“Famous”, the first single from Kanye West’s latest album The Life of Pablo, contains the lyrics, “Feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that bitch famous.” Kanye West has long maintained that he received Taylor Swift’s permission to use the lyrics, which Swift disputed.
“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,” a spokesperson for Swift said following the song’s release back in February.
In an interview with GQ last month, Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian-West, said she was present when her husband received Swift’s permission. What’s more, she said there was a video recording of the conversation, but Swift’s representatives threatened legal action if the video was released.
This evening, Kardashian-West defied Swift’s threats and posted the video via her Snapchat. Released as a series of 21 nine-second clips, they feature Kanye in the studio, speaking on the phone with a female we presume to be Swift. Producer Rick Rubin is sitting next to Kanye during their conversation.
“It’s like a compliment kind of,” Swift says after hearing the lyric. “Go with whatever line you think is better. It’s obviously very tongue in cheek either way,” she adds. “I really appreciate you telling me about it! That’s really nice.”
Throughout the conversation, Kanye repeatedly tells Swift that he considers her a “friend” and felt a “responsibility” to ask her permission before releasing the lyric. “Relationships are more important than punchlines, you know,” he says.
“And I’m really glad that you had the respect to call me and tell me about the song,” Swift adds. “If people ask me about it, it would be great to say, ‘well he called me and told me before it came out, jokes on you guys, we’re fine.'”
Watch video of Kanye and Swift’s conversation below. Update: Swift has responded to the video on Instagram. She maintains that Kanye never informed her of the line, “I made that bitch famous.” “Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me, ‘that bitch’ in his song?” Swift writes. “It doesn’t exist because it didn’t happen.” Read her full statement here.