Kanye West, Taylor Swift, musicians, VMA,
Kanye West, Taylor Swift, musicians, VMA,

Why Does Kanye West Wanna Hump Taylor Swift So Badly?!

Kanye West has a new album out, The Life of Pablo. Despite numerous delays and countless name-changes, the album was supposed to be a triumphant return from one of our most envelope-pushing mega-stars.

pablo
West’s new album cover for The Life of Pablo

West was even audacious enough to debut the album at a Tidal-sponsored, Madison Square Garden gig. But any praise for his new project was quickly obscured by an instantly infamous line about Taylor Swift in new song, “Famous.”

The incriminating line goes, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.” Unsurprisingly, the lyric immediately caused a firestorm of controversy. And it has once again deeply entwined these two artists into an ugly, unnecessary spat.

West and Swift, of course, have a history of bad blood; who could forget when he notoriously stormed the stage during her acceptance speech at the 2009 Video Music Awards?

gty_taylor_swift_kanye_vma_2009_js_150209_16x9_992
“I’ma let you finish, but…” That infamous VMA moment, in 2009

That moment perfectly crystallized two separate notions that had been gaining momentum: 1) that West, despite his musical brilliance, was an asshole; and that 2) Swift was America’s sweetheart. West’s award-show-temper-tantrums had previously been tossed aside as inglorious boasting, but this time he had crossed a line; even President Obama weighed in, calling West a “jackass.”

From that point on, West’s and Swift’s stories were forever interwoven. Swift, for her part, has seemed to put the incident behind her, even going so far as to present West with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2015 Video Music Awards. But West can’t seem to let go, and this new diss has reopened old wounds.

Exacerbating the controversy is West’s half-assed excuses-as-explanations.  He should have stuck to his guns and defended his art; he attempted this with his first responsive tweet to the brouhaha, stating, “First thing is I’m an artist and as an artist I will express how I feel with no censorship.” But the effect was diluted with subsequent tweets that either put the blame on Swift (saying she gave her blessing to the lyric) or tried to turn the controversy into a semantics game (explaining that “Bitch is an endearing term in hip hop like the word Nigga”).

Both justifications are flimsy (could you imagine West’s reaction if Swift had called him a bitch in one of her songs?!). And Swift’s camp has fired back, labeling the lyric as “misogynistic.” The whole thing reeks of desperation on West’s part.

FYI re Kanye/Taylor/”Famous” aka mom and dad broke up again

A photo posted by joncaramanica (@joncaramanica) on

And what’s ironic is that West, for all his desires to be taken seriously as an artist, truly thrives on controversy. Like Madonna in the ‘80s, half the fun of watching West’s career unfold is wondering what he’ll say or do next. However, West seems strangely obsessed with Swift for some reason. He’s annoyed with the public’s constant preoccupation of his VMA-moment with Swift (even calling MTV out in his Video Vanguard acceptance speech for repeatedly airing the scene), yet he’s the one fanning the flames here.

Some of this must be jealously on West’s part. After their 2009 VMA meeting, West’s career has largely been eclipsed by Swift’s.

kanye
You mad, Kanye, that Taylor Swift is so popular?

West’s career is by no means in critical danger — he still has platinum albums and top forty hits — but he cannot hold a candle to the zillions of albums and the four number-one singles Swift has had since then.

Therefore, West is trying to claim ownership on Swift’s success by attributing her accomplishments with their VMA debacle. But this is misguided. Swift’s career was already ascending before she had the misfortune of meeting West. Instead, West’s lyric reduces him to a mean-spirited douchebag, once again.

taylor
Swift, laughing at West’s claims that he made her famous

The fracas surrounding West’s lyric comes before the song’s musical merits can be fully discussed (”Famous” is not currently available to purchase or stream). Given West’s alchemist way with words, the song should be another impressive piece in an already overflowing collection of songs. And with Rihanna providing guest vocals, the song even has the potential to be a hit single.

But, unfortunately, the song’s future success will always be overshadowed by this strange, never-ending saga between two of music’s most notable performers.

There’s an old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. But in West’s case, his endless obsession with Swift has become tiresome and boring. Here’s hoping his new album has another trick up its sleeve.