The notoriously passive-aggressive Taylor Swift is getting a dose of her own medicine this week. Or at least, she probably is. Country starlet Kacey Musgraves dropped her sophomore album Pageant Material yesterday. And on the track "Good Ol' Boys Club" and there's a not-so-veiled dig at Swift.
The line in question — "another gear in a big machine don't sound like fun to me" — is a fairly obvious reference to Swift's Big Machine label. And then there's the bridge: "Favors for friends will get you in and get you far / Shouldn't be about who it is you know / But about how good you are." This probably was recorded well before Swift's star-studded "Bad Blood" video, but it lands squarely: the lackluster song with a celebrity cameo video is precisely the kind of thing that lyric refers to.
Like Swift, Musgraves won't cop to the diss directly. In an interview with Fader, she says:
"I’m talking about a lot of different people," Musgraves tells me, when I ask about the double-meaning. "Any industry has its shoo-ins and people that get in because they know somebody, or their dad worked here, whatever. But, yeah, there is a wink."
For those of us who love country music and don't love Swift, this is a very welcome turn of events. It's just as well Swift left the genre; between Musgraves, Angaleena Presley, Miranda Lambert, Nikki Lane, and a host of other women who clearly cut their teeth on outlaw country, Swift's musical escapades look mild. And for confessional country, even "Dear John" doesn't go far enough. Just ask LeAnn Rimes, whose remarkable 2013 Spitfire details the collapse of her marriage due to her own cheating, her struggles with alcohol abuse, and exactly what those old country songs mean.
Your move, Taylor. Strike back, and you're a bully — the biggest artist in the nation can hardly come down on a much smaller genre musician without losing her nice girl rep — or say nothing and let Kacey get the last word.