No wonder she's breaking records...
Taylor Swift released Look What You Made Me Do last week, debuting the song’s music video on Sunday at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards.
The new song, set to be part of her upcoming sixth studio album, Reputation, shows a new side to the 27-year-old singer with the electropop track produced and co-written by Grammy Award-winning Jack Antonoff.
The risk has clearly paid off, with Taylor’s viral track breaking streaming records and overtaking Adele’s Hello to get the most views on YouTube/VEVO in 24 hours.
And we can see why.
Look What You Made Me Do has been Taylor’s first release since her collaboration with Zayn Malik on I Don’t Wanna Live Forever last December, with the 27-year-old staying out of the spotlight and keeping off social media this year.
Returning to social media this month however, Taylor deleted everything from her channels, before sharing a series of snake videos to tease the drop of the first single from Reputation.
While her social media silence certainly drummed up interest, Look What You Made Me Do is being especially talked about for the video – with Taylor throwing some serious shade at herself, referencing all of the controversies that she has been involved in – everything from her feud with Katy Perry to that I heart T.S t-shirt – and it’s a lot to take in.
But what does it all mean?
Taylor Swift’s reputation
Taylor makes it clear from the beginning that the song is about the death of her reputation, with the singer battling endless negative press over the past few years. The video opens with a Zombie version of Taylor digging a grave for herself, in front of a tombstone that reads, ‘Here lies Taylor Swift’s reputation.’
The rest of the song then goes on to reference the endless bad press she has received – everything from her past relationships and her feuds with other performers to her recent lawsuit and digs at her squad.
Taylor Swift’s feuds
Taylor’s feuds certainly came up a few times in the music video, with her past beef with high profile figures being a considerable factor towards her backlash.
One clip sees Taylor making a dig at herself for collecting ‘receipts’ something mentioned in Swish Swish, the song that Katy Perry wrote about her.
Another scene shows Taylor, styled as Katy, emerge from a car crash as she sings the lyric ‘Look what you made me do,’ referencing her long-lasting feud with the 32-year-old Roar singer. To add insult to injury she is cradling a Grammy in the clip – an award Katy Perry still hasn’t won despite being nominated 13 times.
Another feud reference is the strong snake theme running through the project, not only in the social media video teasers but also in the music video itself.
One clip shows Taylor sitting on a throne of snakes, covered in snake jewellery, referencing her past spat with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West following Kanye calling Taylor a ‘bitch’ in his hit song Famous.
‘Wait it’s legit National Snake Day?!?!? They have holidays for everybody, I mean everything these days,’ tweeted Kim in July last year, leading to Taylor being trolled with snake emojis to the point where she had to disable her comments section.
Even Miley Cyrus is said to have had a reference in Taylor’s video with one scene mirroring a clip from Miley’s 2010 music video, Can’t Be Tamed.
‘I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me, I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams,’ she sings.
Taylor Swift’s relationships
It wouldn’t be a Taylor Swift banger if it didn’t reference an ex-boyfriend, with Look At What You Made Me Do appearing to drop quite a few mentions. The video opens in a graveyard, with one of the tombstones reading ‘Nils Sjoberg’, Taylor’s pseudonym as co-writer on ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris’ song This Is What You Came For, which when revealed, caused a public spat between the former couple and bad press for Taylor as Calvin tweeted that she was just looking for ‘someone new to try and bury.’
Taylor also referenced other past relationships that earned her negative press, referencing her fling with Tom Hiddleston by dressing her dancers in ‘I heart T.S. t-shirts,’ the very item of clothing that caused the former couple so much backlash. And you might have missed it but there was also a subtle reference to her 2009 relationship with Taylor Lautner, with one scene showing the number 13 drawn on her hand, a reference to one of their shared scenes from the film that they met on, Valentine’s Day.
The whole music video shows Taylor take back control from the hate and negative press that has surrounded her, whether it’s the reference to her ‘robotic’ squad or slipping in a symbolic one dollar bill to reference her recent lawsuit.
The video featured all of the previous incarnations of herself, throwing some serious shade at them all, before the singer answers a phone call to say, ‘I’m sorry the old Taylor Swift can’t come to the phone now. Why? Because she’s dead.’
While most people have perceived the song as a symbol of change for the singer, some also believe that it serves as a warning, with the lyrics reading ‘But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time. Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time. I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined.’
Judging by the new Taylor Swift’s hunger for retribution, we certainly wouldn’t want to be on her list.