Taylor Swift Says Her Career Was "Taken Away" by Kim and Kanye: "Make No Mistake"

She's finally ready to talk about it.

Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It may be 2023, but we're taking a trip back to 2016, to discuss what may have been one of the cruelest feuds of the last decade.

Swift discussed the infamous feud between herself, Kim Kardashian, and Kanye West with TIME magazine in her interview for "Person of the Year," revealing that she may have forgiven, but she certainly will not forget.

She describes that time as having "all the hyenas climb on and take their shots." Aside from the West drama, Swift was also being constantly criticized by the media over her perceived overexposure and supposed political beliefs.

Then the real battle began when West released "Famous," a song in which Swift is mentioned. The lyrics include, "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. I made that b**** famous."

Swift was insulted for two reasons: the vulgar language used towards her and the implication that West was responsible for her fame. The latter comes from when West interrupted her VMAs acceptance speech in 2009, taking the microphone to proclaim that Beyonce should have won.

Taylor Swift, Jay Z, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When she tried to speak out about the song, West's then-wife Kardashian released a video of a conversation between Swift and West, which made it seem like she had agreed to the song. The internet went wild with this, and Swift was portrayed as a snake. That's exactly what they called her, and fans of Kardashian and West would flood her social media with the snake emoji.

Swift tells TIME that it felt like a "career death."

She specifies, "Make no mistake—my career was taken away from me.”

Until now, Swift had been on top of the world, beloved for her latest pop album, 1989, and enjoying the fruits of her hard work. But suddenly, she was hated, barraged with negativity, and painted as a liar.

“You have a fully manufactured frame job, in an illegally recorded phone call, which Kim Kardashian edited and then put out to say to everyone that I was a liar,” she says. “That took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before. I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard.”

As always, the truth came out, and further footage revealed that Kardashian's video was not what it seemed. Swift had been telling the truth this whole time, namely that she had agreed to a tiny part of the song without further details, and especially not the most incriminating lyric.

Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Swift has never spoken this candidly about that time in her life and how she removed herself from the public eye for years. The closest she's come is in the album that followed, Reputation. The album and subsequent music videos were filled with snake symbolism and lyrics that focused on the power of karma, getting even, and rising from the ashes.

Even in her documentary, Miss Americana, she shied away from discussing the feud with Kardashian and West, only focusing on what occurred at the VMAs with West. It's important to remember that Swift was only nineteen when West took the stage, and twenty-six when the world turned against her.

It may seem surprising that Swift is choosing now to discuss this difficult time in her life, but it matches a recent trend of her slowly finding her own space in the limelight.

She's been spotted more frequently with friends, often getting dinner with the likes of Sophie Turner, Blake Lively, and Gigi Hadid. Her new relationship with Travis Kelce is far more public than she ever was with Joe Alwyn, and they frequently support one another at football matches and concerts.

Swift seems ready to be herself with the world, no longer hiding behind other versions of herself to eventually kill off, and finally speaking her truth.

As for West and Kardashian, Swift said it best herself in her song "long story short" with the lyric, "Your enemies will defeat themselves before you have the chance to swing."

Taylor Swift

(Image credit: Getty Images)
Fleurine Tideman
Freelance Writer

Fleurine Tideman is a freelance writer who is always ready to discuss celebrities, entertainment, mental health, relationships and anything else her busy brain comes up with. She comes from the small, rainy land of the Netherlands, but she uses the flexibility of her work to travel around Europe and explore new places. She spent several years working in the travel industry, which taught her how to fit insane amounts in her hand luggage. She has a degree in Psychology and Anthropology, which she uses to psychoanalyse herself and others. She’s a regular contributor for Betches, and you can also find her work on Pop Sugar, Insider, Time Out or her own blog, Symptoms of Living. At Marie Claire, she’ll be covering celebrity news, usually written to the sounds of Taylor Swift.