ruby rose quits kanye's music after rapper's taylor swift lyric

"Can I still support him and call myself a feminist? A friend? No," she tweeted.

by Hannah Ongley
12 February 2016, 5:15pm


When Kanye West tweeted "BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!!" in the midst of a series of tweets about Puma, Nike, and Kylie Jenner, he was likely just trying to rouse a little controversy. A "success," if you can ascribe that word to such a statement, considering his tweet has now been RT'd 44,000 times. But the indefensible disregard of the more than 50 women who have brought sexual assault allegations against the former comedic icon has caused less debate than a seemingly trivial lyric from one of the songs off the new album he debuted at his Yeezy Season 3 presentation yesterday. In his new song "Famous," Kanye raps, "I feel like me and Taylor might have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous."

The collective "Oh snap!" that reverberated around the stadium yesterday quickly morphed into anger, with Taylor's brother's Instagramming a video of himself throwing out his $950 Yeezy sneakers and Gigi Hadid (who was present at the Madison Square Garden show) tweeting that her attendance doesn't mean she endorses the music. Ruby Rose, too, has now leaped to Taylor's defense. "Too many lines crossed. If I put myself in the shoes of the women he has hurt recently. Victims of Bill Cosby, The Slut shaming, Amber…" she wrote last night. "Can I still support him and call myself a feminist? No."

Ruby Rose, like Hadid, is a friend of Taylor's in real life, though her condemnation of Kanye's hits on what, for many people who aren't lucky enough to score invites to Swift's July 4th mansion parties. The "Famous" lyric doesn't necessarily come off as highly offensive in isolation, nor was it the most potent facet of yesterday's Yeezy party. But off the back of the rapper-designer's ill-advised defense of Bill Cosby and his repeated slut-shaming of Amber Rose, it raises yet more questions about how he views women. It's interesting to note that The Life of Pablo also contains a mildly misogynistic lyric about his wife Kim Kardashian, who West normally presents as a deity — just look at the heavenly white "wifey outfit" he dressed her in for yesterday's show. "No matter where she goes or who she knows / She still belongs in my bed," West raps before making an obvious allusion to her sex tape. Evidently his jabs aren't just born from residual bitterness at the women he's been aligned with in the past succeeding without him. But on the other hand, "Famous" is a rap song. It would be boring without a little blurring of the line between playfulness and insult.

Kanye has since hit back at the most recent criticisms, claiming that he only wrote the Taylor lyric after a three-hour phone conversation during which she gave him his blessings. Whether or not we choose to believe that Swift and Kanye co-wrote "Famous" over burgers at The Spotted Pig is a fun debate, though it's not really the point. If a woman wants to support other women by not supporting the rapper's music, she has every right to. But as one of our favorite female comedians, Akilah Hughes, tweeted in response to Ruby's criticism, "Famous" is "just a song. A "fragment of a lyric." And wanting to revel in what is definitely the album of New York Fashion Week, if not the album of the life, is not necessarily anti-feminist. Kanye West isn't perfect, but no one's feminism is either. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Instagram

taylor swift
kanye west
ruby rose