10 years of this.
Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album, Lover, came out on Friday and, unsurprisingly, some Kanye West headlines came out of it. Some have speculated that the record’s opening track, “I Forgot You Existed”, could be referencing Swift and Ye’s long-running feud. The lyrics are incredibly vague – as they tend to be in her songs – so it’s hard to declare with certainty that Kanye was the one who “did [her] wrong”. However, Swift sold four deluxe editions of Lover that each came with 30 different pages from her diaries dating back to when she was 13, and one of the passages was unambiguously about Kanye.
On September 18, 2009 – five days after the infamous VMAs incident – Taylor wrote about how she felt about Kanye storming the stage and stealing her moment. The entry has the tone and depth of a middle-schooler, despite Taylor being 20 at the time. “Ahh the things that can change in a week,” she cheesily commences. “Let’s just say, if you had told me Kanye West would have been the number one focus of my week, the media, and my part in the VMA’s I would’ve looked at you crossed-eyed… If you had told me that one of the biggest stars in music was going to jump up onstage and announce that he thought I shouldn’t have won on live television, I would’ve said ‘That stuff doesn’t really happen in real life…”.
So, there you have it. Taylor Swift’s private reflections on being humiliated in front of millions of people during what was supposed to be her proudest moment were: oh, that was weird. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that these diary entries were fabricated recently in order to provide fans with a thrilling feeling that they were getting some inside scoop and a visceral first-person narrative of her career, when really there are just some flavourless observations.
While Taylor has received flack for rehashing her Kanye beef in the past, I guess it is an essential milestone in her life that would make sense to share in a diary curated for fans. This week, Billboard also decided to rehash the iconic VMAs scandal by piecing together an oral history from the accounts of the show’s staff and organizers. Read the highlights from that, here.