It may be known that Taylor Swift and Kanye West are not the best of friends but both of them deal with the ups and downs of the music industry. In the past, Swift talked about the legalities of not owning the master recordings of her old songs. Now that West is facing the problem himself, Swift’s fans (known as Swifties) call it karmic retribution.
The feud between Swift and West goes back to more than a decade.
West took the mic from Swift during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and they appeared to mend fences. Then West’s 2016 song and music video for Famous added even more vitriol. After a leaked phone call, the shots never really stopped. Swift responded with songs like This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things followed by I Forgot That You Existed.
West used faith as his reason for the 2009 incident, saying on Cannon’s Class, “If God ain’t want me to run on stage… he wouldn’t have sat me in the front row.” Besides feuding with West, Swift also had another public feud with West’s former manager Scooter Braun. Swift wrote on Tumblr on June 19 that her former label, Big Machine Records had been sold to Braun. That meant that he owned the rights to the master recordings of all her past music, including her first six albums.
“All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years,” Swift wrote of the news, citing the leaked call and the “Famous” video as examples. “Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work,” she added. “Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.” The singer then did not pursue the issue but decided to re-record her masters as soon as she can.
A year later, West is going through the same problem.
“The artist deserve to own our masters … artist are starving without tours … Ima go get our masters … for all artist … pray for me,” he wrote on Twitter on September 15, 2020.
“When you sign a music deal you sign away your rights,” West wrote in another tweet, explaining the dilemma to his fans. “Without the masters you can’t do anything with your own music. Someone else controls where it’s played and when it’s played. Artists have nothing [except] the fame, touring and merch.”
It’s hard not to relate West’s fight to Swift’s for Swifties, especially when West dropped Swift’s name. He shared a conversation in which the person he’s texting with wrote, “Re masters ownership we can look into buying. But if Taylor’s cost $300 million yours would cost a lot more I assume.”
“You know what kanye? KARMA IS REAL,” wrote one Twitter user in response. Notably, this links back around to Swift’s 2017 song “Look What You Made Me Do” where she sings (ostensibly to West and others who have hurt her), “The world moves on, another day, another drama, drama/But not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma.” /TISG