In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the 29-year-old "London Boy" singer breaks down her decade-long feud like never before, referencing everything from the 2009 MTV VMAs to West's song "Famous," which reignited bad blood between the pair in 2016.
Swift and West's feud dates back to 2009, when the rapper interrupted Swift's onstage acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the VMAs to protest her victory. "Yo, Taylor, I'm really happy for you. I'mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!" West infamously yelled.
Despite quick apologies from West, years later he said that he didn't "have one regret" about the situation and said his previous apologies were a result of "peer pressure." Things appeared friendly from there, when collaboration rumors even started swirling around for a bit..
"I started to feel like we reconnected, which felt great for me -- because all I ever wanted my whole career after that thing happened in 2009 was for him to respect me," Swift tells Rolling Stone of that period. "When someone doesn’t respect you so loudly and says you literally don’t deserve to be here -- I just so badly wanted that respect from him, and I hate that about myself, that I was like, 'This guy who’s antagonizing me, I just want his approval.' But that’s where I was."
"And so we’d go to dinner and stuff. And I was so happy, because he would say really nice things about my music. It just felt like I was healing some childhood rejection or something from when I was 19," she continues, before revealing the reasons behind deciding to publicly end their feud once and for all with an onstage reconciliation at the 2015 VMAs.
"But the 2015 VMAs come around. He’s getting the Vanguard Award. He called me up beforehand -- I didn’t illegally record it, so I can’t play it for you," Swift says, referencing an infamous phone call between she and West that his wife, Kim Kardashian West, would soon release. "But he called me up, maybe a week or so before the event, and we had maybe over an hour-long conversation, and he’s like, 'I really, really would like for you to present this Vanguard Award to me, this would mean so much to me,' and went into all the reasons why it means so much, because he can be so sweet. He can be the sweetest. And I was so stoked that he asked me that."
"And so I wrote this speech up, and then we get to the VMAs and I make this speech and he screams, 'MTV got Taylor Swift up here to present me this award for ratings!' And I’m standing in the audience with my arm around his wife, and this chill ran through my body," Swift continues. "I realized he is so two-faced. That he wants to be nice to me behind the scenes, but then he wants to look cool, get up in front of everyone and talk s**t. And I was so upset."
The fallout from those VMAs was quick, with the much-discussed phone call between Swift and West taking place over the rapper's track "Famous," which featured the lyric, "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b**ch famous."
While West claimed he got the lyric approved by Swift, the "Paper Rings" singer denied that fact, even after West's wife shared an audio recording that seemed to back up West's claim.
"He wanted me to come talk to him after the event in his dressing room. I wouldn’t go. So then he sent this big, big thing of flowers the next day to apologize. And I was like, 'You know what? I really don’t want us to be on bad terms again. So whatever, I’m just going to move past this.'" she explains of the day after the 2015 VMAs. "So when he gets on the phone with me, and I was so touched that he would be respectful and, like, tell me about this one line in the song. And I was like, 'OK, good. We’re back on good terms.'"
"And then when I heard the song, I was like, 'I’m done with this. If you want to be on bad terms, let’s be on bad terms, but just be real about it,'" she continues. "The world didn’t understand the context and the events that led up to it. Because nothing ever just happens like that without some lead-up. Some events took place to cause me to be pissed off when [West] called me a b**ch. That was not just a singular event. Basically, I got really sick of the dynamic between he and I. And that wasn’t just based on what happened on that phone call and with that song -- it was kind of a chain reaction of things."
She adds, "I really don’t want to talk about it anymore because I get worked up, and I don’t want to just talk about negative s**t all day."
While Swift and West's feud has been largely removed from her recent Lover press tour, the "You Need to Calm Down" singer did speak about the impact of being "canceled" in her recent Vogue profile.
"A mass public shaming, with millions of people saying you are quote-unquote canceled, is a very isolating experience," she said. "I don’t think there are that many people who can actually understand what it’s like to have millions of people hate you very loudly. When you say someone is canceled, it’s not a TV show. It’s a human being. You’re sending mass amounts of messaging to this person to either shut up, disappear, or it could also be perceived as, 'Kill yourself.'"
Watch the video below for more on Swift and West.