Taylor Swift and Kanye West: What were the impact of two viscounts and four words at the VMAs on ten years of pop culture?

Taylor Swift and Kanye West: What were the impact of two viscounts and four words at the VMAs on ten years of pop culture?

Part 1

The moment

Whether you were watching from sofa, dorm, bar or in the control room at Radio City Music Hall where the MTV Vision Music Awards 2009 took place, it was the rare time in our culture where everyone had the same response: Did that happen directly?

One minute, Taylor Swift, 19 years old, was accepting the prize for a female video of the year, going around. what a great honor for me VMA pop-music to win as a country singer. Then, suddenly, Kanye West wrapped sunglasses to snatch her microphone and sent the quotation that would t shape the next ten years for two of the greatest superstitions of the music:

“Yo, Taylor, I am very happy for you, I am able to finish you. But Beyoncé had one of the best videos always. ”

Beyoncé, in the audience. “Oh, Kanye,” she suffered.

“One of the best videos is always!” The West continued.

He brought the son back to Swift. The crowd began to confuse, who had heard their names before to hear Beyoncé, boating. One of Swift's band members departed to her feet, and she prioritized the humiliated managers.

As he looked at the booth from a production truck that night Sunday, September 13, Van Toffler was shocked. Then he was president of MTV Networks Music Group, and it was a long time attracting Swift from his fertile and controlled music bubble featured at the annual annual pop shows in the first place. And now this it had to happen.

“It was like someone shot Bambi in front of the world,” recalls Toffler.

Kanye and Taylor. Taylor and Kanye. The way Nashville wrote and the hip-hop phenomenon was very little, but those 15 seconds left them intertwined. Over the next decade, both of them went beyond their stamosphere of reputation when both names were recognized by people who could not name one of their songs. They became famous people who you could not help but have strong views, mainly because their activities appeared to be in line with all cultural lines – race, gender, mental health, victory, media and politics. .

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(The Washington Post)


This provocative event was also a great television – a much needed shot in the VMAs. The show was excellent once for water-cold antics such as Madonna Britney Spears language kissing; but recently he lost the fear that producers were struggling that year even wearing “True Blood” to attend.

(The iconic view is that it is mostly iconic. The video was deleted from the Internet, with only low-quality bootleg versions floating around. MTV refused to provide it for this story; Swift, West and Beyoncé could be reached for comment.)

But the moment Kanye-Taylor raised the bar for other awards shows, who wanted to make their own "moments" and made their TV alert aware of new electric potential live broadcasts in the era. social media. (Twitter, which is still a toddlerhood, which exploded almost that night.) He launched thousands of memes, back when we wanted to know what the “memes” were, and we haven't yet done it with: I can finish you. . .

He was so great that some of them even thought of it. The VMAs were famous for this type of dog, after all, and the camera angles seemed to have all the rights covered. Live TV production can be convincing on the recreational drug, says Toffler; his normal strategy was VMA, “Put the combustible elements in the room, light a game from time to time, and then. . . see what happens. ”

Hamish Hamilton, who led the telecast, will never forget that he saw the West of the stage. He met the producers and said, “Oh my God, this is the TV gold.” T

“That's the phrase I've used, I clearly remember it,” Hamilton now said. “In many ways, it is a moment that television producers and such television directors wish to live.”

But in that particular moment, Toffler was very expensive. It involved a crisis management method, meeting a West-friendly colleague. “Go to Kanye and find a way to escort him from the building,” he recalls. “I'll get Taylor.”

He discovered that she was bent on the west side of her, and her mother and her management team on the other side. Toffler tried to co-ordinate her, but she was scheduled to do “You Belong With Me” – her great song that night and the biggest highlight so far – in five minutes.

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Handle with a black smart phone with a white screen for a lie-up isolated on a white background with a trimmed path. (Indysystem / Klara Auerbach / Post)


Meanwhile, the well-known crowd, including Pink, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Perez Hilton, continued to disrupt the unexpected break. Wale, the show's emcee, felt that he needed to be addressed from the stage, saying to the audience, “A man from his mind cannot be blamed,” a mood that only attracted more boos.

Toffler went back to the control truck and happened to Beyoncé. She seemed “shaking,” he said, and so he decided to show the show of the spot to break. He told the star that “Single Ladies” – her megahit song that West staged on to the champion – was to win the final trophy and the biggest prize at night: video of the year. If she waited around, Toffler suggested that she could help relieve Swift's ruined evening.

In short, telegraphy, Beyoncé proceeded to the stage to accept his trophy, quickly accepting in a red flag. “I remember being 17 years old, for my first MTV Award with Destiny's Child,” she said to the room. “And it was one of the most exciting moments in my life. So I want Taylor to come out and have her minute. ”

Swift's re-entry. The audience went hidden. “Um,” said Swift. “Could we try this again?” As she thanked her video director, fans and “my little brother's high school let us download the video,” she had no idea. under the storm which was brewing.

Part 2

The result

“What happened to you as a child? Didn't you get enough effort? ”Kelly Clarkson wrote on her blog.

“It's like u step on kitten,” tweeted Katy Perry.

“You can't make a nice girl,” said Russell Brand from Russell Brand in a radio interview the following day.

Everyone had an idea of ​​what Kanye did. 11 million people watched the VMAs that year, although the coverage after the truth was more comparable to Super Bowl coverage, which usually receives 10 times the audience.

Even President Barack Obama was determined by accident. "It's a jackass," Obama said in what he believed was a off-the-record pathway before a television interview – an overheard line by another reporter, which is promptly tweeted, leading to one of the first major debates about media ethics in the social media era.

Western apology on his blog (“I'm sorry she is very happy and her fans and her mom. … she's very capable! .. .. I'm in danger of going on stage and departing from the moment! ”(B) did little to prevent the danger.

There was a fight to tie his fight with a bigger culture crisis. It was the same week that GOP colleague, Rep. Joe Wilson from South Carolina, shouted “You lie!” At Obama during a presidential launch for Congress; the same week Serena Williams swore by line judge when she lost Open game. West I can finish you felt a moment as one of the clouds that collected anything less than the end of the charter, there were some comments to say. The former president Jimmy Carter appeared in the town hall where he interrupted West ”“ without being fully called. “The West of Ireland tour of Lady Gaga suddenly ended.

But most of the reaction was very uncomfortable, says journalist and editor hip-hop Tracii McGregor that West seems like the angry black man going after the young lady. , which was a little. “He looked bad,” she said.

A rare appeal of perspective came from Jay-Z, Beyoncé's husband and Western long-term co-worker. Certainly, West had an “improper break”, ”he told a radio interviewer, but“ He didn't kill anyone. No one got harm. ”

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(The Washington Post)


Part 3


He was already famous, of course. In 2005, just after his album “The College Dropout,” he had been hit by the Farewell during a silver boxer which was broadcast by Hurricane Katrina, “George Bush doesn't care for black people”. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, among others) were before releasing a series of platinum records, publicly hiding its own losses at earlier awards shows. Critics cracked it up to an intense ego and lack of self-regulation. The VMAs program only took this view.

“As well as Kanye,” said Soren Baker, author of “The History of Gangster Rap,” “it gives people lots of ways to be against him.”

There were some suggestions that West might have some deeper questions, which made a sewing bottle on the red carpet VMAs. It would have been a year before he opened his mental health difficulties, as he was in hospital in 2016 with psychiatric possession after an occasional journey on a journey, and two years later, he revealed his binoculars diagnosis on his album. “Ye.”

Back then, people wanted to rationalize how it could go after a teenage singer on live television. During the apparent appearance of the night after the VMA's “The Jay Leno Show,” of the NBC, West issued another excuse, and salt was mentioned in the wound by Leno by referring to death. Donda, Western mother recently.

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(The Washington Post)


“What do you think she said about this?” Leno said.

West break, his eyes blowing, he avoided the specific question. “I am embarrassed that it was my injury that caused another person's injury,” he said. He said that he would take a break from the minister and “analyze how I will do it through the rest of this life.” T

As promised, he fell out of sight for months. He returned the following year to “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” retrospectively on his own faults.

The most pressing reviews of the record helped to establish his position as a musician, but his behavioral reputation was not yet safe. While the VMAs were fast as a pop-culture linear, for the West – known to be affected by inequality or disrespect – he remained very personal. He wore a great shadow, which he practically pretended in a person who seemed to have lived forever ever since.

The West was much more hidden about systemic social and political problems in the black community and was willing to talk about topics that no other major name musician might come into contact with. But after the VMAs, when he saw a lot of his goodwill evaporating, he seemed more involved in his proportionality than anything. “Soon as you like, you don't do it,” he played “I Am a God” from his 2013 album, “Yeezus.” He added up to the challenge.

His behavior included tweeting “BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!!”; describe slavery as an “option”; applying for Grammys 2015, where he told Beck that he should give up his album-year trophy for Beyoncé; and endorsing President Trump at his meeting of the Oval Office which is very much photographed – a fall that he admited terrible liberal allies in the music business.

“If you feel that peer pressure is not allowed to manipulate you,” West tweeted.

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(The Washington Post)


Part 4


Making her first year “Saturday Night Live” in November 2009, Swift seriously paused in the center of the comic view that served as her open monologue.

“You might expect something bad I say about Kanye, and how he went up on stage and he destroyed my VMA. . . ”She sang, as the audience expected. “But there's nothing else to say, a good reason for everything, I got a security lining on the stage!” Two SNA members who were thrown out as devices, kept the Western police sketch.

The crowd praised them; Swift beamed. “We have a great show!” She said. “Kanye West not here! ”


But a few months since she won her first Grammy album for the year, Swift was not yet a global megastar. But she had a profound desire in Nashville, and a young audience was keen to want folk music, and she persuaded industry keepers – who were initially scanning a teen singer – through the songs she wrote. .

She was also publicity publicity, intuitive knitting to expel many personal exposures so that she seemed transferable. Her specialty was writing songs and referring to the drawing references to her coding notes which indicated that they were about real people, especially former boys and crushers.

But in the subsequent years after the incident, as she rose to be one of the biggest stars on the planet, Swift appeared, sometimes, that he was coming to the role of the dams in the silver dress with the microphone sractha from her hand, earning public sympathy and affirmation. After all, her story was part of the story – the excluded middle-class student who directed her into song writing, where she told stories as a stranger looking in. Singing in “You Belong With Me”: “She's praising a captain and I'm on the bleachers. ”

“Taylor knows exactly how to handle a message,” said Elaine Lui, TV personality “The Social” and “etalk” who runs the LaineyGossip website. Even if Swift is not at the forefront, she said, “this tension and conflict goes through her work.” T

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(The Washington Post)


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(The Washington Post)


In fact, there was drama and scores coming around the songs that put their path towards a global stagom. It has been said that it was inspired by the music musicians' tumor review of its performance Grammys was criticized in 2010 that inspired grammar, “Mean” winning the grammar. John Mayer – one of the more famous short-term shields – said he was “humiliated” at his song “Dear John.” Another ex-actress is said to have been ripped off by another track. . . “Shake It Off,” has hit the biggest profession, focused on the critics and the haters have been dismissed.

She promoted her alliances as well as her cattle, applying for Instagrams affixed to show that she was friends, not rivals, Lorde or other female celebrities, or listing her “squad” list “A-list” ( Karlie Kloss, Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham, Ellie Goulding, etc.) from the video “Bad Blood”. An action action involved empowering women – which was beyond the lyrics that Katy Perry thought was a job, another jumper.

In interviews after VMA 2009, Swift argued that she was a fan of the West and accepted her apology. But the following year, she seemed to have a new ballad called “Innocent.” Ann. The performance began with comedy footage of the Kanye event, and the lyrics were steeped in good courage and compassion: “It's okay, life is tough crowd / Thirty-two and is still growing now / Who's not you are what you did. ”

The West closed the show, and it seemed that all the criticism made last year was doing the “Runaway.”, Bombastic-filled. How were the two stars present that night?

“Horrible,” said Toffler all.

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Handle with a black smart phone with a white screen for a lie-up isolated on a white background with a trimmed path. (MINIMUM TRANSPORT / GAS / ISTOCKPHOTO)


Part 5

Kanye and Taylor

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Handle with a black smart phone with a white screen for a lie-up isolated on a white background with a trimmed path. (MINIMUM TRANSPORT / GAS / ISTOCKPHOTO)


The shared story could be eliminated in VMAs 2010. Alas, didn't.

“This is a strange dance that the two of them do. . . Over the past decade, we see that this is great fun, ”said Lui. While the media certainly had a role in reminding fans of the feudalism, “they keep them revitalizing themselves.” T

The West made a public complaint that Swift had affected his negative publicity for his own benefit. But then they had a friendly exchange at the Met Gala 2011. But West told the New York Times that he had no regrets about his outbreak. But then West and Swift are happily chatted at Grammys 2015.

The VMAs 2015 appeared to have a complete circle on everything, as Swift awarded a lifetime achievement award at West. “I am delighted and let you finish,” she said. “But Kanye West has one of the biggest occupations always!! ”


A year later, his story was completely destroyed. In 2016, West West Swift asked her new song, “Famous,” with a much more direct lyric than her own calls out: “I think sex and Taylor could still be myself. . . why? I made that reputation. ”Swift and other famous celebrities were in the video. She married her as an amateur revenge porn.

A bitter and litter dispute arose. After the release of “Famous,” Swift won “1989” album of the year at Grammys. In her acceptance address, she commented that many people have been excavating in the West: “There will be people along the way who will try to break your success or take credit for your achievements or achievements. Warriors. ”


This reality television mogul Kim Kardashian West, wife of Kanye West, has put Swift's taste off the victim to play. She released Snapchat's recording of a viable phone call which West seemed to be leading the Swift about the song – not to mention that it was a “bitch.” T

However, Kardashian branded Swift as a “snake”, and much of the Internet followed suit. The controversy was a strong reminder that Swift and West careers would continue. Swift released a statement that she was “falsely painted as a liar.”

“I want to be excluded from this story, one that I never asked to be part of, since 2009,” she wrote.

But this is not an option.

The visionary was a rare retro for Swift, master mastered his image carefully. She left the spotlight and later asked her “the lowest point.” When she returned late in 2017 with “Reputation,” she hired snake motif is truly in a single hundred music video. On a tour, the celebrity snake put the viewer over, and each concert ended with “Here's why we can't have nice things” – about a so-called friend who would “put you on the phone and do you meet you. ”


(Brian Monroe / The Washington Post)

Eventually, the two found themselves on the other side of the spectrum in the field which became critical to so many famous brands: politics.

West went completely MAGA, claiming that he tied up with Trump on a personal level and admitted the “dragon energy” and “the hero's journey” to the star TV star. “As well as a high profile trip to the White House, the West made a“ Saturday Night Live ”with his MAGA red hat and said he was“ bullied ”on the back road to wear it.

On the other hand, Swift broke years of political silence to declare that she was voted Democrat in the center of Tennessee. She made donations to support gun control and was a leading advocate for LGBT rights, beginning on a petition to support the Equality Act.

Suddenly, one of the most reputable celebrities in the previous decade spoke of your favorite liberal reasons. The direct contrast with the acceptance of the Trump by the West could not be ignored.

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(The Washington Post)


Part 6

Ten years later

Met a moment of fantasy and the fear at the moment in VTCs the train train. The fantasy of feeling so furious that you get a microphone and that you emit your true feelings to the world. And the fear of reaching your dream only to rip it out.

Perhaps the terrible break in the West of Ireland, but the video “Single Ladies” was an incredible video which was setting a song for a song that has now been recognized as a trilogy of ten years. His loss to the “non-epic You Mense With Me” showed how often ignored or reduced works by black artists, especially women.

The West was ahead of his time. Years later, the #OscarsSoWhite protests prompted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to reform its voting structure and extend its ranks to younger and more diverse members, and the topic has also spread around Grammys. promoted by performers such as Drake. (Yes, it is likely that he could have reached a more reflective target than false awards where he saw that everyone, including Beyoncé, was going home with a trophy.) T

The event also taught television producers how to put up their game in social media age; encouraging how Twitter or Facebook encouraged others to encourage others, including Ellen DeGeneres taking a selfie posting at the Oscar and the current horror of live performances of Broadway vintage operas. People still say “I can finish you.”

That one grab sets the stage for the next ten years of prize show and social media virus contests. But more than that, he confirmed Kanye and Taylor as cultural figures for us for a long time. Maybe you are still furious with Kanye. Maybe you think that Taylor refused too. Either way, you probably argued with someone about what happened to days and that you chose the sides.

What could be more representative for the next decade than arguing and choosing sides?

And finally, try as we would, no one will be excluded from his story.

“Perhaps this is the updated version of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston – even 20 years ago, you will never be able to separate them,” Lui said. “I think there will be more chapters in this story – I don't think they are washing their hands. I wouldn't be surprised to speak again in 10 years and discourage another eight chapters. ”

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(The Washington Post)


Emily Yahr is an entertainment reporter for The Washington Post. She joined An Post in 2008 and previously wrote to the Boston Globe, USA Today, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and the American Journalism Review.

Klara Auerbach is an illustrator and designer with a focus on data visualization and politics. She is an intern working with the design and graphics teams at The Post. She graduated with a BA in Performing from Rhode Island Design School in 2019.


Photo by Jay Leno and Kanye West with Justin Lubin / NBCU Photo Bank; Taylor “Innocent” performance photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images; Photo Beyonce and Taylor Swift with Christopher Polk / Getty Images; Kanye performance photo “Runaway” by: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

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