Taylor Swift’s music video Hilary Clinton of pop music

Benjamin Garcia

There comes a time in a Grammy year where a pop song blows away all our expectations and transcends to the zeitgeist and is immortalized as an American classic.

Taylor Swift’s song “Look What You Made Me Do” and it’s corresponding music video was not that.

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The video, which premiered at the Video Music Awards, depicts what social media influencers call a knock-off Beyonce’s Lemonade or an Illuminati rebirth; forgetting that such a “rebirth” happened when rapper Kanye West allegedly humiliated Swift at the VMA’s years earlier.

What is sure is that Swift’s new single is self-mocking in an attempt to re-brand; but re-brand from what?

Could it be being called racist or not having black people in a music video set in Africa?

Or possibly being called a copy-cat for mimicking Lana Del Rey’s style in the aforementioned video?

Or being deemed a “snake” by the “Kimye” following on social media?

It really doesn’t matter which former Taylor Swift the new, edgy and apparently dominatrix Taylor Swift is running from, because the old Taylor is still alive and well in the world.

Thematically, “Look What You Made Me Do” is the same as every other Taylor Swift song from “Speak Now” to present.

From then to now, Swift learned to dance and not just move her arms in the same three swoops, not bending her elbow.

Sonically, the song is a safe bet; sounding something like a mixture of Swift’s natural enemy Lana Del Rey and a member of Swift’s crew Lorde — though lacking a good melody or any original substance.

When Lana Del Rey writes a dis-track, it’s somehow still beautiful. When Lorde is edgy and dark, it works with the subject matter.

However, the subject matter discussed in “Look What You Made Me Do” is pure high school politics; and this ties directly in with where Swift is in her career.

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As The Young Turks political pundint Ana Kasparian points out, “This isn’t anything new. Usually what young pop stars do when they first have a squeaky clean ‘I’m a really good girl’ image — and then all of a sudden, they grow up a little bit and they’re like ‘I’m so bad and edgy — look at how bad I am. I’m going to get you!'”

Kasparian went on to say that it is indeed “so played out.”

An example of squeaky clean pop stars turning bad and edgy would be Miley Cyrus’ fall from grace and decent into “cultural appropriation.”

This is not meant to be a hit piece on Swift — some of us just wish she could give the drama a rest and rise above all the pettiness which she has started so long ago and continues to perpetuate.

We can be fans of Kanye West, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Lana Del Rey, etc — and still enjoy what Taylor Swift has to put out there; when stars create “played out” and otherwise negative kinds of work so consistently, it becomes boring as Kasparian pointed out- that is what makes ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ a generally bad song.

One could only hope- if not for our waning admiration of Swift, but for the future of pop music- that Taylor Swift can truly “exclude” herself “from this narrative” and make a truly timeless album.