Taylor Swift the celebrity is such a magnet for attention, she can distract from Taylor Swift the artist. But Swift was a songwriter before she was a star, and she’ll be a songwriter long after she graduates from that racket. It’s in her music where she’s made her mark on history – as a performer, record-crafter, guitar hero and all-around pop mastermind, with songs that can leave you breathless, or with a nasty scar. She was soaring on the level of the all-time greats before she was old enough to rent a car, with the crafty guile of a Carole King and the reckless heart of a Paul Westerberg – and she hasn’t exactly slowed down since then.
So with all due respect to Taylor the myth, the icon, the red-carpet tabloid staple, let’s celebrate the real Taylor – the songwriter she was born to be. Let’s break it down: all 115 tunes, counted from the bottom to the top. The hits, the flops, the deep cuts, the covers, from her raw 2006 debut as a teen country ingénue to “…Ready for It?” – her latest offering. Every fan would compile a different list – that’s the beauty of it. But they’re not ranked by popularity, sales or supposed celebrity quotient – just the level of Taylor genius on display, from the perspective of a fan who generally does not give a rat’s nads who the songs are “really” about. All that matters is whether they’re about you and me. (I guarantee you are a more fascinating human than the Twilight guy, though I’m probably not.)
Sister Tay may be the last true rock star on the planet, making brilliant moves (or catastrophic gaffes, because that’s what rock stars do). These are the songs that sum up her wit, her empathy, her flair for emotional excess, her girls-to-the-front bravado, her urge to ransack every corner of pop history, her determination to turn any chorus into a ridiculous spectacle. So let’s step back from the image and pay homage to her one-of-a-kind songbook – because the weirdest and most fascinating thing about Taylor Swift will always be her music.
jayelectronica’s verse is crazy! peep: [Verse 3: Jay Electronica] Nas hit me up on the phone like “Peace, Isa” You know you need to preach out of pyramids in Giza Or long condemn Easter Instep of sniffing lines, popping thongs and he beat the ether Nigga, are we not thy brother’s keeper? Allahu Akbar, abrakadabra We used what we had to stay alive like MacGyver Started from the bottom, now we really, really here Started kinda blurry, now we really, really clear It’s the mad king unforgettable, black king on a pedestal The way he made words and the edibles was incredible Herbs and spices, giving life out to the lifeless Giving Christ out to the Christ-less My handle with the dices been documented as priceless I roll 7’s naturally Devils who used to laugh at me bow to me internationally Rappers I gave birth to shot at the God, blasphemy Told these motherfuckers to never Jimmy DeGrassi me This goes out to those that choose the view Disrespectful views on the original Jews The chosen people of God getting slandered and abused In the streets and the news by the seed of Yakub The senegals of Satan wanna keep us confused That’s how we lose, niggas got the ill street blues From Chiraq to England Me and Common dropping bombs like the baby planes as we establish the kingdom
have i ever told you about the incredibly elaborate pearlrose AU i came up with one time while on a long car trip (I wasn’t driving) spent listening to 90s indie rock where
Pearl is a teen runaway with a sword painted on the neck of her banged-up secondhand Epiphone Les Paul solidbody who came to Seattle at the height of grunge and was quickly snapped up into a job as a guitar tech for diamonds’ band, a slick radio-friendly outfit with major-label prospects, right before they enter a battle of the bands where their main competition is a band called Crystal System, fronted by local punk-scene staple Rose Quartz
Pearl isn’t her real name, she doesn’t tell anyone that, Yellow Diamond asked her her name and she looked across the room at a Pearl drum head and just was like uhhhhh
It’s like, a jukebox musical, Rose’s solo songs are all Tori Amos, Pearl’s are all Built to Spill (which are all pretty low for her I think but maybe in a different key; aesthetically it’s a PERFECT band for her, highly intricate and precise guitar parts over elegant strings paired with introspective, passionate lyrics)
Anyhow you know the drill Rose notices Pearl playing beautifully while she tunes the Diamonds’ guitars, climbs up on stage behind a piano and sings “Black Dove” to her, yanks her into her band (somehow they don’t have a lead guitarist, Garnet or maybe Sapphire and Ruby play bass/synths and Rose mostly is just a lead singer, rhythm guitarist & sometime keyboardist, eventually Amethyst becomes their drummer)
Pearl realizes/declares her love jumping on a bed in a tiny shitty apartment to “Rebel Girl” and helps Ruby give Sapphire a spotlit serenade with “Buy Her Candy,” “I want to inspire you” translates neatly to “I wanna see it, when you find out what comets stars and moons are all about,” our pink-haired hometown hero blows em’ down with Riot Grrrl anthems and sighs over her gf with “Twinkle”, everyone wears flannel, YELLOW PEARL IS A COURTNEY LOVE EXPY,