-up,” Swift told Rolling Stone. “Some events took place to cause me to be pissed off when he called me a bitch. That was not just a singular event. Basically, I got really sick of the dynamic between he and I. And that wasn’t just based on what happened on that phone call and with that song — it was kind of a chain reaction of things.”
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Taylor Swift returns to Rolling Stone's cover in our new issue, giving one of the most revealing interviews of her career. Click the link in our bio to read the story in full, where she tells Brian Hiatt her side of the last three years, from the backstory of that infamous phone call to her musical evolution and much, much more. “People had so much fun hating me, and they didn’t really need very many reasons to do it," she says. "I felt like the situation was pretty hopeless.” Photograph by @erikmadiganheck
What was the chain of events? And how did Swift come to determine that, in her opinion, West is a disingenuous person? Per Swift, the two had made peace in the years following the 2009 VMAs. So, when West reportedly called Swift to ask her to present him the Vanguard Award at the 2015 VMAs, she felt honored. He explained how much it meant to him for her to do it, and she agreed to do it. Then, at the show, he joked that MTV asked Swift to present him the award to boost ratings.
It shook Swift. “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. I was so upset.”
But, once again, the two made nice. When he called her to tell her about the line, “Me and Taylor might still have sex” in “Famous,” Swift was OK with it. But he didn’t tell her about the line that actually incensed her: “I made that bitch famous.” It didn’t go over well. Upon hearing it, said Swift, “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.'”
Now, Swift says she’s in a much better headspace to deal with any drama that might come her way. “It’s weird, because in some of the worst times of my career, and reputation, dare I say, I had some of the most beautiful times — in my quiet life that I chose to have,” she said, continuing, “The bad stuff was really significant and damaging. But the good stuff will endure.” Amen to that.