Taylor Swift isn’t staying quiet any more.
After six months of staying under the radar (save for one very public courtroom battle against former radio host David Mueller who was found guilty by a jury of assaulting the star in 2013), the Grammy winner, 27, is facing the haters head-on with her new single “Look What You Made Me Do.”
From her feuds with Katy Perry and Kimye to a snake-like image curated by a critical public, the star appears to take on all of the biggest headlines from the last several years of her life.
TAYLOR VS. ____?
As soon as the song dropped, fans latched onto the specific lyrics “I don’t like your little games / I don’t like your tilted stage” and “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now / Why? ‘Cause she’s dead.”
Though she doesn’t mention Kanye West by name, the rapper used a tilted stage while on his Saint Pablo tour.
I feel so bad for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Taylor Swift just ended them.
— 🥀 (@illumigomez) August 25, 2017
Taylor Swift: “Don’t like your tilted stage.”
— ShaneOh (@Cpt_InShaneOh) August 25, 2017
And last summer, Swift’s feud with West, 40, exploded after Kim Kardashian West, 36, leaked a phone call between the “Shake It Off” singer and her husband on Snapchat. In the edited clips of the call, Swift appeared to give West her blessing over a line referencing her in his song, “Famous.”
However, Swift hit back at the couple afterwards on Instagram, saying West never told her he was going to call Swift “that bitch” in his song. “You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world,” she captioned her post. “He promised to play the song for me, but he never did.”
Kardashian West also associated the snake emoji with Swift, and fans of the Wests flooded the pop star’s social media accounts with the emoji.
“The role you made me play / Of the fool, no, I don’t like you,” Swift also sings in “Look.”
Swift and West have had a complicated relationship since 2009, when the rapper interrupted the singer’s best female video acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards. The duo appeared to have patched up their differences and were seen buddying up at the Grammy Awards in 2014 before Swift presented an award to West at the MTV VMAs later that year.
Some fans believe the lyric “Locked me out and threw a feast (what?)” is a reference to longtime frenemy Katy Perry. The singer released a single named “Bon Appétit” earlier this year and the video featured a ready-to-be-devoured Perry.
— Thea Limon (@midnightfaded89) August 25, 2017
— Mallory Overton (@malloryoverton) August 25, 2017
Just heard new Taylor Swift…and my prediction she’d bury the hatchet w/ Katy Perry @ VMAs just went out the window #LookWhatYouMadeMeDo
— Lou Smith (@akadlj) August 25, 2017
After Swift released her hit song “Bad Blood” in 2014 and revealed in an interview it was written about a friend-turned-enemy, Perry appeared to confirm rumors the song was about her when she tweeted “Watch out for the Regina George in sheep’s clothing.”
Though Swift has never confirmed the song was written about Perry, 32, the latter opened up several times about the feud while promoting her own album, Witness, earlier this year. She also teamed up with Nicki Minaj (who had her own scuffle with Swift) for the song “Swish Swish,” which is rumored to be about Swift.
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“Honestly, it’s really like she started it, and it’s time for her to finish it,” Perry told James Corden during her Carpool Karaoke segment on The Late Late Show with James Corden. “I tried to talk to her about it and she wouldn’t speak to me.”
After Swift released her entire catalogue to streaming platforms at the same time Perry released her album, Perry told Ariana Huffington she was “ready” to let the feud go. “Maybe I don’t agree with everything she does and she doesn’t agree with everything I do, but I just really, truly want to come together in a place of love and forgiveness and understanding and compassion,” she said.
TAYLOR VS … TAYLOR?
The song as a whole could also be addressing the media’s perception of Swift as a hypocrite over the last several years.
“I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me / I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams,” sings Swift.
The star took the same route in 2014 when she released “Blank Space,” a song that poked fun at the portrayal of her love life.
“[From] 2013 to 2013, they thought I was dating too much because I dated two people in a year and a half, but whatever — we’ll leave it there,” she said during an interview with NME in 2014. “‘Oh, a serial dater. She only writes songs to get emotional revenge on guys. She’s a man hater. Don’t let her near your boyfriend.’ It was just kind of excessive and, you know, at first it was hurtful and then I kind of found a little comedy in it.”
“This character is so interesting though,” she added at the time. “If you go and read these gossip sites and they describe how I am, [it’s] so opposite my actual life.”
Earlier this year, a source told PEOPLE Swift “made the conscious choice” to go under the radar. “She was feeling overexposed and like things were almost spiraling out of control,” said the source. “She’s being low-key and secretive [right now] because it makes her happy.”
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