Taylor Swift Apologizes to Nicki Minaj — Can We Move On Now?

24 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Camilla Belle Finally Gets Revenge on Taylor Swift, Sides With Katy Perry in VMAs Feud.

‘MTV doesn’t even play music videos anymore!’ Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry just made the VMAs matter again after years of irrelevance—by focusing on the videos. It’s been years since MTV has regularly played music videos—the medium it built its brand and its popularity on—and it’s been years of mockery when the network unveils its annual list of Video Music Award nominations. An unexpected battle between Minaj and Swift took off late Tuesday, July 21, when the “Anaconda” rapper called out the MTV Video Music Awards for not showing more love to black artists.

As the award show evolved into a trolling pop spectacle with waning cultural influence and shrinking viewership numbers, the cultural grand jury made its ruling: the VMAs don’t matter anymore. Perry, Swift’s former buddy and the presumed subject of “Bad Blood,” chimed in with her own two cents. “Finding it ironic to parade the pit women against other women argument about as one unmeasurably capitalizes on the take down of a woman…” Perry, 30, wrote on Wednesday, July 23. As fans will recall (how can one forget!?), Swift famously slammed Bell in her 2010 song “Better for Revenge” for hooking up with her ex Joe Jonas. (Swift also recalled the 2008 split – Jonas broke up with her in a 27-second phone call – in the track “Forever and Always.”) “I never saw it coming, wouldn’t have suspected it / I underestimated just who I was dealing with,” Swift sings in the testy tune. “She had to know the pain was beating on me like a drum / She underestimated just who she was stealing from.” Swift – now dating famed DJ Calvin Harris – goes on to sing that the unnamed actress in her song isn’t a saint and is better known for the things she does on a mattress(!). “Soon she’s gonna find / Stealing other people’s toys / On the playground won’t / Make you many friends,” Swift quips. “She should keep in mind / She should keep in mind /There is nothing I do better than revenge.” Jonas, 25, and Belle were first introduced on set of The Jonas Brothers’ “Lovebug” music video.

Perhaps the reason that Minaj’s (justified) Twitter tirade, her back-and-forth with Swift, and Perry’s interlocution has lit up the Internet in such blazing fashion is—aside from the sheer shock of celebrities actually voicing their opinions—these women are reflecting a pendulum swing in interest back toward what the VMAs are celebrating. The former boy bander is currently dating Swift’s good friend and model Gigi Hadid, and the couple were invited to Swift’s Rhode Island pad over the Fourth of July weekend.

Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” music video, which not only broke web streaming records but prompted breathless cultural debate about body image and sexual power, earned a handful of nominations but was snubbed in the race it was considered a shoo-in for: Video of the Year. (Beyonce’s “7/11,” Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood,” Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’s “Uptown Funk,” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” all were nominated instead.) Minaj took it upon herself to point out what is a very real institutional bias against the sexualization of both curvaceous and female minority bodies and the routine erasure of the influence black women have on culture. Minaj clarified that she wasn’t attacking Swift specifically, but also retweeted a fan’s comment, presumably as a teachable moment for Swift: “stop using ‘support all girls’ as an excuse to not be critical of racist media that benefits and glorifies you.” Once all the thinkpieces about this exchange and what it means culturally had been written, Perry stepped in and blew it all up again, sending out a tweet obviously directed at Swift, whose video “Bad Blood” is rumored to be an attack on Perry. She called out Swift’s hypocrisy in demanding the support of all women when Swift herself is using a popular music video to criticize a female contemporary.

Artists are once again making huge, game-changing music videos that they’re proud of, and those videos are sparking the kind of conversation that progresses culture and provokes its norms. Artists are so invested in the music videos they create that they’re fighting over them in the over-impassioned, reactionary, sometimes ludicrous, and sometimes illuminating way that can make celebrity fighting so wonderful.

Or you can look to recent videos by Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Sia, Pharrell, and especially Rihanna with the blockbuster “BBHMM” clip: all artists who have expertly found ways to make music videos inextricably tied to the success of the song itself. MTV couldn’t have orchestrated a better way for pop culture to realize that music videos matter again than this Twitter dust-up that’s been characterized in the media as a “feud.” With its snark and its passion, the Minaj-Swift-Perry saga harkens to the days when MTV not only inspired, but facilitated celebrity fighting as spectacle. An “anything can happen” environment in which unexpected things really did happen because celebrities, as Twitter now gives them the freedom to do, actually acted on their own accord, untethered from their managing “teams.” Think Courtney Love chucking shoes at Madonna. Or Fiona Apple informing us that “this world is bullshit.” At some point between that era and now, memes started mattering more than music, and the mindlessness of it all has made the show passionless.

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