Taylor Swift recently released her latest single, “Look What You Made Me Do.” Taylor Swift attempted to switch up her musical style once again, starting rumors of it being a diss track. In the new video, the scene opened to a graveyard with a headstone saying, “Here lies Taylor Swift’s Reputation.” Arguments, misunderstandings and sly insults have been the backbone of these kind of feuds that develop into music.
Diss tracks have a reputation to stem from partnerships gone awry and Swift’s situation is no exception. Shade thrown from Swift seemed to blow in the direction of several audiences. However, Taylor has decided to go in a less than conventional way.
Many diss tracks focus moreso on the lyrics than making a music video that gives more hints and clues to who the diss is being aimed at. These disses go as far as calling out names or singling out certain events. Swift produced a video for the single that gave visual assistance to the meaning behind the song. When the song is played without the video, the lyrics seem less effective. She never mentioned a name but every scene held a responsible party. The video provided scenes from the bathtub, the scene with the snakes and the side remarks in the lyrics that pointed to several people with the guilt of ruining Swift’s reputation.
The main targets, presumably, are Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian. A couple of years ago, Swift and West had a falling out that caused a long road of stress and social media related incidents. However, the intended target extended further than the couple. On the list, with their names underlined in red, are Katy Perry, a former boyfriend, and a radio host.
The distinction between Swift’s diss track and others lie in the fact of how indirect she is with her lyrics. In Eminem’s diss track about Mariah Carey, Eminem mentioned her and Nick Canon. He used direct events and descriptions that singled out the couple. In Drake’s diss to Meek Mill, Drake also rapped about the specific incident that started it all. Both diss tracks held their own without visual content.
Eminem responded to accusations of being obsessed with Mariah Carey by giving his own “receipts”. Drake responded to Meek Mill’s twitter accusation of him not writing enough. However, when someone listens to Swift’s song without the video, it leaves much to the imagination. Without the scene of Swift in the bathtub and the single dollar bill, could someone assume that those lyrics related back to the sexual assault case she had? Without the car crash scene with Swift impersonating Katy Perry, could someone assume that Katy Perry was even mentioned? Without certain scenes, listeners would be lost as to the true meaning and how much detail and thought Swift put into this diss track. Swift made her strength in the video aspect that many people don’t bother with. Now the public is awaiting her album’s release to see how the remaining songs turned out.