Celebrity

Kim K Has Responded to the "Famous" Phone Call Leak

...and there is a LOT to unpack

OK, so even though it’s really hard to remember life before the coronavirus pandemic, we’re going to take it back to 2016 today because there is a major update to the Taylor Swift-Kanye West-Kim Kardashian drama that took over our feeds a mere four years ago. (Oh, what we would give to go back to that simpler time.)

Basically, that phone call between Swift and ’Ye, which Kim K posted via Snapchat in 2016 (without Taylor’s consent, has come out in full and it seems as though TayTay wasn’t lying when she said Kanye didn’t tell her about the “I made that b*tch famous” line…but Yeezy wasn’t necessarily lying either.

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

First, a *swift* refresher

A bit more background on said drama (because at this point we can’t even remember what we did two weeks ago): In February 2016, Kanye West released a song called “Famous” that featured a pretty controversial lyric about Swift made in reference to that infamous MTV VMAs moment in 2009, when West stormed onto the stage as TayTay was accepting an award and announced that it should have gone to Beyoncé: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b*tch famous.”

Naturally, Taylor wasn’t happy with the lyric, calling it “misogynistic”. ’Ye said he ran the line by Swift, but she denied that, with her publicist saying that West didn’t call Tay for approval but to ask her to release “Famous” on her Twitter account, which she declined. Swift’s publicist also said Taylor was never made aware of the lyrics “I made that b*tch famous.”

Then came the first release of the infamous “Famous” phone call

Fast-forward to June 2016, when Kim K got involved in the drama, telling GQ in a sit-down interview that Tay did approve the lyric, saying, “She totally knew that was coming out. She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didn’t. I swear, my husband gets so much shit for things [when] he really was doing proper protocol and even called to get it approved.”

Then the infamous phone call was leaked on the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star’s Snapchat (on National Snake Day, no less). Swift can be heard telling Kanye, “Yeah. I mean, go with whatever line you think is better. It’s obviously very tongue-in-cheek either way. And I really appreciate you telling me about it, that’s really nice!” to which Yeezy replies, “Yeah. I just felt I had a responsibility to you as a friend. I mean, thanks for being so cool about it.” (If you want some more content to get you through the day, you can read the full transcript of that leak here).

TSwift then posted a now-deleted note in response, calling the entire ordeal “character assassination,” before she dropped that iconic line, “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I have never asked to be a part of, since 2009.”

But as you’ll see shortly, the most important line of that note was when Swift wrote, “Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that b*tch’ in his song? It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that b*tch’ in front of the entire world.”

Which leads us to the present, when the full video of the call was leaked

The full video of the call (which is 25 minutes long) surfaced in clips on Twitter on Saturday. Its origin is still unknown, though it’s been widely shared on Twitter by a Taylor Swift fan who goes by the username @redligion. In one part of the video, West does, indeed, ask Swift to post the then yet-to-be released song to her Twitter page.

“The reason why…is because it has a very controversial line at the beginning of the song about you,” he explains, to which Taylor nervously replies, “What does it say?” and later also asks, “Is it going to be mean?”

“No, I don’t think it’s mean,” says ’Ye.

“Okay, then let me hear it,” says Tay.

Kanye goes on to tell Swift his original idea for the verse, which was “To all my Southside [n-word] that know me best, I feel like Taylor Swift might owe me sex.”

Tay lets out a relieved laugh and responds, “That’s not mean.” She later adds, “I’m glad it’s not mean… I thought it was going to be like, ‘that stupid dumb b*tch.'”

However, she does warn Kanye that the phrase “owe me sex” could cause some feminist criticism, saying, “The only thing about that line is that it’s like, then the feminists are going to come out. But I mean, you don’t give a f*ck. So…”

And as it turns out, ’Ye did ask Taylor if he could say “I made her famous”…but made no mention of using the word b*tch

Later on in the conversation, Yeezy asks Swift, “Okay, now, what if later in the song I was also to have said, uh… ‘I made her famous’?”

Taylor responds, “I mean…um… It’s kind of just, like, whatever at this point. But I mean, you’ve got to tell the story the way that it happened to you and the way that you’ve experienced it.”

She continues, “Like, you honestly didn’t know who I was before [the 2009 MTV VMAs]. Like, it doesn’t matter if I sold 7 million of that album [“Fearless”] before you did that, which is what happened. You didn’t know who I was before that. It’s fine. But, um, yeah. I can’t wait to hear it.”

Which brings us to the big question: Who is really at fault here?

With the emergence of this new video, Swifties were quick to start the #KanyeWestIsOverParty on Twitter, calling out West and Kardashian for being dishonest and not apologizing to Taylor sooner.

But as Vox notes, overall, the conversation seems to fit both Kanye’s and Taylor’s versions of the story; Yeezy does repeatedly ask Swift for approval of the song, and she does say she thinks it’s funny, just like Kanye said she did back in 2016. Kanye also did ask Taylor to release it on her Twitter account, and Taylor did refuse his request, again warning him that it could spark some feminist criticism, as she mentioned in her statement back in 2016. And, finally, Taylor did technically approve the “I made her famous” line, but there wasn’t mention of using the word “b*tch,” which is what Taylor did say in her now-deleted response note.

So is this a misunderstanding on ’Ye’s part? Could he perhaps have been so focused on the “sex” aspect of the line being offensive that he completely missed the idea that the word “b*tch” would offend Taylor? Or was he malicious in using the phrase “that b*tch” when TayTay clearly said she was fearful he would call her “that stupid, dumb b*tch”? We may never know (unless, you know, someone decides to leak another phone call explaining everything even further).

Tay and Kim are still standing strong in their opinions

A few days after the entire phone call surfaced, Swift took to her Instagram stories to briefly comment on the matter, while also asking her fans to pay attention to what’s actually important in the world right now.

“Instead of answering those who are asking how I feel about the video footage that leaked, proving that I was telling the truth the whole time about *that call* (you know, the one that was illegally recorded, that somebody edited and manipulated in order to frame me and put me, my family, and fans through hell for 4 years)…SWIPE UP to see what really matters,” she wrote, adding a donation link to Feeding America.

In a second post, she wrote, “The World Health Organization and Feeding America are some of the organizations I’ve been donating to. If you have the ability to, please join me in donating during this crisis.”

Shortly after, Kim K took to her Twitter account to respond to Tay’s post, and to give her take on the matter (while also asking fans to focus on what’s happening in the world).

“.@taylorswift13 has chosen to reignite an old exchange – that at this point in time feels very self-serving given the suffering millions of real victims are facing right now,” she wrote. “I didn’t feel the need to comment a few days ago, and I’m actually really embarrassed and mortified to be doing it right now, but because she continues to speak on it, I feel like I’m left without a choice but to respond because she is actually lying.”

She continued, “To be clear, the only issue I ever had around the situation was that Taylor lied through her publicist who stated that ‘Kanye never called to ask for permission…’ They clearly spoke so I let you see all that. Nobody ever denied the word ‘b*tch’ was used without her permission.”

“At the time when they spoke the song had not been fully written yet, but as everyone can see in the video, she manipulated the truth of their actual conversation in her statement when her team said she ‘declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message.’ The lie was never about the word b*tch, It was always whether there was a call or not and the tone of the conversation.”

Kim further defended herself, writing, “I never edited the footage (another lie) – I only posted a few clips on Snapchat to make my point and the full video that recently leaked doesn’t change the narrative.”

She also pointed out that Kanye recorded the conversation to “document his musical journey and process, just like [Taylor] recently did through her documentary.”

“Kanye has documented the making of all of his albums for his personal archive, however has never released any of it for public consumption & the call between the two of them would have remained private or would have gone in the trash had she not lied & forced me to defend him.”

The reality star concluded her Twitter rant by writing, “This will be the last time I speak on this because honestly, nobody cares. Sorry to bore you all with this. I know you are all dealing with more serious and important matters.”

But Kim K didn’t have the last word—Swift’s publicist, Tree Paine, came to her own defence while taking a jab at Kardashian, tweeting, “I’m Taylor’s publicist and this is my UNEDITED original statement. Btw, when you take parts out, that’s editing. P.S. who did you guys piss off to leak that video?”

Paine’s full statement said, “Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account. She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that b*tch famous.'”

Judging by Kardashian’s latest tweet, it seems like that’s the last we’ll hear of this drama (we think). For now, if you want to relive it all over again, you can either watch the entire phone call here or read the full transcript here to keep yourselves entertained during your physical-distancing time.