“Another day, another drama, drama,” sings Taylor Swift on her single, “Look What You Made Me Do.” And oh, how many celebrity feuds there are to unpack here.
Swift is known for rubbing others the wrong way. This time, she’s addressing everything you’ve ever heard about her — and more. Here’s everyone who Swift is coming for on this first track (and video) from her new album, Reputation.
Choosing a favorite pop star has become like choosing a sports team. Once you hitch your post to a wagon, you’re expected to hold on — for better or for worse. This is definitely the case in the now years-long, Taylor Swift-Katy-Perry rivalry.
The second verse, which oddly refers to “a feast,” has been considered a possible reference to Perry (due to the latter’s song, “Bon Appétit “), but it’s during the first chorus that the music video (above) draws possibly the most obvious connection to a Swift feud. In it, Swift’s clothes and hairstyle are reminiscent of Perry’s, and the leopard print coat she wore could be a nod to their shared penchant for all things feline.
The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it romance that was Hiddleswift seems like a lifetime ago, but Swifties never forget. In summer 2016, Swift and actor Tom Hiddleston were a thing, and the paparazzi went nuts. The most talked-about moment of their relationship came at Swift’s annual Fourth of July party, where her beau was seen wearing a white t-shirt that read “I <3 T.S.”
This was all too much for the internet. Immediately, rumors began to circulate that they were a staged couple (which Hiddleston later denied). In a nod to her ex and the insanity that was their courtship, Swift’s dancers in the music video donned their own similar shirts for a dance sequence.
Kim and Kanye
Of course, the feud that never ends wasn’t forgotten. The first verse references a “tilted stage,” which clearly alludes to the one that Kanye West used during his Saint Pablo tour last year. But it didn’t stop there.
As Swift stands atop a mountain of her former selves in the video (more on that to come), she takes a phone call in a spoken word interlude — which could be an allusion to the phone call that she had with West, which his wife, Kim Kardashian, recorded and later released on Snapchat.
Enter the music video, which brought even more Kardashian-West shade. After the song ends, the various versions of Swift stand around and converse. The Perry-lookalike Swift is on her phone and tells another that she’s “getting receipts. I’m going to edit this later” — just as Swift has claimed that Kardashian edited the Snapchat video.
Then, a 2009 VMAs-era Swift says, “I’d very much like to be excluded from this narrative,” which are the exact words she used in her statement regarding the incident in question. And the war continues.
While he didn’t get an obvious diss on the song itself, Calvin Harris did get a quick nod in the music video: In the very first scene, which takes place in a graveyard, the name Nils Sjoberg appears on a tombstone. This is the pseudonym Swift received songwriting credit under on Harris’ hit track “This Is What You Came For” with Rihanna.
At the time of its creation, Harris and Swift were in a relationship, but broke up while it was gaining traction as one of the most popular songs of summer 2016. This information was released by Swift’s camp and didn’t paint Harris in the best light, who responded with a series of tweets calling out Swift’s feud with Perry. Talk about drama.
Swift’s influence is so divisive that you don’t even have to be a person to get on her bad side. The singer famously opted to keep her music off of Spotify in 2014, as she felt that streaming services didn’t allow artists to be paid fairly and contributed to diminishing album sales. The next year, she wrote an open letter to Apple Music just before its launch and convinced those in charge to pay the musicians even during the free trial offered to the public.
Of course, things are different today — Swift’s catalog is back on Spotify, and the singer herself has appeared in promotions for Apple Music. But we got a flashback to this time in the music video: Swift and her cat-masked cohorts rob a vault, and as they leave, the ticker on the wall behind them simply reads, “Stream Co.”
There isn’t really a feud between Swift and pop singer Demi Lovato, but there has been some contention stirred up by the media. It all seemed to start when Swift became close with Selena Gomez, Lovato’s long-time friend in the biz.
But Lovato has been known to firmly state her opinion and often, that includes vague references to Swift’s relationships, “fake” feminism, and, most notably, her squad of “not realistic” model pals. So Lovato is likely among the haters that Swift is calling out with the scene in the video where she’s commanding a room full of stick-skinny android women.
When it comes down to it, Swift’s biggest gripe will always be with the narrative that the media paints of her. Throughout her career, she has evolved, and each time she does so, she becomes another caricature to those who only know her through her art and the press.
The final scene was the perfect ode to this dilemma. Various past incarnations of Swift speak to one another, quoting things that have been said about her or by her. She’s essentially poking fun at both herself and the way she has been boxed into each portrayal, while her “true self” stands in the shadows after cutting the wings off a plane, watching her public personas take their bows.