‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is a Shot at Kanye, Which Unfortunately Misses
WORDS BY HAYDN HICKSON
It’s been three years since Taylor Swift blessed us with 1989: an album which threw away her school-girl country-roots, in exchange for pure bubble-gum-pop bliss. And while initially, plenty of you saw this movement as Taylor “selling out” for a record that would hit a wider array of audiences, it became quickly apparent that this 27-year-old was moving into new territory on her own terms. Luckily enough for Taylor also, having pop, instead of country-pop, as her platform, she could now delve into any other genre or sound with ease.
And that’s exactly what she did.
‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is Taylor Swift more sinister than you’ve ever heard her before. The production is pulsating, with the artificial drum beat driving the relatively stripped back instrumentation. There’s distortion instead of guitars, there’s chanting instead of singing, and the melody even gets a little warped in sections. It’s almost as if she’s dropped the Disney Princess act for a Disney Villain one. But that’s just it, the keyword here is… Disney.
This song is clearly a dig at Kanye West. Aside from the direct mention of his “tilted stage”, the “perfect crime” is definitely TayTay referencing Kim Kardashian’s infamous snapchat on International Snake Day. ICYMI: Kim basically exposed Taylor for being a snake by snapchatting a private phone call (which Taylor references on her answering machine bridge on this song). And so, if this is her retaliation, “Look What You Made Me Do” kind of has me wondering, what did she actually do?
To the song’s credit, Taylor Swift does encroach on Kanye’s territory a bit. The sirens in the second verse sound like they’ve been stripped directly from the Arca-assisted Yeezus album, and the chorus’ sample of the “I’m Too Sexy” earworm is likely to be suck in your head for days. But… aside from that, where were her attacks?
This song falls short lyrically so much. Taylor Swift spends the majority of this comeback throwing away one-liners about how she “doesn’t like” them and... well… that’s it. She doesn’t defend herself regarding the Famous incident nor does she own being a shady bitch (like, I would have). Taylor had been musically absent for three years, had been absent from Social Media for months: at this point Taylor pretty much had all eyes on her and she, just, wasted it. Which is very unfortunate considering Bad Blood showed so much potential in her ability to take someone down (like, Katy Perry’s career is still dead last time I checked).
Whilst her comeback could have been about literal scum DJ David Mueller or literal scum Donald Trump, or anyone else, she went with the most media-friendly and headlining-guarantor Kanye West. But unfortunately, given his success and her inability to sound evil, her attack is not a success… not one bit.