Swift's latest album is almost definitely about the Kanye feud, Tom Hiddleston, Calvin Harris and "Old Taylor" -- but you have to look for clues.
Taylor Swift's new album "Reputation" dropped at midnight on Friday, and her fans and critics immediately did what they do best: combed through all the lyrics trying to figure out which celebrity feud or ex-boyfriend she's singing about this time.
Swift already took shots at her haters and serenaded her super-hot boyfriend in her previously-released singles "Look What You Made Me Do," "Gorgeous" and "Call It What You Want," but the full album brings a lot more intrigue to the story.
Here are the five biggest theories that Swifties have come up with so far:
Kim & Kanye
We all knew "Look What You Made Me Do" referenced Swift's feud with Kanye West, with all those snakes in the music video and lines like "I don’t like your little games / Don’t like your tilted stage." But anyone looking for her final word on the matter should check out "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things," which fans are 99 percent convinced is aimed squarely at the rapper.
Swift, you may remember, got thoroughly played by Kim Kardashian when she claimed Kanye never got her permission to say "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous" in his controversial track "Famous," only to have Kardashian release Snapchat videos of Kanye and Taylor discussing the lyrics over the phone. (Swift later clarified in her "I would very much like to be removed from this narrative" statement that she never agreed to being called "that bitch" in the song.)
That incident seems to be referenced in these lyrics from "TIWWCHNT":
"It was so nice being friends again / There I was giving you a second chance / But then you stabbed my back while shaking my hand / And therein lies the issue / Friends don't try to trick you / Get you on the phone and mind-twist you / But I'm not the only friend you've lost lately / If only you weren't so shady."
Then there's that part where Swift sings sweetly, "Here's to you / 'Cause forgiveness is a nice thing to do," then bursts into a savage cackle and says "I can't even say it with a straight face!"
Swift fans are losing their minds over that line, and have declared the #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty officially cancelled.
There is so much shade in This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things that the sun went into hiding and global warming is no longer an issue.— an impatient bitch (@bakingswifts) November 10, 2017
PEOPLE REALLY THOUGHT TAYLOR SWIFT WAS "OVER"— giselle🍒 (@inagetawaycar) November 10, 2017
*CUE SATISFIED CACKLE IN THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS* pic.twitter.com/jgfpurMeUp
Name That Boyfriend
Since we last heard from Swift during her "1989" era, she broke up with DJ and musician Calvin Harris, had a high-profile fling with British actor Tom Hiddleston, and is now happily in love with also-British actor Joe Alwyn. Most of the love songs in "Reputation" are probably about Alwyn, with his "ocean-blue eyes" in "Gorgeous" and "My baby's fit like a daydream" in "Call It What You Want" -- but fans are wondering if Swift's old boyfriends are still lurking in the album somewhere.
This album's epic breakup song is her track "Getaway Car," which seems to be about the night Swift and Hiddleston met and danced together at the Met Gala when she was supposedly still dating Harris:
"It was the best of times, the worst of crimes / I struck a match and blew your mind / But I didn't mean it / And you didn't see it / The ties were black, the lies were white / In shades of grey in candlelight / I wanted to leave him / I needed a reason."
MY NEW CONSPIRACY THEORY: Taylor Swift wrote all of Reputation about Tom Hiddleston and swapped a few choice lyrics to make it about Joe. pic.twitter.com/MLYmkOOT8T— Kelsea Stahler (@KelseaStahler) November 9, 2017
Getaway Car is about Tom Hiddleston??? My baby loki left alone in a motel bar i’m emo 😭 pic.twitter.com/WJcphHdj2q— jessa (@jssrvr) November 10, 2017
Getaway Car is such a fucking sad, I feel so bad for Tom Hiddleston he doesn't deserve that shit.— RedHeadLohan (@RedHeadLohan) November 10, 2017
- Getaway Car: IS THIS ABOUT TOM FUCKING HIDDLESTON????— tswift owns my ass (@umysnowflake) November 10, 2017
no way it's about Calvin
like it looks like they really liked each other but it lasted too short
'it was the great escape' Tay and Tom were avoiding the media
dont tell me this is not a Hiddleswift song I will murder you
I think it has to to with her leaving calvin, and she got with tom hiddleston and she knew the relationship was doomed. "No nothing starts good in a getaway car"— Trey (@TreyPL) November 10, 2017
Taylor's Object of Lust
Swift gets sexier than we've ever seen her in "Dress," a song about pining after someone in a crowded room. "They've got no idea / about me and you," Swift croons; "Only bought this dress so you could take it off."
These lyrics could also be about her boyfriend, but some people are having more fun with it and imagining a scandalous secret fling. The line "There is an indentation / In the shape of you / Made your mark on me / A golden tattoo" reminded one fan of a photo of Swift standing next to Drake at a party, wearing a little black dress and a temporary gold tattoo.
Other fans are going all out and imagining that Swift is lusting after her close friend Karlie Kloss. "Say my name and everything just stops / I don't want you like a best friend," she sings. "Even in my worst times, you could see the best of me / Flash back to my mistakes / My rebounds, my earthquakes."
dress is about karlie kloss and no one can convince me otherwise sorry pic.twitter.com/gUf0xP7ylH— 🦃🍂🦂 // pinned (@poprocksana) November 10, 2017
Dress is about Karlie Kloss, pass it on— Charlotte Warwick (@c_warwick) November 10, 2017
Talk about #SquadGoals!
New Taylor vs Old Taylor
Swift infamously declared that "Old Taylor can't come to the phone right now ... because she's dead" in "LWYMMD," but Swifties were still looking for signs of life from their favorite pop princess. While she is reinventing herself with "Reputation," sharp-eyed fans have noticed a few nods to her past self -- particularly with the sweet ballad "New Year's Day" that closes out the album.
She ended the tradition of the 5th song being sad, she didn’t revive the tradition of having a song named after the album, she doesn’t have a 2AM or 4AM reference, & I’m hearing that there aren’t hidden messages in the booklets. The old Taylor really is dead y’all she warned us— Rachel (@13swift1989) November 10, 2017
"I'm sorry the old taylor can't come to the phone right. Why? Oh cuz she's DEAD"— Chester Jade (@tienza_CJ) November 10, 2017
*listens to New Year's Day
BITCH THE OLD TAYLOR IS STILL ALIVE CALL 911!!!🚨🚨🚨 #Reputation
First Listen thoughts on Taylor Swift’s #Reputation: “End Game” is bad, but Future FLOATS on it! Taylor is mad and rapping a lot. Rihanna should get an EP credit on this album. “Dress” & “Gorgeous” are the BEST songs. “New Years Day” is “Old Taylor” picking up the phone.— Daniel Dudley (@DDisBORED) November 9, 2017
The Split Album Theory
Maybe the biggest Swiftie scavenger hunt of all is the theory that "Reputation" is split into two parts: songs about the media's narrative of Swift as a conniving control freak, and songs about the happy, relatively normal life she's actually living behind the scenes while everyone gossips about her. Fans were busy parsing the track listings to confirm that theory before the album even dropped.
Did they crack the code? Taylor will never tell.
THEORY. @taylorswift13’s track listing. #1 starts with “...” #7 ends with “...” all the songs in between seem like they could go together. Then BAM Gorgeous (#8) kicks off titles that seem totally different. TWO CONCEPTS ON ONE ALBUM MAYBE???? anyone else?? #reputation— Erica Shea 🐍 (@ericashea13) November 8, 2017
I have a theory that "...Ready for It until So it goes..." is the media's perception of Taylor Swift while "Gorgeous until New Year's Day" is the actual, real and happy Taylor Swift.— raindrops; (@reinobualat) November 8, 2017
GUYS REMEMBER THE THEORY OF REP BEING SPLIT IN 2 PARTS?? RFI TITLE BEGINS WITH A “...” AND SO IT GOES ENDS WITH A “... “ TO SIGNIFY THE 7 SONGS ABOUT HER REPUTATION AND THE 8 SONGS AFTER ARE ABOUT HER REAL SELF #reputation— ✿ (@divingswift) November 8, 2017
Ok so what if track 1-7 is about the media and then after the ellipsis which may signify the end of the first part of the album starts taylor's own narrative pic.twitter.com/KuQAt2q9V3— Mich 🌻 (@taysnewyearsday) November 8, 2017