Taylor Swift and Kanye West's feud explained in quotes

 (Christopher Polk / Getty Images)
(Christopher Polk / Getty Images)

There’s been another twist in the tale of Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian’s ongoing feud, as Swift criticises Kardashian in a new song off her eagerly waited album, The Tortured Poets Department.

Fans are drawn to a specific song on her extended double album, which they think is about the 34-year-old reality TV star.

The title of the song, "thanK you aIMee" seems to specifically mention Kim in capital letters.

The lyrics for the song read: "There's a bronze spray-tanned statue of you and a plaque underneath it. That threatens to push me down the stairs, at our school."

Swift has previously opened up about the pair’s feud, where she claimed it "took her down psychologically", in an interview with TIME magazine.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (Jean-Baptiste Lacroix / AFP via Getty Images)
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (Jean-Baptiste Lacroix / AFP via Getty Images)

Their feud is long-running, full of carefully worded statements and pointed music awards speeches, with even Beyoncé (who didn’t ask for any of this) dragged into the mêlée...

For a brief history on Swift, West, and Kardashian’s feud, here’s a timeline in quotes.

2009 MTV VMAs: Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift as she wins Best Female Video Award

Kanye West jumps onstage after Taylor Swift won the Best Female Video award (Christopher Polk / Getty Images)
Kanye West jumps onstage after Taylor Swift won the Best Female Video award (Christopher Polk / Getty Images)

“Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you. I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!”

2009: Kanye West apologises on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno for the second time

“I immediately knew in the situation that it was wrong and it wasn’t a spectacle, it’s actually someone’s emotions that I stepped on. It was rude, period. I’d like to apologise to her in person.”

2010 MTV VMAs: Taylor Swift debuts song Innocent, where she seems to accept Kanye’s apology

“It’s okay, life is a tough crowd / Thirty two and still growin’ up now / Who you are is not what you did / You’re still an innocent.”

2016: ​Kanye West releases Famous

“I feel like me and Taylor Swift might still have sex / Why? I made that b***h famous.”

2016: Kanye West claims he had approval from Taylor Swift

“I called Taylor and had an hour-long convo with her about the line and she thought it was funny and gave her blessings.”

2016: Taylor Swift’s spokesperson claims he did not run the line by her

 (Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
(Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

“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***h famous’.”

July 2016: Kim Kardashian leaks illegally recorded video of Taylor Swift’s phonecall with Kanye

"Wait it's legit National Snake Day?!?!? They have holidays for everybody, I mean everything these days!"

July 2016: Taylor Swift responds to Kim Kardashian’s video of her

"Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me 'that b***h' in his song? It doesn't exist because it never happened... He promised to play the song for me, but he never did.

"While I wanted to be supportive of Kanye on the phonecall, you cannot ‘approve’ a song you haven’t heard. Being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part of the song is character assassination. I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I have never asked to be a part of, since 2009. "

June 2019: Scooter Braun, Kanye West’s former agent, buys Taylor Swift’s masters

 (Instagram / @taylorswift)
(Instagram / @taylorswift)

“Some fun facts about today’s news: I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world.

"All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years. Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phonecall to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it.

"Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video that strips my body naked."

January 2020: Taylor Swift addresses fallout from West VMAs moment in Miss Americana

“When people decided I was wicked and evil and conniving and not a good person, that was the one I couldn’t really bounce back from, because my whole life was centred around it.

“I felt really alone, I felt really bitter, I felt sort of like a wounded animal lashing out. I figured I had to reset everything.”

February 2020: Swift talks to Billboard about her video for The Man, which appears to include West references

“It was a song that I wrote from my personal experience, but also from a general experience that I’ve heard from women in all parts of our industry. And I think that, the more we can talk about it in a song like that, the better off we’ll be in a place to call it out when it’s happening.

“So many things that men do, you know, can be phoned-in that cannot be phoned-in for us. We have to really – God, we have to curate and cater everything, but we have to make it look like an accident. Because if we make a mistake, that’s our fault, but if we strategize so that we won’t make a mistake, we’re calculating."

March 2020: Kanye West’s entire phonecall with Taylor Swift leaks, corroborating Swift’s side of the story

“To all my Southside n— that know me best / I feel like Taylor Swift might owe me sex” – the line Kanye told Swift about, not the real line that ended up in Famous.

March 2020: Swift addresses leaked phonecall as KimKardashianIsOverParty trends to promote charities

 (Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire)
(Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire)

“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.”

March 2020: Kim Kardashian responds to Taylor Swift

 (Roy Rochlin / Getty Images)
(Roy Rochlin / Getty Images)

“.@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. 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 I’m left without a choice but to respond because she is actually lying.

“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 all see that. Nobody ever denied the word ‘b***h’ was used without her permission... The lie was never about the word b***h, it was always whether there was a call or not and the tone of the conversation. 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."

July 2020: Taylor Swift announces surprise album release at exactly the same time as West’s Donda

“Before this year I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed. My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world.”

April 2024: Taylor Swift’s new song thanK you aIMee directed at Kim Kardashian

Swift has long placed hidden messages in her lyrics via capitalisation, a tradition she upheld for every album until the release of Reputation.

And she has brought it back with her new song, which spells out Kim.

Swift opens the song by claiming that when she pictures her hometown, presumably Los Angeles, there’s a “bronze spray-tanned statue” of “Aimee” with a “plaque underneath it that threatens to push me down the stairs at our school”.

“All that time you were throwin’ punches, I was buildin’ somethin’ / And I can’t forgive the way you made me feel / Screamed ‘F—k you, Aimee’ to the night sky, as the blood was gushin’,” she seethes on the track, before giving her nemesis some credit: “But I can’t forget the way you made me heal.”