Although it’s unlikely, in case you missed it, there is a lot to discuss about the recently revealed Kanye West/Taylor Swift tapping scandal that burst out of Kim Kardashian’s Snapchat account this weekend. As you may have heard, Kim used her massive social media presence to not only defend her rapper husband and his controversial Life Of Pablo track “Famous”, but to also broadcast the home recording of a private phone call that Kanye had with Taylor about the lyrics that famously and flagrantly refer to her.
On the surface, this recording is vindication for Kanye and his brazen style of art. However, the release of this tape has exposed both the Kardashian /West family and Taylor Swift to a series of PR and legal complications that are still unfolding. To help unpack the two sides of this story as they initially appeared over the weekend, we refer you to a nuanced breakdown provided by YouTuber Philip DeFranco to get us all caught up in way we deem reasonably objective. See the video below for context.
As some of you may have noticed, record producer and Def Jam Recordings co-founder Rick Rubin can be seen with Kim and Kanye on the couch. Well, according to how this law was explained, because he casually chimed in to the conversation on the tape’s uncut version, making his presence acknowledged by all parties involved, including Taylor on the phone, that was proof enough that the conversation wasn’t legally considered private, and Kimye may be in the clear legally.
If so, we do feel like it’s important to note the impact that goes beyond this technicality. To us, a trusted record producer and industry insider half asleep on the couch does not equal the impact of millions hearing the conversation out of context, with an obviously biased character claim. Kimye released the video trying to take Taylor down for taking issue with the song’s lyrics, because it clearly shows her being agreeable towards some of them. However, we can’t help but feel like there is shade related to why the recording with this proof was released in such a matter, especially when you consider that “famous” wasn’t formally completed at the time of the recorded discussion.
T-Swift detractors have tried to paint this as an example of hidden dishonesty, cracking her otherwise perfect image. However, one thing was left out of both that argument, and the video Kim was trumpeting as a hidden truth. Mr. West’s changed the context of what Taylor agreed to when he added to it by say, “I made that b**** famous.”
However polite and artistically open Taylor may seem in the video, we doubt she would have been ok with that line, which is conspicuously absent from the tape, if you consider the actual facts of her resume. After only comparing the domestic sales of both star’s albums that pre-date’s her now infamous “Kanye run-in” at the 2009 MTV VMAS, which the “Famous” lyrics reference, you will see that Swift had sold a hefty 12 million copies of her first 2 albums. That equals out to 3 million more than the sales of all 4 West’s albums combined in total up to that point. So, legally recording calls aside, we think it’s pretty clear why Taylor feels deceived.
Keep in mind, when she addressed the issue in her 2016 Grammy acceptance speech, the only part she takes issue with at all is the Kanye’s lyrical “fame” claim not the sexually charged wordplay she is seen agreeing to. Oddly enough, Kim released the tape to help validate Kanye, but in proper context, it does a lot more to prove Taylor’s point.
Taylor Swift’s “Famous” Acceptance Speech
From: The 2016 Grammy Awards