November 29, 2022

Taylor vs. Kanye: The Story Behind the Beef

By: Mira Eagan

As a Taylor Swift fan, social media has been one of the most effective ways I’ve kept up with her life. While social media fights and internet beef engulfed Swift, the naysayers only furthered her stardom. One of the biggest social media fights I’ve seen is Taylor vs. Kanye. At the time, many people were quick to take sides without knowing the whole story. Swift’s experience shows how facts can be manipulated on social media and how cyberbullying affects people–even the most prominent celebrities.  

It all started at the 2009 MTV music awards. Taylor Lautner took the stage to announce the female video of the year. The crowd went silent as the nominees were announced, including “Single Ladies” by Beyonce, “You Belong with Me” By Taylor Swift, “Hot and Cold” by Katy Perry, and “So What!” By Pink. Lautner announced that Taylor Swift, the young country artist, had won the award. As Swift took the stage, she was filled with excitement as she stated, “I always dreamed about what it would be like to maybe win one of these someday, but I never actually thought it would have happened.” Seconds later, famous rapper Kanye West stormed on stage and took the microphone during her speech. West said, “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time!” Swift stood there speechless, the crowd cheered for West, and Swift was left humiliated. 

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jason Decrow/AP/Shutterstock (9515192d) Kanye West, Taylor Swift. Singer Kanye West takes the microphone from singer Taylor Swift as she accepts the “Best Female Video” award during the MTV Video Music Awards on in New York MTV Video Music Awards Show, New York, USA – 13 Sep 2009

The VMA’s were only the start of internet fights, cyberbullying, and leading to Taylor Swift going into hiding for a year. Following the 2009 VMA’s Swift and West continued in their independent careers. Swift quickly became one of the most famous and well-known singers of our generation. They never officially resolved their beef, but they were often pictured at award shows together, exchanging conversations. In 2016 West was writing his seventh studio album, Life of Pablo, and he gave Swift a call because he wanted to write some lyrics inspired by their relationship. On the phone, Swift stated she agreed to the lyrics of “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex” because she thought it was “funny and flattering.” But, when the song officially came out, the lyrics were different than those discussed. West states, “I made that b**tch famous.” Swift was highly offended by this, which led to Kim Kardashian talking negatively on the show “Keeping up with Kardashians” and then posting the footage of the private phone call with Swift on Twitter. As the internet began to portray Swift as a liar, people began tweeting her nasty things, and many of her close friends chose the more popular side. People were leaving hate comments on her talent, appearance, and personality which severely damaged her mental health.  After this beef, Swift went into hiding for a year. When she came out of hiding, she released her sixth studio album “Reputation” which I find to be a girl-boss move. I learned about Swift’s side of this mainly through her Netflix documentary,  “Miss Americana” which I encourage everyone to watch if they are interested in a more in-depth perspective on this story.

As a die-hard Swiftie, I may have a different opinion on this situation. But, I do not tolerate bullying, even if it happens to celebrities. Social media gives bullying an accessible platform with little to no consequences. We most likely will have similar situations in the future, but we must stay true to who and what we love. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this rant and if you ever want to talk about Taylor Swift connect with me on LinkedIn.

10 thoughts on “Taylor vs. Kanye: The Story Behind the Beef

  1. Team Swiftie!!! I agree that there will 100% be similar situations that have already happened or will be happening in the future. It seems at just about any award show there is always some type of beef. For example the recent Will Smith and Chris Rock blow up. I think that bullying and cyberbullying is in fact out of pocket, wether that be at award shows or not. This was a great blog post Mira! Keep it up.

  2. Kanye West is known for his beefs with other artists. I didn’t know the full extent of his bullying towards Taylor Swift. I find it interesting she even agreed to let his lyrics stand. I think artists have battles because it gains attention and promotes their careers. This blog post was really interesting and relatable to current times. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Swfitie blog post <3. Thank you for this recount, Mira. It is kind of very horrifying to know the power the internet has. There legitimately was a time where (probably speaking a tiny bit hyperbolic here) Taylor was the most hated woman on social media. And the media always portraying a specific narrative of her…reducing her to romantic partners and whatnot. Harrowing to know that happened. And the power random voices online have to sway public opinion. It's very scary to think about.

  4. This is actually very helpful, Mira. I never fully understood the beef between the two, but always found it strange Kanye called her out in his song claiming to have made her famous. Nonetheless, I just learned something new so thank you!

  5. Really interesting post! I’m a Kanye fan so I followed some of the Life of Pablo drama, and I’ve always been bewildered that people call Swift a liar because of that phone call where Kanye didn’t actually run the more offensive line by her. The bullying on social media goes way overboard and doesn’t even have a basis. I didn’t know that Swift went off the grid after that, but it makes sense.

  6. Hi Mira! As both a Taylor and a Kanye fan, I loved reading this article. I think that something so interesting about both of those figures is that they are both extremely cryptic on social media, but in the most wildly different ways. Also, although I love keeping up with their scandals as well as their social media, I never actually thought of the connection between the two and how social media was even showing to their fans how they were feeling (even if it meant a hiatus or an infamous “National Snake Day” tweet). Once again, I loved your article (also stan Reputation).

  7. First off, love the “die-hard Swiftie” piece. As something who involves himself a lot in the music industry, this was great to read. It gave me a fresh perspective and take on this beef that happened. It also just goes to show that there are so many people focused on getting the next piece of news in the music industry, and people should be careful about it! Great work.

  8. I remember when this happened and thinking it was so horrible of Kanye to do. I have always been a die hard Taylor fan and once I was old enough to understand how awful this was for her it made me so sad. She was so young and Kanye was way out of line. Great work, Mira!

  9. Hi Mira!
    This controversial topic has always been something interesting to me. I am a fan of both Taylor Swift and Kanye West but I have never been able to defend Kanye’s original actions and how he treated Taylor afterwards. This was such an interesting post to read!

  10. Hi Mira!
    I absolutely love the topic you chose because it’s such a monumental moment in pop culture. I think this is a great example of social media and memes taking a storm to take someone down and picking sides. As such a young artist at the time this moment was very detrimental to Swift, and I wonder what people’s social media reactions would be if this happened in 2022. I remember when the beef continued on when Kanye altered the lyrics Swift originally said yes to. I really enjoyed your post and how it outlined the timeline of this prolonged beef between these two celebrities.

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