A Timeline of Taylor Swift and Kayne West’s Feud

By: Alyssa Miller | Published: Dec 11, 2023

Taylor Swift and Kanye “Ye” West’s relationship is one of the most polarizing conversations in pop culture history. From the infamous VMA interruption to the “Famous” secret phone call to a recent dig from Swift saying, “The trash takes itself out every single time,” there is a lot of bad blood between the two.

How did this all start? Lucky for you, we are breaking down the Ye and Swift timeline today, pinpointing iconic moments that shook pop culture to its core. Let’s get into it!

The Infamouse 2009 VMA Interruption

The ever-evolving relationship between West and Swift public relationship started at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. While MTV has removed the official video from all sources, the moment lives on in the cultural consciousness.

Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards

Source: Richienb/Reddit

While Swift was accepting her award for the Best Video by a Female Artist for “You Belong With Me,” West stormed the VMA stage with a microphone and told her, “I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!”

The Aftermath of Kanye West's Infamous Interruption

While Beyoncé did end up taking home the award for Best Video of the Year, the inebriated celebrity with a history of being volatile acted out at a live award show. The effect would be explosive.

Kanye "Ye' West preforming on stage

Source: Super 45/Música Independiente

According to Billboard’s oral history of the incident, West returned to his seat during the commercial break, and singer Pink came up and scolded the rapper. MTV ushered West out of the building shortly after much to the rapper’s surprise.

Kanye West Apologizes on Live TV

The public, which included then-President Barack Obama, quickly turned against West for embarrassing a teenage singer. A day after the VMAs, West appeared on the pre-planned appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”

Kanye West on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" the night after the VMAs

Source: Justin Lubin/NBC

On the show, West, who would later call himself a “soldier of culture,” admitted that he had been having a difficult day. “I’m just dealing with the fact that I hurt someone or took anything away from a talented artist or from anyone because I only wanted to help people,” West said. “I immediately knew in this situation that it was wrong … It’s someone’s emotions that I stepped on. It was rude, period.”

Kanye West Didn't Apologize to Taylor Swift

While West apologized on national TV, Swift shared on “The View” that West hadn’t personally apologized to her and that she was deeply affected by the moment. “I’m not going to say I wasn’t rattled by it,” Swift said. I had to perform live five minutes later, so I had to get myself back to the place where I could perform. … All the other artists who showed me love in the hours following that, I just never imagined there were that many people out there looking out for me.”

Taylor Swift on “The View" in 2009

Source: ABC/YouTube

The moment would shape how the public looked at Swift. She referenced the moment in her “Saturday Night Live” Monologue Song later that year, then performed her “Speak Now” track “Innocent,” which is widely believed to be written about West,” at the 2010 VMAs.

Kanye West and Taylor Swift Try to Move On

The tension between West and Swift seemed to thaw over the next two years with Swift wearing a shirt from West’s clothing label on the cover of Australian “Harper’s Bazaar.” However, West retracted his public apology he gave after the 2009 VMAs in a Q&A with “The New York Times,” saying he didn’t regret crashing Swift’s big moment and that it “only led me to complete awesomeness at all times.”

Grammy Awards in the Country Music Hall of Fame

Source: Thank You (24 Millions ) views/Flickr

Shaking off the comments, Swift and West made headlines when they were photographed smiling during a conversation at the 2015 Grammys. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest the next day, West claimed that Swift wants to collaborate in the studio. “Any artist with an amazing point of view, perspective, fanbase, I’m down to get in the studio and work. I don’t discriminate,” West said (via Billboard).


Kayne West Says He Made Taylor "Famous"

All seemed peaceful between Swift and West. From gifts to presenting each other awards and sharing collaborators, it seemed that they were shaking off any bad feelings. It looked like the two were out of the woods until West’s seventh studio album, “The Life of Pablo,” featured controversial lyrics on the song “Famous.” The lyric calls Swift out by name and features a body double of her in the music video for the song alongside others connected to West.

Kanye West performing at The Museum of Modern Art's annual Party

Source: Jason Persse/Wikimedia Commons

Swift’s representative shared a statement with Billboard at the time, saying, “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. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric…”


Kim Kardashian Enters the Feud

West’s then-wife Kim Kardashian graced the cover of GQ and discussed in her in-depth interview with the magazine how Swift “approved” the lyric in a recorded phone conversation. Kardashian recalled a moment during the phone conversation in which Swift allegedly said that she was looking forward to the media thinking she was against the lyric even though she was in on the joke. “And I’m like, wait, but [in] your Grammy speech, you completely dissed my husband just to play the victim again,” Kardashian said.

English: American rapper Kanye West and socialite Kim Kardashian pose together at the red carpet of the Met Gala in 2019.

Source: Cosmopolitan UK/Wikimedia Commons

Swift denied the allegations made by Kardashian in the GQ interview, with her rep stating that “Taylor does not hold anything against Kim Kardashian as she recognizes the pressure Kim must be under and that she is only repeating what she has been told by Kanye West.”


Kim Kardashian Shares That Video

On July 17, 2016, Kardashian shared Snapchat footage of a recorded video between West and Swift that she mentioned in her GQ interview. In the video, the two are talking about one of the “Famous” lyrics. Swift appears to take the former line as a “compliment” in the video. The public then began to flood Swift’s social media with snake emojis.

Snake emojis in the comments of Taylor Swift's Instagram post

Source: BuzzFeed/Instagram

Swift then took to Twitter to explain her point of view after the video was leaked by Kardashian. “While I wanted to be supportive of Kanye on the phone call, you cannot “approve” a song you haven’t heard. Being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part of the song is character assassination,” Swift wrote in a screenshot of a note.


While Swift tried to embrace this villain persona the public gave to her with her next album, “Reputation,” Swift reflected on the bullying that she had faced during her time in the industry in a profile in Rolling Stone and gave new details about “the events that led up: to the “Famous” phone call. “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 [West], 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,” Swift said.

Taylor Swift Speak Now Tour Hots Sydney, Australia

Source: Eva Rinaldi/Wikimedia Commons

In March 2020, the Twitter trend #KanyeWestIsOverParty reignited after a newly leaked video of the infamous phone call between West and Swift revealed that she didn’t lie about giving the rapper permission to use the lyrics in his 2016 song.


While Swift claimed innocence about a situation that had put her in a bad spotlight, Kardashian crafted a long Twitter thread argument that tagged Swift’s account to call her out for choosing to “reignite an old exchange–that at this point in time feels very self-serving given the suffering millions of real victims are facing right now” during the COVID-19 pandemic. This sparked the #KimKardashianIsOverParty on Twitter.

Kim Kardashian And Khloe Get David Jones Tills Ringing, Chaos

Source: Eva Rinaldi/Flickr

The reality star denied that the Snapchat footage from 2016 was edited and defended her husband’s right to record his musical process as an artist, even if that meant that Swift was not made aware that she was being recorded.


The mega-pop star discussed the infamous call with Time after being named the magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year for the fourth time. Swift reflected on the feud between Kardashian and West, saying, “You have a fully manufactured frame job, in an illegally recorded phone call, which Kim Kardashian edited and then put out to say to everyone that I was a liar.”

Taylor Swift preforming her song "Lover" during her Eras Tour

Source Buda Mendes/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Swift continued, saying, “That took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before. I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard.”


Kardashian is no longer Team Kanye after the two divorced in 2022. West has unfortunately fallen from grace, banned from multiple social media platforms after promoting fake news and antisemitic comments. While Swift felt like the video had been the death of her career, the superstar has had an impressive year.

Recording artists Kanye West, Taylor Swift and TV personality Kim Kardashian during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California

Source: Jeff Kravitz/MTV1415/FilmMagic

Not only did the Eras Tour boost the American economy, but Swift is broadening her career to films, self-releasing her Eras Tour with AMC and changing the way people in the entertainment industry think about self-distribution. As for Kardashian, she is still a cultural icon, who takes fashion risks seriously but hasn’t been free of controversy and criticism from the culture.