Taylor Swift continues to break records and glass ceilings. After spending much of this year on her 10-studio-album encompassing “The Eras Tour,” Swift was named TIME‘s person of the year. While embarking on the ambitious tour, Swift continues her re-recording process for her six original masters, four of which are now complete. Swift released “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Red (Taylor’s Version) in 2021, and “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” and “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” in 2023 while on tour. Now, Swift hinted in her extensive conversation with TIME that “Reputation (Taylor’s Version)” could be next.
Swift began re-recording her albums when in June 2019, music tycoon Scooter Braun famously purchased Swift’s first six original studio album masters, which were created from when Swift was a teenager through her mid-20s. The masters were acquired through Ithaca Holdings for $330 million, after Braun bought Swift’s longtime record label, Big Machine Records. This resulted in an abrupt shift for Swift to Republic Records. The masters were acquired without Swift’s consent. The deal would rapidly become one of the most controversial business moves in music history.
Snakegate And The Birth Of “Reputation”
The “Reputation” era specifically represented a major tonal shift in the singer’s lyricism and sonic landscape. The synth-pop album largely serves as a kiss off to some of Swift’s harshest critics–the patriarchy. A number of tracks (notably, “Dress”, “So It Goes,” and “Getaway Car”) also feature Swift unapologetically referencing her relationships at the time, after the public scrutiny often placed on her personal life. The glitz and dark glamor tied together through snake motifs were born from an infamous phone call with Kanye West.
West notoriously stormed the stage at the 2009 MTV VMAs when Swift was accepting her first Moonman award to exclaim that “Beyoncé should have won.” Years later in 2016, West dropped the song “Famous”, which featured the lyric “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that b*tch famous.” The misogynistic undertones of the lyric did not sit well with Swift, who claimed that West never asked her for permission to include the line in his song. West’s then wife Kim Kardashian alleged at the time that Swift lied, and shared an allegedly edited phone call that made it appear that Swift consented. Kardashian was the first to tweet that Swift was a “snake”, which rapidly led to the emoji’s association with her amid the largest controversy to shroud her career.
Amid snakegate, Swift went into hiding from the public eye. Now, in the TIME interview, the singer shed new detail on the situation, which she previously remained tight lipped about. “That took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before. I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard,” said Swift.
Now with a stable support circle, a new record deal with Universal, and thousands of Swifties waiting in the crowds for her, the singer looks back upon “Reputation” fondly. “It’s a goth-punk moment of female rage at being gaslit by an entire social structure,” she said. Swift additionally detailed that the vault tracks would be “fire.”
Swifties have long theorized that Swift will drop the “Reputation” re-records next, as her only other remaining master is her self-titled debut album. A popular fan theory maintains that “all she has left is her reputation and her name.”
shes fr a mastermind #taylorswift
Listeners look forward to the “Reputation” vault. The vault refers to bonus songs that Swift wrote at the time of the original album’s release, but ultimately did not release to the public until the present day.
REPTV WILL BE BETTER
— Rahmat MK ⸆⸉ (@rhmtmk) December 6, 2023
female rage i love this quote
— AI Technology (@AI_technology9) December 6, 2023
Swift will let the games begin when she resumes “The Eras Tour” in 2024.