Taylor Swift has dramatically revealed details of her next album, Reputation, as the online world was abuzz with conspiracy theories about the pop diva’s motives.
Swift, 27, announced the album on Wednesday in a series of videos of a hissing snake, followed by what appears to be the album’s cover art.
As well as a grungier look for Swift — complete with gelled back hair, dark lipstick, and a chain choker around her neck — was speculation the singer was taking down her long-time nemesis, rapper Kanye West.
Firstly, Reputation was written in Pablo – an Old English-style, calligraphy font – in the cover art. Keen-eyed fans blew the whistle on the possibility the title was written in the same typeface West used in his 2016 studio album, The Life of Pablo.
The album featured hit track Famous, which reignited a feud between the pair over the lyrics: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ I made that b*tch famous.”
West maintained Swift gave him permission to use the lyrics, which Swift denied. The rapper’s wife Kim Kardashian West later released an audio recording of a phone conversation, which appeared to back-up West’s version of events.
The drama followed the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, where the rapper interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video for her track You Belong With Me.
He walked onstage and said she didn’t deserve the accolade, and that Beyoncé ought to have won. Beyoncé won Video of the Year later that night for Single Ladies.
Speculation that Swift is using Reputation to take down West spiralled further.
Fans pointed out similarities between the Reputation album art and that on The Life of Pablo.
— Michelle Groenewald☀ (@MichhFish) August 23, 2017
Meanwhile, some believe the videos of the hissing snake references Kardashian West, who mocked Swift in 2016 with the snake emoji as their fallout deepened.
Swift fans began commenting with the snake emoji on Kardashian West’s social media following her album announcement.
The first single from Reputation comes out Friday, Australian time, ahead of the album’s release on November 10.
The upcoming album follows her 2014 release, 1989, with hit singles Bad Blood, Blank Space, and Shake it Off.
Swift earned Grammy Album of the Year for 1989. More recently, she featured in Zayn Malik’s 2016 single I Don’t Want to Live Forever.
The album announcement comes off the back of her win against DJ David Mueller, who she sued for a symbolic $1 over allegations he groped her at a meet and greet.
Swift went on to make an undisclosed donation to the Joyful Heart Foundation.
The singer, one of the most followed people on social media, then deleted all posts from Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, kicking off speculation of an upcoming album.
— Ashley Weatherford (@sincerelyash) August 23, 2017
Wait it's legit National Snake Day?!?!?They have holidays for everybody, I mean everything these days! 🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) July 17, 2016
is this the Kinsey scale pic.twitter.com/x4Y00i9nbJ
— anna (@waltdisknee) August 23, 2017