UPDATE (3/23/20, 5:47 p.m. ET): Since this story was originally published, Taylor Swift has opened up about the leaked phone call with Kanye West on her Instagram Story. "Instead of answering those who are asking about 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. Upon swiping, Swift's followers are led to Feeding America's website, where they can donate to help feed the hungry amid the coronavirus pandemic. Original story below.
Just when it seemed like Taylor Swift and Kanye West's notorious 2016 phone call had been finally laid to rest, a reportedly full, unedited version made the rounds on social media over the weekend after an apparent leak. It puts a potentially new spin on the narrative that's circulated over the past four years — the one that says Swift approved of West's explicit lyrics on his song "Famous" but potentially pretended otherwise.
Taken in its entirety — and not in the snippets Kim Kardashian released via Snapchat way back in July 2016, five months after the song's release — the conversation seemingly proves what Swift has been saying all along, which is that she never gave her advanced OK on the latter part of Kanye's provocative lines "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous."
Swifties have understandably been rejoicing about the leak on Tumblr, and the pop star let her fans know how she feels about it by liking their celebratory posts. "WHO WAS TELLING THE TRUTH THE ENTIRE TIME???" one post read. "2016 me is not surprised," said another. Another post Swift liked even called out the song's music video, which featured a nude wax figure of Swift along with several other celebrities.
Another Tumblr post calls the leaked phone call karma, which has been a theme in Swift's career since the release of "Look What You Made Me Do" in 2017. The word can also be seen on the subway station walls in the pop star's recent music video for "The Man." "And that is how you let karma take care of itself," the post read.
In the full phone call, which Variety has transcribed in its entirety, West asks Swift to help him promote the song by releasing it herself. But after learning that the original lyric was going to be "I feel like Taylor Swift might owe me sex," the "Lover" songstress told the rapper that she needed to "think about it because it is absolutely crazy."
"If I launch it, it adds to this level of criticism," Swift told West, explaining that releasing it herself would be contradictory to her whole message. "Having this many followers and having this many eyeballs on me right now, people are just looking for me to do something dumb or stupid or lame. I feel like people would try to make it negative if it came from me."
The rapper also took Swift through some of the song's other lyrics, including the one where he claimed to have made her famous. "You gotta tell the story the way it happened to you and the way that you've experienced it," Swift said after hearing the lyric. "You honestly didn't know who I was before that. Like, it doesn't matter if I sold 7 million of that album before you did that, which is what happened." What he didn't reveal, however, was that he was going to refer to Swift as "that bitch" in the next line.
This is in keeping with Swift's original statement to New York Times reporter Jon Caramanica, via a spokesperson, from February 2016, when "Famous" was first released: "Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, 'I made that bitch famous.'"
Now that the full phone call is out for all to hear, it's clear that both Swift and her devoted fan base are feeling pretty validated right now, and rightfully so. For proof, look no further than this "Taylor Told the Truth" mood board, which Swift showed love to on Tumblr as well.