The Meaning Behind Taylor Swift’s “thanK you alMee” and “Cassandra” and Why Fans Believe Both Are Aimed at Kim Kardashian

Months after first revealing The Tortured Poets Department on the Grammys, the anticipation by fans of Taylor Swift‘s 11th album was ignited by its search for the typical Easter eggs of clues behind the meaning of each track, from former boyfriend of six years Joe Alwyn, brief rebound The 1975’s Matty Healy, current boyfriend Travis Kelce, and others.

Produced by Swift, Jack Antonoff, and Aaron Dessner and featuring guest appearances by Post Malone on lead single “Fortnight” and Florence + the Machine on “Florida!!!” there’s more to be excavated on The Tortured Poets Department—and its release-day surprise double album length, The Anthology, which adds an additional 15 tracks.

On the 24th track on The Anthology, “thanK you alMee,” some fans have presumed that Swift’s lyrics recount her ongoing feud with Kim Kardashian. The first clue is in the sticky caps spelling of the title, which spells out “KIM” with its capital letters.

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High School Bully

In the beginning of “thanK you alMee,” Swift seemingly compares Kardashian to a high school bully: When I picture my hometown / There’s a bronze spray-tanned statue of you / And a plaque underneath it / That threatens to push me down the stairs, at our school.

Deeper into the song, Swift insists she’s doing fine despite all the attacks from West and Kardashian.

I built a legacy, which you can’t undo
But when I count the scars, there’s a moment of truth
That there wouldn’t be this, if there hadn’t been you … And maybe you’ve reframed it
And in your mind, you never beat my spirit black and blue
I don’t think you’ve changed much
And so I changed your name and any real defining clues

Swift also alludes to West and Kardashian’s daughter North Face, who is seen dancing to “Shake It Off” with her mother in a viral TikTok video in 2023.

And so I changed your name, and any real defining clues
And one day, your kid comes home singin’
A song that only us two is gonna know is about yo

‘The Life of Pablo’

Swift and Kardashian’s feud reached its head in 2016 when Kardashian’s then-husband Kanye West released “Famous,” the lead single from his seventh album The Life of Pablo. Along with a sexual reference, the song also implies that West made Swift famous after he interrupted her acceptance speech during the 2009 VMA Awards.

I feel like me and Taylor still might have sex
Why? I made that b—h famous
I made that b—h famous

The music video also featured nude wax figures of Swift, West, and Kardashian, along with Amber Rose, Ray J, Caitlyn Jenner, Bill Cosby, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Anna Wintour, George Bush, and Donald Trump in bed together.

Before the 2009 debacle—which West publicly apologized for then later retracted—her relationship with Kardashian was friendly. In 2009, Kardashian even said she had Swift’s 2008 hit “Love Story” on her iPod. “I love Taylor Swift,” said Kardashian. “I’m the biggest Taylor Swift fan.” After several years of awkwardness following the 2009 VMAs, Kardashian and Swift sat next to one another at the 2015 VMA Awards and appeared to have reconciled before the release of “Famous.”

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Following the release of “Famous,” Kardashian said that Swift knew about the song and its lyrics before its release, which Swift denied. “She totally approved that,” said Kardashian in 2016. “She totally knew that that was coming out. She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didn’t. I swear, my husband gets so much s–t for things [when] he really was doing proper protocol and even called to get it approved.”

Before responding to West and Kardashian with her sixth studio album Reputation, which featured snake imagery, Swift had a special message for the couple during her acceptance speech for Album of the Year (for 1989) at the 2016 Grammy Awards

“I want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame,” said Swift. “If you just focus on the work, and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.”


Filled with Greek mythology imagery, Swift’s other Anthology track “Cassandra” may also be associated with Kardashian with more Reputation-like depictions of serpents (perhaps West and the Kardashians): So they filled my cell with snakes. In Greek mythology, Cassandra was known as the prophet who entangled men and was cursed to never be believed.

When the first stone’s thrown, they’re screaming
In the streets, there’s a raging riot
When it’s “Burn the b—h,” they’re shrieking
When the truth comes out, it’s quiet

So, they killed Cassandra first ’cause she feared the worst
And tried to tell the town
So, they filled my cell with snakes, I regret to say
Do you believe me now?

West isn’t left unscathed with his Sunday Service choir performances in 2019 referenced as a Christian chorus line.

They knew, they knew, they knew the whole time 
That I was onto something
The family, the pure greed, the Christian chorus line
They all said nothing
Blood’s thick but nothing like a payroll
Bet they never spared a prayer for my soul

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

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