What is going on between Kanye West and Taylor Swift? We thought the pair had become buds since the notorious 2009 VMA incident, laughing off what had happened and even talking of working together. But now West has shaken things up again with a new song featuring explicit lyrics about her. 

Kanye WestKanye West says Swift is cool with his 'Famous' lyrics

While the rapper claims that he'd asked Swift's approval of the song and she gave him the go ahead, her rep has denied that any such conversation took place. And, let's be honest, it does seem unlikely that Swift would green light such a controversial song given her strong stance on feminism.

Let's start from the beginning. Yesterday (February 11th 2016), West unveiled his latest album 'The Life of Pablo' at Madison Square Garden which featured a song called 'Famous'. The track includes the line 'I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ I made that b***h famous.' Predictably, there were alarm bells given the misogynistic nature of that very unambiguous comment and many were quick to criticize.

More: Kanye West unveils new album info

For those who don't know the whole story, tensions have been high between West and Swift since he interrupted her MTV Video Music Award acceptance speech in 2009, essentially jumping up on stage and telling the world that Beyonce should've won instead (to both women's embarrassment). Swift wrote a song about it called 'Innocent', clearly meant to be a ballad of forgiveness, though many critics thought it was passive-aggressive, patronising and even hypcritical. 

By the time the 2015 Grammys rolled by, however, West and Swift seemed civil enough and the latter even presented the former with the Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs that year. There she joked about the incident that occurred six years previously and insisted on being a long-time fan of the rapper. West later suggested that they might even work together. Plus, if you needed more proof that they were firm friends, Swift shared a photograph of a huge bouquet on Instagram with the caption: 'Awwww Kanye sent me the coolest flowers!! #KanTay2020 #BFFs'. And that was pretty much the last we heard until yesterday.

With the backlash in full swing today, West took to Twitter to claim that it was all Swift's idea. 'I did not diss Taylor Swift and I've never dissed her', he began. 'First thing is I'm an artist and as an artist I will express how I feel with no censorship. Second thing, I asked my wife [Kim Kardashian] for her blessings and she was cool with it. Third thing, I called Taylor and had a hour long convo with her about the line and she thought it was funny and gave her blessings. Fourth, b***h is an endearing term in hip hop like the word n**ga. Fifth thing, I'm not even gone take credit for the idea. It's actually something Taylor came up with. She was having dinner with one of our friends who's name I will keep out of this and she told him.' And it just goes on and on in the same vein. Here we've strung together his most relevent Tweets; though we're not sure what he needed Kim's blessing for. One has to suppose that she is, in his mind, the spokesperson for all women on whether something is or isn't sexist.

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift is not okay with misogynistic comments

Entertainment Weekly, meanwhile, has got hold of a message from Swift's rep essentially denying all these claims. 'Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single 'Famous' on her Twitter account', they said. 'She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, 'I made that b***h famous.''

Plus, if there really was some sort of agreement between Kanye West and Taylor Swift regarding the content of the song, she certainly didn't tell her brother Austin anything about it. He took to Instagram with a sly dig at West, posting a video of himself throwing out some Yeezy sneakers with the caption: 'Getting a head start on some spring cleaning. Here we go again.'

Getting a head start on some spring cleaning. Here we go again.

A video posted by Austin Swift (@austinkingsleyswift) on