Back in November, Taylor Swift announced that she was leaving her old record label Big Machine for a sweet deal with Republic Records and Universal Music Group that included a special clause about UMG’s artists getting the money if/when the label sells its shares in Spotify. It was a big win for Swift, since it let her take a shot at the music streaming platform she hates, but it signaled an end to an extremely lucrative relationship for Big Machine—which apparently makes 80 percent of its revenue from the rights it controls to Swift’s first six albums. Apparently, though, the split was more contentious than it seemed, with Swift revealing now that she had tried fighting Big Machine for a chance to control her own master recordings but was denied, forcing her to accept that Big Machine would someday sell its catalog to someone else, thereby giving some new person control of Swift’s old music.
That has now happened, and Swift is real pissed about the buyer that Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta went with. As reported by Billboard, Borchetta has sold Big Machine to Ithaca Holdings as part of a $300 million deal, giving control of the Big Machine catalog—and those first six Taylor Swift albums—to Ithaca’s founder: former Kanye West manager and Justin Bieber mastermind Scooter Braun. Today, in a post on Tumblr (embedded below), Swift explained why she’s so upset about this, saying, “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.”
As Swift goes on to point out, Scooter Braun was there when Kanye West made his “Famous” video, with its naked Swift lookalike and lyric about how West thinks he and Swift might end up having sex because “I made that bitch famous.” Braun was also there when Kim Kardashian recorded Swift talking to West on the phone about “Famous,” seemingly giving her approval for the whole stunt, and Braun was also there when Kardashian released that recording and turned it into a whole big thing to make Swift look like a hypocrite for being publicly mad about the song and video. Basically, the big feud that Taylor Swift has been in with West and Kardashian for years is at least partially this guy’s fault, and he now owns the rights to every album that she’s made since she was a teenager (save for the upcoming Lover, which will be her first on UMG) including the album that was partially about the feud.
In perhaps the most vicious part of Swift’s post, she makes it clear that Borchetta is just as guilty here as Braun, saying he knew how she felt about him and how it would make her feel for him to own her catalog. “He knew what he was doing; they both did,” she wrote. “Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.” She says she will “always be proud” of her previous work, but refers to Lover as a “healthier option.” Swift recently buried the hatchet with Katy Perry, but this one might not be so easy.