Taylor Swift covers Rolling Stone, talks Kanye, politics, + more




On Kanye:

"The world didn’t understand the context and the events that led up to it. Because nothing ever just happens like that without some lead-up. Some events took place to cause me to be pissed off when he called me a bitch."

"I started to feel like we reconnected, which felt great for me — because all I ever wanted my whole career after that thing happened in 2009 was for him to respect me. When someone doesn’t respect you so loudly and says you literally don’t deserve to be here — I just so badly wanted that respect from him, and I hate that about myself, that I was like, “This guy who’s antagonizing me, I just want his approval.” But that’s where I was."

"But the 2015 VMAs come around. He’s getting the Vanguard Award. He called me up beforehand... and we had maybe over an hourlong conversation, and he’s like, “I really, really would like for you to present this Vanguard Award to me, this would mean so much to me,” and went into all the reasons why it means so much, because he can be so sweet. He can be the sweetest. And I was so stoked that he asked me that. And so I wrote this speech up, and then we get to the VMAs and I make this speech and he screams, “MTV got Taylor Swift up here to present me this award for ratings!” [His exact words: “You know how many times they announced Taylor was going to give me the award ’cause it got them more ratings?”] And I’m standing in the audience with my arm around his wife, and this chill ran through my body. I realized he is so two-faced. That he wants to be nice to me behind the scenes, but then he wants to look cool, get up in front of everyone and talk shit. And I was so upset. He wanted me to come talk to him after the event in his dressing room. I wouldn’t go. So then he sent this big, big thing of flowers the next day to apologize. And I was like, “You know what? I really don’t want us to be on bad terms again. So whatever, I’m just going to move past this.” So when he gets on the phone with me, and I was so touched that he would be respectful and, like, tell me about this one line in the song.

And I was like, “OK, good. We’re back on good terms.” And then when I heard the song, I was like, “I’m done with this. If you want to be on bad terms, let’s be on bad terms, but just be real about it.”"



On the "squad":

"I never would have imagined that people would have thought, “This is a clique that wouldn’t have accepted me if I wanted to be in it.” Holy shit, that hit me like a ton of bricks... I thought it was going to be we can still stick together, just like men are allowed to do... If you’re a male artist, there’s an understanding that you have respect for your counterparts." But if you're a woman, "it’s assumed that we hate each other. Even if we’re smiling and photographed together with our arms around each other, it’s assumed there’s a knife in our pocket."


On being associated with the alt right:

"I didn’t hear about that until after it had happened. Because at this point, I, for a very long time, I didn’t have the internet on my phone, and my team and my family were really worried about me because I was not in a good place. And there was a lot of stuff that they just dealt with without telling me about it. Which is the only time that’s ever happened in my career. I’m always in the pilot seat, trying to fly the plane that is my career in exactly the direction I want to take it. But there was a time when I just had to throw my hands up and say, “Guys, I can’t. I can’t do this. I need you to just take over for me and I’m just going to disappear.”"

"There’s literally nothing worse than white supremacy. It’s repulsive. There should be no place for it."

Interviewer: You took a lot of heat for not getting involved. Does any part of you regret that you just didn’t say “fuck it” and gotten more specific when you said to vote that November?

"Totally. Yeah, I regret a lot of things all the time. It’s like a daily ritual." (op note: girl me too)

"I have that line “I see the high-fives between the bad guys” because not only are some really racist, horrific undertones now becoming overtones in our political climate, but the people who are representing those concepts and that way of looking at the world are celebrating loudly, and it’s horrific."


On being too strategic:

"I realized very early on that no matter what, that was going to happen to me regardless. So when you realize the rules of the game you’re playing and how it will affect you, you got to look at the board and make your strategy. But at the same time, writing songs has never been a strategic element of my career. But I’m not scared anymore to say that other things in my career, like how to market an album, are strictly strategic. And I’m sick of women not being able to say that they have strategic business minds — because male artists are allowed to. And so I’m sick and tired of having to pretend like I don’t mastermind my own business. But, it’s a different part of my brain than I use to write."







Sources: 1, 2, 3