Hidden Things You Might Have Missed On Taylor Swift's Reputation

Taylor Swift refused to do any press leading up to the release of her sixth album, Reputation, which, like her life for the last year, has been kept tightly under wraps. But like most of Swift's previous work, there are a slew of messages hidden within the record and the individual tracks. 

About what and whom is she singing about this time around? Here are our best guesses.

She calls out Kanye West

If you thought you were going to get through Reputation without a Kanye West diss, well, you'd be wrong. Aside from the "tilted stage" line in "Look What You Made Me Do," she also dedicates pretty much the entirety of "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" to her feud with Yeezy and Kim Kardashian. Which, as fans will recall, contributed to Swift's horrible, no-good, very bad 2016.

"It was so nice being friends again / There I was, giving you a second chance / But then you stabbed in the back while shaking my hand," she sings, likely singing of the second chance she gave to West after his infamous 2009 MTV Video Music Awards interruption of her Best Female Video acceptance speech.

She also references the now-famous phone call that Kardashian leaked to Snapchat last year in which Swift appears to give West permission to use controversial lyrics about her i his song "Famous," something Swift had previously denied. Swift sings, "And therein lies the issue / Friends don't try to trick you / Get you on the phone and mind-twist you / And so I took an axe to a mended fence." Perhaps adding a nod to Yeezus' beef with BFF Jay-Z, Swift snarls, "But I'm not the only friend you lost lately / If only you weren't so shady."

She loves booze

Reputation is rife with references to alcohol, because Swift is a grown woman who can buy and enjoy booze if she wants to. 

Take "Delicate," for example, in which she tells the subject of her track, "You can make me a drink" and mentions meeting her lover in a "dive bar on the East Side." There's also "Getaway Car," in which Swift laments, "I knew it from the first Old Fashioned, we were cursed," later adding, "But you weren't thinkin' / And I was just drinkin'." Or how about "Dress," in which Swift purrs, "I'm spilling wine in the bathtub / You kiss my face and we're both drunk"?

Not only does she reference alcohol in general throughout the album, but she lists several kinds: wine, whiskey, liquor, champagne, and beer, indicating that while she has a champagne budget, she may well enjoy plebeian adult beverages as well. Relatable!

She's a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald

In "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things," Swift sings about how she was "feeling so Gatsby for that whole year." She references The Great Gatsby again subtly in "Don't Blame Me," singing, "I once was poison ivy, but now I'm your daisy." 

FYI: For those who haven't read the book or snagged the Cliff's Notes, Daisy is Jay Gatsby's love interest in the novel.

Did she admit to cheating?

In "Getaway Car," Swift confesses to being in the center of a love triangle and stepping out on a boyfriend, which may have been a reference to her messy breakup with Calvin Harris and quick (but equally messy) rebound with Tom Hiddleston.

When she sings "The ties were black, the lies were white / In shades of gray in candlelight / I wanted to leave him / I needed a reason," one can't help but wonder whether she's singing about meeting Hiddleston at the Met Gala in May 2016 while she was still dating Harris. This is driven home when she later sings, "But with three of us, honey, it's a sideshow / And a circus ain't a love story / And now we're both sorry." Essentially, if this were to be true, Hiddleston was her "getaway car" from her relationship with Harris.

Interestingly, she ends the song by singing, "Said goodbye in a getaway car," which would imply that she left Hiddleston for another man — likely her current beau, Joe Alwyn.

She may have met Joe Alwyn when she was still dating Calvin Harris

No wonder her love with Hiddleston didn't last: Swift may have been pining for Alwyn when she and Hiddleston were dating ... and as early as when she and Harris were dating. How do you figure? In "Dress," Swift sings, "Flashback when you met me / Your buzzcut and my hair bleached." Swift had bleached hair and Alwyn had a buzzcut at the Met Gala in May 2016 ... where Swift also first hit it off with Hiddleston.

She may still be sore over her split from Calvin Harris

Swift likely has some bad blood with ex Harris–well, if "I Did Something Bad" is any indicator, anyway.

"If he drops my name, then I owe him nothing," she sings, which may reference a few aspects of their failed romance. For starters, it could be a reference to Harris dropping her name from the songwriting credits of "This Is What You Came For." That, or it could be a reference to Harris talking about Swift in interviews and ranting about their messy breakup on his Twitter.

In all actuality, it's likely both, because she also sings "If a man talks s**t, then I owe him nothing" and "If he spends my change, then he had it coming."

She knows her cars

Swift is no longer impressed by fancy things, she insists in "King Of My Heart," in which she sings, "'Cause all the boys with their expensive cars / With their Range Rovers and Jaguars / Never took me quite where you do." Harris has a Range Rover and Hiddleston was spotted carting Swift around in a Jaguar — and even starred in commercials for the brand in 2014.

Jewelry holds special significance

In "So It Goes..." Swift tells her love, "I make all your grey days clear / And wear you like a necklace," likely referring to Alwyn, who's from foggy old England. In "Call It What You Want," Swift croons, "I want to wear his initial on a chain round my neck / Not because he owns me / But 'cause he really knows me." Swift is likely referring to the Tiffany necklace with a "J" she's been wearing since dating Alwyn. (You can take a good look at it here.) 

She also sings in "Dancing With Our Hands Tied," "I could've spent forever with your hands in my pockets / Picture of your face in an invisible locket." Calvin Harris gave Swift a gold locket for their anniversary in March 2016.

She references her previous work ...

In "Getaway Car," Swift croons that "a circus ain't a love story," likely referencing how the media circus surrounding her and Tom Hiddleston's relationship cursed what may have been a storybook romance a la her first breakout pop hit, "Love Story." Meanwhile, when Swift sings "All my flowers grew back as thorns / Windows boarded up after the storm / He built a fire just to keep me warm" in "Call It What You Want," she may be referencing her 2014 track "Clean" from 1989, in which she sings of a failed relationship, "When the flowers that we'd grown together died of thirst ... Hung my head as I lost the war / And the sky turned black like a perfect storm."

... and has recurring themes throughout the album

Aside from using the word "reputation" a ton of times throughout the album, Swift sings "met you in a bar" in "So It Goes..." Fans speculate that the lyric is a callback to "Gorgeous," in which she describes meeting a guy — likely Joe Alwyn — while drinking "whiskey on ice" in a "darkened room" on "Sunset and Vine" while she already has a boyfriend who's "out at the club doin' I don't know what." Cute!

There's a super-cute cameo

The liner notes of Reputation revealed that Swift squad member Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' daughter, James, is the baby voice saying "gorgeous" in the opening of the song "Gorgeous."

Ed Sheeran shouts out his lady

In "Endgame," Ed Sheeran ends his verse with "After the storm / Something was born on the Fourth of July / I've passed days without fun / This endgame is the one / With four words on the tip of my tongue I'll never say it." Sheeran is rapping (ugh) about his girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn. The couple's anniversary is July 4th, and they celebrated it at one of Swift's legendary parties in Rhode Island — which was also where they had their very first date, Sheeran revealed to People.

The "four words" to which Sheeran refers are likely "Will you marry me," because he's made it clear that Seaborn is The One. He told Rolling Stone in March 2017, "One day this will f**king end. And I know the one person that's going to remain constant is Cherry."