Country singer turned pop star Taylor Swift has been on a hiatus after a very public dispute with R&B artist Kanye West and his wife, reality television star Kim Kardashian. But on Wednesday, Swift announced through social media that she is returning with a new album titled Reputation.
She posted an image of the album cover on Instagram, displaying a photograph of Swift against a white background with headlines of her name surrounding her as she looks on. It is an obvious reference to the fake news that surrounded Swift following her clash with West and Kardashian.
Fans on Twitter have pointed out that the font Swift uses is nearly identical to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s ‘Saint Pablo’ tour merchandise line, suggesting it's a subtle insult to the reality TV stars.
Other fans compare it to the logos of several newspapers.
Perhaps it is both. Swift’s new album could be calling out her rivals as she jabs the fake news that dogged her after the release of Kayne West’s album The Life of Pablo.
For some background: in 2009, Kanye West rudely interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech after she was named MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video for ‘You Belong With Me.’ West apologized publicly for the incident, but then criticized Swift in his 2016 song ‘Famous.’
Kanye West claimed Swift signed off on his 'Famous' slight, but Swift contended that West presented her with falsified lyrics for the song, and she approved of those lyrics on a phone call. Kardashian got involved, releasing what appeared to be a grainy recording of West and Swift's phone call, and accusing the pop star of being a "snake" (she used the emoji).
This caused a flurry of fake news around Swift, with West’s fans assaulting her on social media, leaving profane and often vulgar messages. This sent the pop star into a year long hiatus after the release of her award-winning album 1989.
With the unusual announcement of Swift’s new album (it featured a GIF of, of course, a snake) and an accompanying single, it becomes clear that Reputation’s cover is criticism of the fake news surrounding her.
It is refreshing to see the mainstream media getting zinged by someone of Taylor Swift’s fame. For a long time, celebrities have been fearful of trying to trounce the media for their obvious lies. With a few exceptions like Robert Davi, Stacey Dash, and James Woods, the press has been exempt from facing consequences when they spread falsehoods about Hollywood entertainers and musicians.
And its almost foolproof: it is doubtful that Swift’s fame will suffer much more after Reputation’s release. The Instagram post already has close to two million likes. That combined with her winning a lawsuit against a former radio host that allegedly groped her on August 15th will, no doubt, shore up her fan base for the upcoming album.