Swift in “Look What You Made Me Do”

      Recently, Taylor Swift dropped all her celebrity beef on the table in her new single, “Look What You Made Me Do”. In the song, the singer makes note of her own damaged reputation that has followed her since the start of her career. Unlike her previous works, Swift’s new track has an edgy tone and is paired with a music video that includes imagery that seems to be targeted at her famous rivals. Notably, the song calls out pop icon Katy Perry.

      The backstory to the feud between the pop chart toppers, according to Perry’s interview with James Corden, is that Swift used some of Perry’s backup dancers while on tour with Perry’s complete approval. However, when Perry wanted to ask the dancers to go on tour with her the next record cycle, the dancers were fired from Swift’s tour after talking to Swift’s management.

      Since then, Swift has been a player in the game of escalating petty actions. First, there have been numerous speculations that claim Swift’s song “Bad Blood” off of her smash album, 1989, is in fact about Perry. Next, on the same day as Perry’s Witness album release, Swift released all of her music on Spotify, meaning her old jams streamed more that Perry’s new masterpiece. Later, Swift released her music video to “Look What You Made Me Do” during this year’s American Music Awards, which Perry hosted.

      And now, with Swift’s new video, audiences are bearing witness to yet another petty brawl. In the video, Swift often refers to people receiving karma for their actions. This may be in response to Perry’s Carpool Karaoke interview with James Corden in which she stated that Swift would be getting her karma soon. Also, In Perry’s recent single, “Swish, Swish,” the singer claims to be getting her receipts. Perry may have been referring to an accountability check or demanding Swift admit to her wrongs. Allegedly in response to that, Swift’s music video mocks a version of herself getting her own receipts. Although all of these claims are coincidental and may not have real facts to back them up, fans from both artists have avidly kept up with this feud for years and will probably continue to do so.

      In addition to Perry, some have speculated that Swift’s new video also references Kanye West. In West’s recent song “Famous,” the artist claimed to have single-handedly made Swift famous. This line in the song is referring to Kanye’s infamous interruption of Swift’s  acceptance speech at the Video Music Award for best female video for “You Belong With Me” in 2009. In the middle of the speech, West interrupted Swift, took the microphone, and proceeded to claim that Beyonce deserved the award. Swift received a plethora of media attention from that interaction. In the next year, Swift sang “Innocent,” written in response to the 2009 debacle. Since then, some claim that Swift’s new single, “Look What You Made Me Do” is a shot at West. West has publicly referred to Swift as a snake, or a lion in sheep’s skin, and snakes are a major motif in Swift’ video. Also, Swift has received backlash from her dance break because it closely resembles dance sequences and settings in Beyonce’s “Formation” video. Since Swift and Beyonce have not publicly fought, the stunt might have been another stab at West. Perhaps through imitating Beyonce’s dance sequence, Swift was accepting her reputation of being famous for “stealing” Beyonce’s MTV award.

      No matter who Swift is allegedly referencing in this new song and album, I think she’s mostly       commenting on herself– embracing and even attacking the reputations others have made for her over the years. Perhaps, her making this video is a tribute to herself for coming so far. The reputation that made Swift famous also encompasses her achievments of selling millions of records and selling out dozens of arenas.

      Swift’s new album, Reputation, is being released Nov. 10 of this year. Whether or not the celebrity feuds will continue as more singles are released, I think this direction is amazing for Swift. This new sound lets Swift accept her standing reputation with the media but also lets her rewrite some of her reputation that has been inaccurate over the years.

     Sources: Carpool Karaoke, CNN (for the spotify reference), MTV

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