After last year’s furore where Kanye West barged onstage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, both artists performed songs that referenced the debacle. In case you could’ve forgotten, Kanye stormed the stage while Taylor was accepting the award for Best Music Video, telling Taylor “Imma let you finish…” and then going on to tell the audience that Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.
Swift’s song, Innocent, references West directly. Her performance starts with a snippet of last year’s footage, just before West stormed the stage, and she begins with the lines “I guess you really did it this time..” I especially liked the line where she sings “32 and still growing up now” – which sounds a tiny bit patronising for someone 12 years his junior!
Essentially though, it’s Taylor’s song of forgiveness for Kanye – “Time turns flame to embers / You’ll have new Septembers / Every one one of us has messed up too” Though I’m not sure if that’s entirely right. Did the incident at last year’s VMAs hurt Taylor’s career or raise her profile? I’m not sure. Tell me what you think.
Having said all that, it’s testament to Taylor’s knack for turning incidents in her life into song, something she clearly excels at. I think this song could stand on its own, even without the high-profile incident that inspired it.
Taylor herself looked stunning. Her trademark curls slicked down, aided by soft lighting and an elegant, simple dress, she exuded Hollywood glamour instead of her usual bubbly teen looks. OK, she’s not a teen anymore, but you know what I mean. Kanye also performed a song called Runaway, which references scumbags and assholes that he clearly identifies with. It wasn’t an apology, but I think it’s the best we’re gonna get. (More on the West performance later!)