When Swift wiped her social media earlier last week, people went into a frenzy, expecting a new music from the pop star in over three years. They were right. Taylor showed a snippet of the song and video earlier this week.
Following some controversy where people accused the singer of copying Beyonce, the video was leaked. It’s filled with so much shade people you might need some vitamin D watching it. Here’s a list of all of the references Swift made in the song and video.
The video starts with Swift emerging from a grave. A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it name on one of the other tombstones — not the “Here Lies the Old Taylor” — is a name that some might recognize, Nils Sjoberg.
Why would they include that name when so many of the other tombstones appear blank? Well, because Taylor forgets nothing; the name Nils Sjoberg is the pseudonym that she used on the song This is What you Came For when she dating the other creator of that song, Calvin Harris.
The song, performed by Harris and Rihanna, was a smash hit and helped sour the relationship between the producer and Swift. Harris said in interviews that he was solely responsible for the writing That rubbed Swift the wrong way. Because again, she let’s nothing go.
It’s refreshing to see her at least admit that and embrace her reputation. People piled on her because she was being dishonest, pretending to always be the victim when she clearly has a dark side.
The next scene shows Swift in a bathtub full of diamonds, with a single dollar bill. That has been thought to be a reference to the one dollar she won in the sexual assault — civil — case against a radio DJ this month.
There are two schools of thought on the jewels and bathtub, though. One of which is a bit too savage to be true — even for someone like Swift. When Swift foe Kim Kardashian was robbed of her jewels in Paris, she was bound and thrown into a bathtub. People think she may be a reference that.
Others are saying it’s a shoutout to Ivanka Trump — people think she’s a closet Trump supporter. Either way, we’ll probably never know. The Kim K. diss makes so much more sense than the Ivanka idea though.
Taylor Swift took a break from music after Kim Kardashian allegedly “exposed” her. She released footage of the singer approving of her husband’s first single off of The Life of Pablo, “Famous.” In that song, Kanye referenced Swift, saying he could still have sex with her because he “made that b**** famous.”
Taylor had publicly ripped the song publicly. Her social media was later swamped with people posting the snake emoji after Kim K. leaked footage of the infamous phone call.
In the image above, Swift sits atop a throne, sipping tea while surrounded by snakes. The first images she posted on her new social media account was that of a snake (or two). Her throne also has an inscription that says: “Et tu Brute?,” a famous line from William Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar.
Stabbed in the back, Caesar pauses and looks at his former BFF, who led the stabbing and states those famous words. Considering the fact that it was only a couple years ago that Swift was innocently singing about Romeo and Juliet, it carries a lot of weight.
This part was a bit harder to decypher, as the car crash and look don’t really stick out as something that has happened to a Swift enemy. However, she is carrying a Grammy during the crash. She was criticized when she won Grammy for Album of the Year — the second time she won, something no other female artist had ever done.
But, people thought that Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly deserved that recognition. She also used that award win to call out Kanye West, again, rubbing people the wrong way soon after she had given her approval for “Famous.”
Taylor Swift loves cats. So much that people used to say she would end up a cat lady — which turned into a meme. Beyond the reference to her love of felines, she shows up with other women in cat masks “robbing” a streaming company.
Swift was accused of doing just that when she initially refused to share any of her music on streaming services — until she got paid. While it may be smart business, she earned the label of calculated sociopath.
Speaking of people thinking she’s a calculating sociopath, critics have targeted her close-knit group of friends often referred to as her “Squad.” Many squad members happen to be famous — including models Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid and Martha Hunt — and famous singers like Selena Gomez.
Haters claim they’re really not friends but just people who are interested in feeding off of one another’s fame They also allege Swift only surrounds herself with beautiful people.
Aware of the hate, Swift uses it in this part of the video to mock that very idea. She stands in front of what looks like a group of robots in training, like brainwashed automatons doing everything she tells them to — cue Selena Gomez’s reaction to her Grammy win.
This is the shot that got people all hot and bothered before the video came out. People thought Swift was mimicking Beyonce’s look in her Formation video. While that does seem so, it doesn’t make a lot of sense either. She’s not beefing Beyonce — even though Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech at the VMA’s to promote Beyonce over Swift.
The real tidbit to grab from this section is the “I <3 TS” half-shirts that her backup dancers rock midway through the scene. That’s a reference to the fact that her ex-boyfriend, Tom Hiddleston, wore that exact shirt in a paparazzi photo taken as the couple frolicked during a trip together.
The anti-Swifters surmised that she forced Hiddleston to wear the shirt, in some sort of controlling or submissive sort of way. Her detractors will find negatives in even the most innocent Swift news and she is clearly tired of it. Good for her.
Towards the end of the video, the “new” Swift is shown atop a pile of “old” Taylors, who are all fighting tooth and nail to get to the top of the heap. The “old” ones are all references to previous periods in the 20-something’s life, from her teenage country days to her most recent videos.
The “new” diva rocks a “Rep” shirt — a reference to the title of her new album, Reputation. After this she answers a phone call, saying the “old” Taylor can’t come to the phone because, oh, she’s dead! It feels calculated and forced in this song — as it’s pretty much hammered home 1,500 times.
Still, it nearly broke the internet. The video then cuts back to the Formation setup where Taylor breaks it down, hard. This could be a reference to the fact that people say she’s a terrible dancer. She holds her own even if though moves are a bit cringeworthy.
This leads to the hilarious final shot in the trailer. All of the previous Taylors are standing next to one another in front of a plane with “Reputation” etched on its side. They all argue and show their personas, from the new Taylor having zero empathy to the young, country Taylor trying to calm all the girls down.
Taylor is aware of the general perception toward her — as if the rest of the video didn’t do that in spades— It’s a great way to end the video.