By Emma Weidmann | Staff Writer
They’re equals in their influence on pop culture. The dedication of their fans is unmatched. They’ve been known to lead bandwagons — and have ones led against them. They’ve been in the ring against each other several times. Kanye West and Taylor Swift divide a generation of music lovers along political, ideological and musical lines. Two Baylor students weighed in with their opinions.
Sachse freshman Kaylie Evetts is a committed fan of Taylor Swift, while Cypress junior Chris Kariuki grew up as a fan of Kanye West.
How long have you been a fan?
Evetts: “My friends told me about [Taylor Swift’s] new album ‘Evermore,’ which came out my junior year of high school. At first, I didn’t know if I wanted to listen to it because of some of her other pop albums, and then I did, and it was so different from what I was expecting. … That was the moment when I started really listening to her.”
Kariuke: “I’ve been a fan of Kanye basically my whole life. I remember ‘Stronger’ coming out when I was five, and it was one of my favorite songs instantly. The first album I ever bought with my own money was ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ after my eighth birthday. I had ten dollars and bought the CD.”
Why are you a fan?
Evetts: “[Swift’s] lyrics have a way of capturing certain emotions that can be difficult for people to express. … She inspires me as a woman. There have been so many times when she has been judged or limited because she is a woman, and she has broken down so many barriers. She is an inspiration to me and I know that I am capable and strong.”
Kariuke: “[Kanye represents] having a delusional confidence in yourself [being] so important to getting anything you want and feeling like a lot of things you do have good intentions but bad communication, so your message gets misconstrued. I go through a lot of that as well and so it’s nice to know that a billionaire has that problem. It’s nice to see someone so high up in the world that you can relate to.”
What are your favorite songs by the artist?
Evetts: “Most people think of [Swift] as writing about breakups or boyfriends, but my favorite songs have nothing to do with romance. One of them is ‘Mirrorball,’ which is talking about being afraid to be yourself around other people. … So that song resonates with me and reminds me of the value of being yourself. ‘Marjorie,’ which is about [Swift’s] grandmother, reminds me a lot of my grandmother, and so that song is special to me as well.”
Kariuke: “‘Runaway’ is definitely up there. ‘Saint Pablo,’ ‘Bound 2,’ ‘Blood on the Leaves,’ I could really go on. As somebody who’s into music production myself, I appreciate what [Kanye] does. I feel like…