One of the more explosive lyrics from Kanye West‘s The Life of Pablo finds the rapper saying of Taylor Swift on “Famous,” “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that bitch famous.” Soon after the Yeezy Season Three livestream, TMZ reported that Swift herself approved the lyrical jab, a reference to West’s acceptance speech-stealing moment at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. However, Swift’s rep released a statement Thursday night denying any complicity with the song and its “strong misogynistic message.”
“Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account. She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message,” Swift’s rep said. “Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that bitch famous.'”
Following The Life of Pablo livestream, it was clear that Swift’s friends and family didn’t know the “Famous” jab was coming. Swift’s brother Austin posted an Instagram video where he tossed a pair of Yeezy sneakers in the garbage. Model Gigi Hadid, a friend of Swift’s who attended the Yeezy Season 3 launch at Madison Square Garden, tweeted, “My attendance somewhere does not mean I agree with everything being said in the music playing there. My friends know of my loyalty.”
In an October interview with GQ, Swift talked about the incident at the 2009 VMAs and how her relationship with West has changed since then.
“When the crowd started booing, I thought they were booing because they also believed I didn’t deserve the award. That’s where the hurt came from,” Swift said. “I went backstage and cried, and then I had to stop crying and perform five minutes later. I just told myself I had to perform, and I tried to convince myself that maybe this wasn’t that big of a deal. But that was the most happenstance thing to ever happen in my career. And to now be in a place where Kanye and I respect each other –that’s one of my favorite things that has happened in my career.”