Rapper Kanye West took a break from his 2020 presidential campaign to tweet about emojis and included one about the snake emoji that appeared to reference his long-running feud with Taylor Swift. It has now been ongoing for more than a decade, dating back to West's infamous interruption of Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Although they reached a detente in 2015 when Swift presented West with the Video Vanguard Award, the feud resumed when Kim Kardashian and West claimed Swift allowed him to use an explicit line in "Famous." In 2016, Kardashian brought snakes into the debate with a tweet comparing Swift to the reptiles.
On Friday, West posted several tweets about obscure emojis, asking his followers exactly what they were for. This led to West writing about the snake emoji. "Not gonna use a snake emoji cause you know why… I’m not sure if Christians are allowed to use snake emojis," he wrote, appearing to reference the feud with Swift. He included a photo of a snake in the tweet.
Not gonna use a snake emoji cause you know why ... I’m not sure if Christians are allowed to use snake emojis 🤔 pic.twitter.com/CUR6SSRNqP— ye (@kanyewest) August 15, 2020
The "snake" part of Swift and West's feud dates back to 2016 when West claimed Swift allowed him to refer to her as a "b—" in his song "Famous." Swift denied this, but then Kardashian released a video claiming it proved Swift approved of the lyric. In March, Variety published the full transcript of the 2016 phone call, which shows that West did not tell Swift he was thinking of using the derogatory term to describe her in the "I made her famous" line.
Kardashian also defended West with a July 17, 2016 tweet, which included several snake emojis. "Wait it's legit National Snake Day?!?!?They have holidays for everybody, I mean everything these days," Kardashian wrote at the time. Two years later, Swift tried to reclaim the snake imagery during her Reputation tour. She referenced being called a "snake" on social media and used a giant robotic snake as part of the performances.
Since then, West and Swift have continued to make references to the feud. In August 2019, Swift made a very subtle jab at the VMAs that year, noting she has "learned" you "never know what can happen on these award shows." She also called West "two-faced" for continuing the feud after she presented him with the Video Vanguard Award in 2015. In November 2019, West made his own subtle reference to the situation before Swift performed at the American Music Awards by sharing an apocalyptic bible verse on Twitter.