On Sunday night, Kardashian released snippets of a conversation between West and Swift with the caption: “Judge for yourself.” In the video, Swift and West have a seemingly friendly phone exchange over West’s “Famous” lyric, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex.” “I really appreciate you telling me about it, that’s really nice,” Swift said, adding, “For you to ask me if I’d be okay with it, I really appreciate it. I’d never expect you to tell me about a line in your song.”
Swift and her spokesperson had repeatedly denied approving the lyric — particularly West’s line, “I made that bitch famous” — while West and Kardashian claimed that Swift knew about the song and lyrics before the release. On Instagram, Swift posted a screen grab statement with the caption: “That moment when Kanye West secretly records your phone call, then Kim posts it on the Internet.”
“Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song?,” the singer wrote. “It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world.”
— HIP HOP FACTS (@DailyRapFacts) July 18, 2016
Swift accused West and Kardashian of “character assassination” and repeated her assertion that she hadn’t heard the finished version of the song prior to its release. “He promised to play the song for me, but he never did,” Swift wrote. “While I wanted to be supportive of Kanye on the phone call, you cannot ‘approve’ a song you haven’t heard. Being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part of the song is character assassination.”
Kardashian resurrected the feud in her recent interview with GQ Magazine, claiming that there was video evidence of a phone conversation where Swift heard the lyric and gave West permission to use it. “She totally knew that that was coming out,” Kardashian said in the interview. “I swear, my husband gets so much shit for things [when] he really was doing proper protocol and even called to get it approved … So many respected people in the music business heard that [conversation] and knew.”
Kardashian also told GQ that the reason she had not released the footage was because of a potential litigious situation. “[Swift’s camp] sent an attorney’s letter like, ‘Don’t you dare do anything with that footage,’ and asking us to destroy it,” said Kardashian.
A rep for Swift declined to comment on Swift’s statement.
West released the Life of Pablo single “Famous” in April. The lyric references Swift’s 2009 VMA Awards, when West interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech onstage saying that Beyonce should have won the award. When the song was released, Swift repeatedly denied that West sought and obtained her approval for the controversial lyric.
Taylor Swift’s Statement on Leaked “Famous” Conversation
Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song? It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world. Of course I wanted to like the song. I wanted to believe Kanye when he told me that I would love the song. I wanted us to have a friendly relationship. He promised to play the song for me, but he never did. While I wanted to be supportive of Kanye on the phone call, you cannot ‘approve’ a song you haven’t heard. Being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part of the song is character assassination. I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I have never asked to be a part of, since 2009.
Below is the full transcript of the conversation between Swift and West that Kardashian leaked on Snapchat per The Fader.
Kanye West: OK, dope. You still got the Nashville number?
Taylor Swift: I still have the nashville area code but i had to change it…
Kanye: For all my south side n****s that know me best, feel like me and Taylor might still have sex.
Taylor: I’m like this close to overexposure.
Kanye: Oh well this one is, uh — I think this is a really cool thing to have
Taylor: I know! I mean it’s like a compliment kind of.
Kanye: What I give a fuck about is just you as a person, and as a friend.
Taylor: That’s sweet.
Kanye: I want things that make you feel good. I don’t wanna do rap that makes people feel bad.
Taylor: Um, ya. I mean, go with whatever line you think is better. It’s obviously very tongue in cheek either way. And I really appreciate you telling me about it, that’s really nice!
Kanye: Yea. I just felt I had a responsibility to you as a friend. I mean, thanks for being so cool about it.
Taylor: Aw, thanks! Yeah I really appreciate it. Like, the heads up is so nice!
Taylor: …things without like even asking or seeing if I’d be OK with it. And I just really appreciate it. I never would’ve expect you to tell me about a line in your song.
Taylor: And then the flowers that you sent me, I Instagrammed a picture of them and it’s the most Instagram likes I’ve ever gotten. It was like 2.7…
Kanye: Relationships are more important than punchlines, you know.
Taylor: Yeah. I mean, I don’t think anybody would listen to that and be like, Oh, that’s a real diss. Like, she must be crying about…
Taylor: You gotta tell the story the way that it happened to you and the way you experienced it. Like you obviously didn’t know who I was before that.
Taylor: It doesn’t matter if I sold 7 million of that album before you did that, which is what happened. You didn’t know who I was before that.
Taylor: … that I can make these things happen and I have the ideas to do it and I create these things and concepts. And, like, I’m always gonna respect you.
Taylor: And I’m really glad you had the respect to call me that and tell me that as a friend, about the song. It’s just a really cool thing to do, and a really good show of friendship. So thank you.
Kanye: Thank you too.
Taylor: And you know, if people ask me about it, I think it would be great for me to be like, Look, he called me and told me about the line before it came out. Like, joke’s on you guys, we’re fine.
Taylor: You guys wanna call this a feud, you wanna call this throwing shade. But right after the song comes out I’m gonna be on a Grammy red carpet and they’re gonna ask me about it and I’m gonna be like, he called me.
Taylor: …awesome that you’re so outspoken and it’s gonna be like, Yea, she does, it made her famous! It’s more provocative to say, Might still have sex.
Taylor: …it’s not. It doesn’t matter to me. there’s not one that hurts my feelings and one that doesn’t.
Kanye West used a likeness of Taylor Swift in his video for “Famous.” Watch here.