Great Debate

Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West

More stories from Hailey Novak

More stories from Gabriel Lagarde


Taylor Swift

There’s plenty of chirping lately about how country-turned-mainstream pop star Taylor Swift has completely lost her media presence following the “did-she-or-didn’t-she know” feud with Kanye West. Yet for some reason we just can’t seem to keep her name out of our mouths, Kanye included.

That could be because he loves to listen to himself talk.

What’s all the fuss about? Swift was upset when Kanye released his new song, “Famous” claiming that she never granted him permission to say.

“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that b**** famous.”

Kim sacrificed several minutes of selfie-snapping to release a viral Snapchat story that apparently proves otherwise.

In Kim’s SnapStory there’s never any proof that Taylor granted Kanye permission to say “I made that b**** famous” so her being publically upset at the line in that case is warranted.

So who do we believe?

While it’s hard (read: nearly impossible) to divulge the truth when celebrities are involved, I will point to some facts that hint Kanye isn’t exactly the most trustworthy of the two, especially considering he’s known for saying whatever the heck he wants, regardless of the consequences.

Take the 2009 Grammy’s when Kanye waltzed onto the stage and interrupted Tay’s acceptance speech by taking the microphone out of her hands and saying,

“I’m happy for you and I’mma let you finish but Beyonce had one of the best music videos of all time.”

Um, excuse me?

Or maybe the fact that he’s known for his egotism, arrogance, self-absorbtion and, oh yeah, I guess music. On that note (pun intended) he also titled a track he wrote, “I am God.” I’ll just leave that there.

While Kanye has offended and angered many people because of his actions over the years, for some reason Taylor always draws more negative attention for being “boy crazy” and mainstream. Yep, that makes perfect sense.

So if you support Kanye, then be my guest and grant him another round of applause that he doesn’t deserve, but I’m going to continue to let the haters hate (hate hate hate hate) and shake them off while supporting Team Tay.

For all we know it could be a pre-meditated stunt to give Kanye a publicity boost and perhaps Tay as well before she drops her new album. Because let’s be real, it has to happen soon.

—Hailey Novak

Kanye West

Yo, Hailey, I’m happy for you and I’mma let you finish, but I’m about to drop one of the best rebuttals of all time.

For the record, this isn’t an argument of who’s more likeable. This isn’t even an argument for who started it. No one is going to argue that Kanye West’s actions were appropriate, from the 2009 VMA’s to the present “Famous” feud.

West is, self-admittedly, his own worst enemy. Whatever good motives he might have, they always get tripped up by his Nebraska-sized ego and penchant for the ridiculous.

The argument is not that West isn’t at fault; it’s that both West and Swift are equally complicit in this circus.

Taylor Swift just as savvy a businesswoman as she is a gifted artist has cultivated an image of herself that uniquely conveys Hollywood-esque perfection, yet speaks to the awkward, the ignored and those who feel not good enough.  

This means, more often than not, that Swift takes the position of a victim, the tragic unlucky heroine. Look no further than the beginning of the whole fiasco, her Best Female Video win for “You Belong With Me,” which is essentially the anthem of underappreciated friendzoned girls.

Make no mistake, Swift is not a victim here and she has as much to gain as West, if not more.

As Rolling Stone observed in its February synopsis of the pop showdown: “Cynics might note that this feud flares up when there’s an award show on the horizon, or one of the artists in question has a new album to promote.

It cannot be stated enough how these spectacles drive media exposure, social network traffic and sales.

In comedic terms, Swift is the straight man to West’s clownish antics. While she may publicly bemoan being caught up in West’s misogynistic and vulgar behavior, behind closed doors she agreed with West’s assessment that her reference in “Famous” was a “cool thing to have” and described it, in her own words, as “almost a compliment.”

That is where Kim Kardashian’s notorious SnapStory breaks the case open. It’s hard to argue Swift didn’t have a full grasp of what the song entailed (as Swift claimed after the footage was released) when the artist himself recited the inflammatory verses, word for word, and she gave her blessing without a hint of reservation.

Maybe her arguments would hold water if she took a page from the book of Yeezus and asked her ex-boyfriends for permission to “assassinate their character” with her music.

Until then, let’s not pretend Taylor Swift is taking a higher road than Kanye West. She knew exactly what she had to gain from the exchange.

—Gabriel Lagarde