Going by streaming statistics alone, it's safe to assume that everyone reading this is a massive Taylor Swift fan. Personally, I can't get enough of that "attending a dry quinceanera" mood her music puts me in. But this diehard love for Billboard's "Woman of the Decade" is why we must cover our collective ears and refuse to listen to the latest album bearing her name.
Yesterday saw the release of Live From Clear Channel Stripped 2008, a live album of one of Taylor Swift's earliest radio performances. But, hours before the album dropped, the singer took to Instagram Stories to warn her fans that this album does not bear the Taylor Swift Seal of Approval. Instead, it's just the latest shot fired in an ongoing war between her and Scooter Braun, a man who sounds and acts like a villain from a rejected Hannah Montana episode.
In 2019, Braun and his backers bought up Swift's old record label, Big Machine, thereby taking control of most of the singer's back catalog. Ever since, Swift has claimed that they've been using that control to mess with her status as an artist, from copyright-blocking her from singing her own songs to now exploiting her legacy by re-monetizing Swiftian classics like "Tears on My Guitar" and "Should've Said No" (When My Manager Told Me To Sign That Contract) without her approval. While Swift is trying to gain control of her old artistic output by re-recording her first six albums, her short-term attack plan seems to be mobilizing her armies of online Tayter Tots and launching waves of hate mobs with the implied instruction to eat Braun's face.
And to her credit as a writer, Swift has gotten good at molding her narrative to best trigger the online crazies. In swift succession, she points out that Big Machine got the album backdated to 2017, then like some sort of conspiracy calls out "23 Capital, Alex Soros and the Soros family, and The Carlyle Group" as Braun's spooky silent partners. She ends by implying that they're using her old songs to exploit the coronavirus pandemic somehow. That sure makes it all sound like Swift is the protagonist in some Lifetime movie about a plucky young lady taking on a shadowy cabal of wealthy old white men, and not at all like a boilerplate music industry feud between two people each worth hundreds of millions of dollars fighting over who ought to get the next hundred million.
To all hardcore Taylor Swift fans: Cedric still does not have a Twitter account. Nope. No, ma'am.
Top Image: Flickr/Eva Renaldi