Kanye West Knocks Taylor Swift From Spotify’s Top Spot

Critics of rapper Kanye West, known professionally as Ye, have spent years shunning him due to his history of controversial behavior and public antics.

With the release of a new album this week, however, he seemed to prove an invulnerability to cancel culture. In fact, “Vultures,” which also features artist Ty Dolla $ign, was so popular that it knocked pop star Taylor Swift from the top position on Spotify’s Daily Top Artist Global charts.

The achievement is not only notable due to West’s pariah status among many entertainment industry gatekeepers, but also because of the massive popularity and media attention Swift has received in recent months.

Not only was she named “Person of the Year” in 2023 by Time magazine, she set records with her Eras Tour and its cinematic counterpart. Her relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce also kept her name and image in the limelight up to and including the team’s recent Super Bowl victory.

Swift has also left a mark in the political realm amid rampant speculation about a forthcoming endorsement of President Joe Biden, which the incumbent’s re-election campaign reportedly believes could revive the deeply unpopular president’s chances of winning a second term.

The dichotomy between Swift and West is further exemplified by the latter’s frequently stated support of former President Donald Trump, who has all but secured his status as the Republican presidential nominee ahead of a likely 2020 Biden-Trump general election rematch.

In 2022, West cited his political views as not only a key factor in the concerted efforts to destroy his career but also a reason that his life was in danger.

“My so-called friends/handlers around me told me if I said that I liked Trump that my career would be over, that my life would be over,” he said in an interview with then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “They said stuff like, ‘People get killed for wearing a [Trump campaign] hat like that.’ They threatened my life. They basically said that I would be killed for wearing the hat.”

West and Swift have nursed an apparent rivalry since at least 2009, when he interrupted her Video Music Awards acceptance speech. In response to questions about his reference to Swift in one of his verses on “Vultures,” however, he wrote in an all-caps social media post that he believes he has “been far more helpful to Taylor Swift’s career than harmful.”