It appears that Taylor Swift is firing back at the much talked about Kimye drama. After years of bad blood between her and Kanye West, most memorably surrounding his Life of Pablo track “Famous” and their now-historic tabloid run-in at the 2009 VMAs, “Look What You Made Me Do,” the first single from her much-hyped sixth album Reputation, seems to show that Swift isn’t ready to let it go just yet.
Co-written and co-produced by Jack Antonoff, the track rattles with sharp synths and stiff electronic drums before bursting into piano lines, icy pads, and—bizarrely enough—an eerie interpolation of Right Said Fred‘s 1991 hit “I’m Too Sexy.” “Ooh, look what you made me do,” she taunts in the same cadence, optimistically implying something similarly ‘sexy’ by proximity.
But from its opening lines, it’s clear each verse is a careful dig at Kanye. “I don’t like your little games / Don’t like your tilted stage,” Swift opens, clearly a nod to the VMA incident and Kanye’s stage setup. “The role you made me play / of the fool, no I don’t like you.” It’s the most cutting song from Swift to date, even despite her lengthy catalog of bitter ballads and breakup songs.
If it weren’t clear enough, Swift makes reference to another Kanye incident, adding a voicemail monologue distinctly similar to a certain conversation between the two artists later leaked by Kim Kardashian on Snapchat. “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now,” she says. “Why? Cause she’s dead.”
Only announced a few days ago via Instagram, Reputation is already set to be one of the year’s most talked-about albums. But can a ham-fisted interpretation of one of the most soulless, cringeworthy hits of the ’90s really come off as anything but a sad and embarrassing attempt to keep this public feuding alive, now for once in her benefit? It’s hard to say with certainty where Reputation can really go from here, but if it’s anything like “Look What You Made Me Do,”… Taylor, rethink this.