Taylor Swift, I was finally forgetting about your 'Reputation.' Now 'Look What You Made Me Do'
"Say it in the street, that's a knockout. Say it in a tweet, that's a cop out." But say it in a Tumblr post...that's fair game?
Taylor Swift's public callout of Scooter Braun has turned into a social media battleground for name-calling and side-taking. Since sharing the blog post Sunday, the pop star has doubled down on accusing not just her former music label of withholding information about the sale of her music, but also the label's new owner, Braun, of being an "incessant, manipulative" bully to her for years.
As a fan of Swift's, it's upsetting to read about her struggles. But it's also endlessly frustrating to watch her step back into a world of drama.
Swift's career and personal life have been intertwined since the beginning and real-life drama has always dictated her musical narratives. "Better than Revenge" came after breaking up with Joe Jonas. "Bad Blood" was inspired by her feud with Katy Perry. The entire "Reputation" album was sparked by a controversy with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. (If any of the Braun drama is giving you deja vu, it's probably the cringe-y, he-said-she-said nature that also plagued that Kanye debacle almost exactly three years ago.)
Her transition from "Reputation" in 2017 to upcoming album "Lover" was supposed to show she had grown from past experiences with drama. (She even made nice with Perry in the "You Need to Calm Down" music video.)
This new controversy proves she still has a dramatic streak. The last thing 2019 needs is a Scooter Braun diss track.
Everything you need to know:Taylor Swift reiterates claims she was unaware of Scooter Braun acquiring her music
Approaching 30, Swift now has a serious boyfriend, a strong political voice and a newfound reconciliation with a woman she used to hate. "Lover" is set to be her literal and metaphorical "rainbow after the storm," but that narrative feels harder to believe now that she's continuing her old patterns.
Over the course of her already seasoned career, Swift has gained a position and capacity to stand up for issues she believes. That's as important as it is inspiring. Truth should be spoken to power and Swift has gotten good at that. Two years ago, she won a symbolic $1 in a court case accusing a man of groping her. She made an important statement about accountability without typing a word.
Criticizing Braun at length for past issues, though they sound undoubtedly crushing and frustrating, feels like a cheap shot to gain sympathy from fans, rather than an honest exposure of issues that plague the entertainment industry.
The beginning of her recent "ME!" music video literally showed that infamous "Reputation" snake exploding into a kaleidoscope of rainbow butterflies. The new, pastel-colored leaf Swift has been supposedly turning over is now tarnished with the dark, paranoid undertones of the past.
The cool thing about being a Swift fan over the years has been watching her public persona and musical voice evolve simultaneously. This feels like a major step back for Swift as a person — that doesn't exactly bode well for the musical side.
Of course, "Lover" isn't out yet and this one controversy doesn't define the rest of Swift's career. But for an artist who has always shared her personal narrative through music, this friendly, carefree era feels a little less authentic now.
To take a page out of Swift's new candy-colored book, it's time to "restore the peace and control your urges to scream about all the people you hate."
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