The seemingly never-ending feud between Taylor Swift and her many rivals continues to rage as she releases her newest single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” from her new album “Reputation,” over the weekend. The song and lyric video dropped on Aug. Friday, 25, sending fans and entertainment media into a frenzy as they began to interpret the lyrics. The video was showcased at Sunday’s VMAs, which was hosted by her long-time rival, Katy Perry.
The song is a drastic step away from Swift’s previous sound, which has been shifting ever since her departure from the world of country. The instrumentation is simple, utilizing basic synths, high pianos, and large, sharp drums to create a haunting tune that is meant to unnerve the listener as her vocals, pointed yet quiet, spell out her disgust at the many people who have crossed her.
She doesn’t hold back with coded messages this time. Lines like, “I don’t like your tilted stage,” (a reference to Kanye’s mid-air slanted stage from his Pablo tour); “Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time” (a nod to a line in Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish,” the singer’s response to Swift’s incendiary “Bad Blood”); and “Maybe I got mine, but you’ll all get yours’” (a possible threat to Kim Kardashian, who previously exposed Swift when the latter attempted to dispute her approval of a controversial line in the song “Famous” by Kanye West, and any others who Swift feels have wronged her) all indicate that Swift is out for blood in her newest album. In the final pre-chorus, she indicates that “(the old Taylor)’s dead,” implying that she is no longer planning to play the nice girl.
The lyric video was uploaded to YouTube the same day as the single’s release. During the chorus, in which the music and power vocals are stripped away for simple drums and Swift ominously repeating, “Look what you made me do,” images of ouroboros flash in a hypnotic circle on the center of the screen. Swift seems to be implying through these symbols and lyrics that she has been forced to accept the role of being a snake (an subtweeted insult thrown at her by Kim Kardashian during National Snake Day) of the actions of her rivals, and that they will live to regret it.
Swift sheds her skin in the video and “kills off” her old self in dramatic fashion. Toward the end of the song, she stands on top of a mountain of other Taylor Swifts, all wearing outfits and costumes from her previous videos, while a glowing “T” stands firm behind her. The end of the video includes a skit in which the various incarnations of herself all argue with each other using subtle lines referencing events that occurred in the past year, such as her reaction to the “Famous” line, being called fake and being accused of playing the victim. Swift then says that she “wishes to be excluded from this narrative,” a reference to a tweet in the height of an argument with Kim on Twitter.
Swift’s newest album, sporting a cover that is very reminiscent of West’s Life of Pablo (pictured above), is set to be released on Nov. 10, which happens to be the anniversary of the death of West’s mother. Her label has denied that the release date was intentional, but many have taken to Twitter to denounce what they view as a deliberate slight against West.
By: Trever McKenzie ~Copy Editor~