The truth behind the Taylor Swift and Kanye West feud has finally come out

When it comes to unforgettable celebrity feuds, Taylor Swift and Kanye West definitely fit that description. Believe it or not, it's been more than 10 years since West stormed the MTV VMAs stage to vouch for Beyoncé and uttered the infamous "I'ma let you finish, but..." line, interrupting Swift's acceptance speech. The pair seemingly buried the hatchet years later on-stage at the 2015 VMAs when Swift presented West with the Video Vanguard Award. But that olive branch got broken in half in 2016 when Kim Kardashian leaked part of a phone call between Swift and West that resulted in many turning on Swift and calling her a snake.

Still, time passed and people started to forget. Swift channeled her feelings about the situation into her Reputation album (where she sang, "Friends don't try to trick you / Get you on the phone and mind-twist you") and subsequently moved on with her upbeat album Lover that mostly focused on the positives in her life. West and Kardashian also softened, shifting the spotlight to raising their four children and promoting West's Sunday Services.

Just as the dust settled and everyone thought this feud was over, the drama is revving up again. (That's always how it happens, right?) On March 20, extended video footage from the West and Swift call leaked that'll make you rethink the whole situation.

What ignited Taylor Swift and Kanye West's feud anyway?

In February 2016, Kanye West released the song "Famous," which featured the instantly controversial lyric: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b***h famous." In response to the internet's shock, West claimed (via Cosmopolitan), "I called Taylor and had a hour long convo with her about the line and she thought it was funny and gave her blessings.

However, Swift's team stepped in, explaining she was "not aware" he planned to call her the B-word. Per E! News, the singer's rep said, "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."

Suffice to say, there was plenty of confusion and some believed Swift was playing the victim, including Kim Kardashian who told GQ in June 2016 that Swift "totally approved" the lyric and that she "completely dissed my husband just to play the victim again." A month later, Kardashian got involved again by dropping a Snapchat video of a phone call, where Swift seemingly gave the green light to West directly. 

As a result, social media was flooded with snake emojis, but Swift maintained that she didn't know West would call her a "b***h" and she just wanted to be "excluded from this narrative." Well, now that narrative continues, because there's extra footage from that internet-breaking call.

Kanye West and Taylor Swift's leaked call gives fans more insight

It's been more than four years since "Famous" dropped, but it's in the spotlight yet again. On March 20, 2020, Twitter user @redligion shared a series of new videos from Kanye West and Taylor Swift's 2016 phone call. There's a full 25-minute leaked video of the call on YouTube as well, but it's unclear how either source got the footage.

As seen in the clips, West initially asked Swift to promote his song when it dropped (which she declined) and then he wanted to hear her thoughts on a lyric about her. The line he initially reads is, "I feel like Taylor Swift might owe me sex." He also shares an alternative (which wound up being part of the final lyrics): "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex."

Swift responded by saying, "I need to think about it, because you know, when you hear something for the first time, you just need to think about it. Because it is absolutely crazy. I'm glad it's not mean, though." It's worth noting she didn't hear any actual song recording; West just read the words aloud.

It's also pretty noteworthy that she expressed relief that he hadn't called her a "stupid, dumb b***h" or anything "mean" like that — although the B-word still showed up in the final version of the song. Interesting, huh? Plus, when you listen in full, there's some noticeable hesitation on Swift's end.

So, what happens with Taylor Swift and Kanye West now?

After the additional footage leaked, one of the biggest questions is: What happens next? Taylor Swift hasn't directly responded to the video, unless you count a few seemingly discrete Tumblr post likes. Similarly, Kim Kardashian's social media likes may be speaking for her, since Us Weekly pointed out that the reality star favorited a tweet that read, "The video showed nothing new. We all knew that. I'm so confused right now." Kanye West has not weighed in... yet.

Despite their (mostly) silence on the subject, that doesn't mean fans and friends aren't weighing in. Swift's pal Todrick Hall tweeted, "My heart breaks listening to that phone call, the fact that she even picked up the phone and wasted her valuable time to listen to that nincompoop speak is just a testament to how great a human she is. #KanyeWestIsOverParty." Others joined in on the same #KanyeWestIsOverParty hashtag.

Although everyone thought this rivalry was ancient history, there may very well be a new chapter. So we'll just all have to stay tuned and see what happens next. Whether a tweet from Kardashian clearing the air or subtle lyrics from Swift on a future album, the possibilities are endless.