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Op-ed: I’m So Over Taylor Swift

Written by Ernest Owens and originally published on huffingtonpost.com

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Let me take you back to high school.

Remember that girl at your school that was at first very quirky and you admired how she eventually became the homecoming queen because she stood out as being genuine and down to earth?

Then she ended up going to college and becoming a down-right mean girl.

That’s Taylor Swift, and now I’m so over her.

The once emerging country singer was an underdog in a genre that was male-dominated. Her sound and songs were unconventional. Her look pushed back against the big hair and heavy make-up of the musical Dixie queens before her. She was a girl with a guitar and big heart.

Yes, I was one of those wide-ear fans that became a “Swiftie” during her Fearless era. Her cross-over songs didn’t bother me much, because I figured she would naturally transition to pop as she evolved.

But something happened after Kanye West interrupted her MTV VMA moment that now concerns me.

She got spoiled, very quick.

Not only did she shortly after become one of the youngest musicians to win the Grammy for Album of the Year for the aforementioned record, but her next album, Speak Now would sell a million units in the first week, followed by Red shortly after and just recently her latest album 1989 as well.

To put it bluntly, Taylor Swift is the hottest name in music right now.

I’ve come to adore you, Beyoncé, but Ms. Swift is doing some things nowadays that one can’t easily ignore. Even her current relationship with Calvin Harris just made her this year’s richest celebrity couple – Mr. & Mrs. Carter have now been dethroned to second.

But sadly, as Ms. Swift rises in industry success and capitalism, she has become a corporate robot that is as disingenuous as they come.

Every single aspect of her career now seems solely slated to winning awards and braking records. One would look on the surface and see nothing wrong with that. But when it comes to music, the sound and craft often gets altered as a result. And so it has for Taylor Swift.

1989 is so good that it’s not good – so meticulously manufactured to be universal for all. The lyrics are catchy and bombastic at the same time. And the sounds are clearly etched at being on every Billboard chart she plans to climb on. She currently has three #1s and privately is trying to match her personal rival, Katy Perry, with five – or try to also beat Michael Jackson who is tied with Perry for the most #1 singles for an album at six. But I doubt that Ms. Swift can pull that off, but one can’t deny her intense campaign.

Her current music videos are some of the best she’s made in her entire career, and it’s no surprise that she got the high level of MTV VMA nomination love for it. But she has contradicted and rearranged her moral code in order to do so.

When she first promoted this project, her entire premise was based on giving her fans a pop record that would be drained of all the current cliché and musical trappings of the now. She even hinted subtle shade at Ms. Perry and many of her other contemporaries by suggesting that her songs won’t rely on hip-hop features to help them succeed.

And 1989 stayed true to that with her first two singles hitting #1 back to back… but then when her third single, Style, didn’t… Ms. Swift backpedaled. She got one of hip-hop’s finest, rapper Kendrick Lamar to jump on Bad Blood (which is alleged to be based on her feud with Katy Perry) and give her a third #1.

In addition to that, her becoming pseudo feminism aficionado is as disappointing as it gets. In one vein, she speaks of breaking barriers in a male dominated industry, but ignores the fact that part of how she has received some of that fame is by the public demotion of other women. Bad Blood is a visible catfight and shade throwing at another female musician – Katy Perry.

Its MTV VMA nomination for Video of the Year got her trying to guard her bruised ego when wrongly addressing Nicki Minaj for Twitter posts that spoke more about the issues women of color deal with than just Swift’s underwhelming nomination.

And of course, Ms. Swift rightfully apologized, but the damage has already been made. She has made herself an entitled industry brat that sees the things worth celebrating and supporting if done about her or through her.

Like her recent “squad” mockery, Swift has literally brought on her stage all of her famous “friends” and using these moments to breathe life into what is essentially a very vain and dry world tour. She has relied heavily on attempting to make this project a global phenomenon rather than let it rock on its own.

And that’s because Ms. Swift isn’t that damn extraordinary anymore on her own footing as a pop star. Beyoncé is a strong vocalist with amazing dance moves and electricity. Rihanna has the personal raw edge and unique eye for style. And Katy Perry, for better or worse, aspires for a level of popularity that isn’t solely defined by industry awards and critical acclaim.

Unfortunately, Swift needs the lights, flash, and gossip fodder to keep her relevant. And she now needs to be around as many other stars to keep her light from beaming – because her trading those once-loved guitar days for vanity runways have taken its toll.

Her recent attempts at being “candid” are fake and other people are beginning to see it. It’s no secret that she wants to win Album of the Year again for a second time and along with everything else under the sun.

And for that, I’m officially over her because she has replaced her quirky humble spirit for one that’s brutally vain with an ambition that’s distracting all real talent in sight.

And unless you seriously change, Taylor, we are never, ever, ever, getting back together.


About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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3 comments

  1. Much ado about Taylor Swift. I don’t get what the fuss about that girl is abeg. This writer is right. Once upon a time, she was real. Then she became mainly glossed-over

  2. Ghen Ghen, This writer goan did it. Taylor shall find this writer, make the writer her friend, break up with the writer and then write a song about it. This writer just gave Taylor ammunition to still stay relevant

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