‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is about revenge and how rough times turned Taylor into a smarter, tougher and stronger person. Swift is standing up and defending herself even if it means that she has to stand alone against the world. Generally, it’s about reinventing yourself and becoming a better version of you even after the darkest moments.
Speculation is rife that Swift is referring to her adversaries Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry. In the music video, Swift pokes fun at herself, reclaiming the snake imagery that was sent her way after Snapgate, addressing criticism that she often positions herself as a victim, as well as her ”squad” army of tall, thin, modelesque women. She wasn’t kidding about the “old Taylor” being dead, either, because the several iterations of the pop star that show up toward the end of the video are all cast off by the new one. She appears as a zombie wearing the same dress she wore in the “Out of the Woods” video to signify that the old Taylor is dead. Taylor then sips tea being poured by literal snakes. She leaned into the snake narrative hard (a word Kim Kardashian called her in the past) with snakes acting as her teaser imagery for the song. She’s even gone so far as to sell the snake merchandise she wears in the video on her site.
Swift then dons a Katy Perry look, wearing an outfit with large sun glasses and cropped blonde hair, holding a Grammy (something she has while Perry doesn’t) while crashing a car. Swift definitely looks Katy Perry-esque. Swift then positions herself as a ruthless friend dictator of sorts by paying homage to criticisms of her “squad” by having a plastic-y robotic squad that is made up of models. Her friend group has long been the subject of derision, particularly since many of them are famous models. People wonder how genuine her friendships were. In the video, Taylor confronts each version of herself with the comments that people have thrown at her over the years, she also repeats lines of her own that have gotten her in a bit of trouble, such as “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative,” which is from a statement she released after Kim Kardashian mentioned her Swift drama in an interview.
Members of the band ‘Right Said Fred’ are credited to Swift’s song as songwriters; the song’s hook follows the rhythmic pattern of their early 90s song “I’m Too Sexy”. In an interview with their frontman Richard Faribrass, he explained to NME how this happened, he said: “The title of ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is based upon the verse of ‘I’m Too Sexy.’ that’s basically it. What’s weird about ‘Sexy’ is that when people sing it, they sing the verse, not the chorus, nobody sings that. Everybody sings ‘I’m too sexy,’ it’s the verse that people have latched onto, not the chorus. In Taylor’s song they adapt that rhythm and attitude of the ‘Sexy’ verse as a chorus …. I’d be an idiot to complain about it. We’ve been really lucky to have been picked by somebody like Taylor, who is obviously very cool and very successful and open-minded and relaxed about it. She’s not like some people.”
Release Date: August 24, 2017
Songwriter/s: Taylor Swift – Jack Antonoff – Fred Fairbrass – Richard Fairbrass – Rob Manzoli
Label: Big Machine
Chart Rankings: In the US, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100, peaked at number 11 on the Adult Top 40 and at number 9 on the Mainstream Top 40 Charts. In the UK, the song topped the Official Charts Company. Around the world, the song topped the charts in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland and Slovakia. It reached the top 10 charts in Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland. In Canada, it was certified Gold.
Artist’s age on Release Date: Taylor Alison Swift was 27 years old when she released this song.
Cover Versions: Mackenzie Johnson – Sam Tsui & Madilyn Bailey – Leroy Sanchez – J. Fla – Alex Goot – Emma Heesters & Andie Case – Sapphire – Ali Brustofski – Rajiv Dhall – Lauren Bonnell – Juliet Weybret – other Youtubers covered this song.