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Taylor Swift's first surprise song on the Eras Tour return was a nod to Scooter Braun

Taylor Swift is a master of winks and nods; was the surprise song an Easter Egg?

Taylor Swift performs onstage during the "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Foro Sol on August 24, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca LewisReporterLos Angeles
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Taylor Swift appeared to give a wink and a nod to the drama surrounding Scooter Braun on Thursdsy August 24 when her Eras Tour returned for its second leg in Mexico City, Mexico.

Her last five albums, from Reputation to Midnights, all feature songs that are widely believed to be about her ongoing feud with the music executive, and with Scooter dominating headlines this week as he appears to be losing clients, including Demi Lovato, left, right and center, Taylor seemingly chose a song that revealed her feelings about the situation: 'I Forgot That You Existed.'

Fan videos from the show -- her first ever in Mexico -- revealed that she took to the stage in a blue dress and performed the opener track of the 2019 album Lover acousrtically; she followed it up with 'Sweet Nothing', a song she wrote with her ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn.

Taylor Swift performs onstage during the "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Foro Sol on August 24, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)© Hector Vivas/TAS23
Taylor's Eras Tour restarted in Mexico after a two week break

What Taylor Swift songs are about Scooter Braun?

'I Forgot That You Existed' by Taylor Swift

"Got out some popcorn / As soon as my rep started going down, down, down / Laughed on the school yard / As soon as I tripped up and hit the ground, ground, ground" 

This song was the opener of 2019 album Lover - her first since she split from Big Machine Records. A song about moving on from past grudges, many see references to Scooter, Justin and Kanye in this song. 

In the second verse, she sings about people "laughing" as her reputation crumbles, potentially referencing the FaceTime call Justin shared with fans – and for which he later apologized. (The picture remains online but the caption was removed.)

Famously, in 2016, Taylor also disappeared from the public eye for almost a year after Kanye released an illegally recorded conversation between them that appeared to show Taylor approving several lyrics of Kanye's song 'Famous' which was released when Scooter was his manager. 

But context matters, and Taylor was later proven correct when it was revealed she had never given permission for him to call her a derogatory term or take credit for her fame. 

Taylor Swift performs onstage during the "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Foro Sol on August 24, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)© Hector Vivas/TAS23
Taylor also sang 'Sweet Nothing'

I Did Something Bad by Taylor Swift

"They're burning all the witches, even if you aren't one / They got their pitchforks and proof, their receipts and reasons." 

'I Did Something Bad' is a song on Reputation and many speculate that it references Scooter, Kanye and Kim, and the edited video Kim has published. 

This popular track from the 2017 album has not yet been played on the Eras Tour and could make its way to the stage this weekend. 

Kanye West takes the microphone from Taylor Swift and speaks onstage during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards © Kevin Mazur
Kanye and Taylor's first interaction came in 2009 when he interrupted MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech

Long Story Short by Taylor Swift

"Past me / I wanna tell you not to get lost in these petty things / Your nemeses will defeat themselves / Before you get the chance to swing." 

From the 2021 album Evermore, 'Long Story Short' tells the story of a young woman who went through all the wrong men and friendships before finally finding the right person. 

Along with references to ex-boyfriends, Taylor sings about her "nemeses" who will be their own downfall and that she does not need to worry about taking them down herself. An apt song for the events taking place this week. 

Peace by Taylor Swift

"But there's robbers to the east, clowns to the west / I'd give you my sunshine, give you my best / But the rain is always gonna come if you're standing with me. "

Another Evermore track yet to be performed on the Eras Tour, this song references the way she views Scooter's purchase of her masters — a '"robbery," — as well as cleverly calling Kanye a clown by using his last name in the common phrase indicating you're being attacked on all sides. 

Mad Woman by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift performs onstage for the opening night of The Eras Tour© Kevin Winter
Taylor Swift performs onstage for the opening night of The Eras Tour

"Now I breathe flames each time I talk / My cannons all firin' at your yacht… I'm taking my time, taking my time / 'Cause you took everything from me" 

Folklore track 'Mad Woman' is about the ways that, in a misogynist culture, others brand an angry woman as "mad" while also acknowledging that it's okay for women to get angry when they have been mistreated.  

The song also calls into question the actions of other women who do the "dirty work" for men; one key line that seemingly references Scooter is "firing at your yacht" a possible callback to the time in 2019 Scooter and Taylor's once BFF Karlie Kloss partied together on a yacht.

Call It What You Want by Taylor Swift

"My castle crumbled overnight / I brought a knife to a gunfight / They took the crown, but it's alright."

This Reputation track is a love song to her now ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn but the opening lyrics reference the turmoil she was going through in 2016 when they met. 

Here, she accuses her enemies – including Scooter – of spreading false information, but that although they won that round, she would survive.

 Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn arrive at Zuma on October 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jackson Lee/GC Images)© Jackson Lee
Taylor and Joe dated for seven years

Why did Scooter lose clients?

The rumors around the exodus of big name talent from Scooter's management company are swirling but very few answers have been given; Justin Bieber's reps have confirmed that reports he had split from Scooter are false, while sources close to Demi confirmed to HELLO! she is seeking new management. Reps for Ariana Grande have not yet commented. 

What did Scooter Braun do to Taylor Swift? 

Scooter, in case you're not aware, has a long history with Taylor due to his friendships with Justin Bieber and Kanye West. Scooter managed Kanye in 2016 when he released 'Famous,' a song that called Taylor a "bitch", and later that year Justin shared a screengrab of a FaceTime call he was on with Scooter and Kanye, and wrote the caption: "Taylor Swift what up." 

Scooter is also 50% of the reason Taylor is re-recording her first six albums; in June 2019, it was then announced that Scooter had purchased the Big Machine Records label  – and therefore also the masters for Taylor's first six albums – for an estimated $330 million through his holdings company Ithaca Holdings.

Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta pose for a photo at a private residence on June 28, 2019 in Montecito, California© Getty Images
Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta pose for a photo in 2019

Taylor responded immediately, slamming Big Machine executive Scott Borchetta's "betrayal" and branding Scooter's behavior as "manipulative bullying". 

She then revealed she would be re-recording the first six albums because she owned the songwriting copyright and could therefore return to the studio and create new versions. 

What has Scooter Braun said about Taylor's Versions? 

"The regret I have there is that I made the assumption that everyone, once the deal was done, was going to have a conversation with me, see my intent, see my character and say, 'Great, let's be in business together.'" he told podcast The Limit in September 2022. 

"I made that assumption with people that I didn't know." 

Taylor Swift performs during The Eras Tour at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood© Allen J. Schaben
Taylor is currently on her world tour

What surprise songs has Taylor Swift played on the Eras Tour? 

Glendale, AZ (March 17) - ‘mirrorball’ and 'Tim McGraw'

Glendale, AZ (March 18) - ‘State of Grace’ and ‘this is me trying;

Las Vegas, NV (March 24) - 'Our Song' and 'Snow on the Beach'

Las Vegas, NV (March 25) - 'cowboy like me' (with Marcus Mumford) and 'White Horse'

Arlington, TX (March 31) - 'Sad Beautiful Tragic' and 'Ours'

Arlington, TX (April 1) - 'Death By a Thousand Cuts' and 'Clean'

Arlington, TX (April 2) - 'Jump Then Fall' and 'The Lucky One'

Tampa, FL (April 13) - 'Speak Now' and 'Treacherous'

Tampa, FL (April 14) - 'The Great War' (with Aaron Dessner) and 'You're On Your Own Kid'

Tampa, FL (April 15) - 'mad woman' (with Aaron Dessner) and 'Mean'

Houston, TX (April 21) – 'Wonderland' and 'You're Not Sorry'

Houston, TX (April 22) – 'A Place In This World' and 'Today Was A Fairytale'

Houston, TX (April 23) – 'Begin Again' and 'Cold as You'

Atlanta, GA (April 28) – 'The Other Side of the Door' and 'Coney Island'

Atlanta, GA (April 29) – 'High Infidelity' and 'Gorgeous'

Atlanta, GA (April 30) – 'I Bet You Think About Me' and 'How You Get The Girl'

Nashville, TN (May 5) – 'Sparks Fly' and 'Teardrops On My Guitar'

Nashville, TN (May 6) – 'Out of the Woods' and 'Fifteen'

Nashville, TN (May 7) – 'Would've Could've Should've' (with Aaron Dessner) and 'Mine'

Philadelphia, PA (May 12) - 'gold rush' and 'Come Back... Be Here'

Philadelphia, PA (May 13) - 'Forever & Always' and 'This Love'

Philadelphia, PA (May 14) - 'Hey Stephen' and 'The Best Day'

Foxborough, MA (May 19) - 'Should've Said No' and 'Better Man'

Foxborough, MA (May 20) - 'Question...?' and 'Invisible'

Foxborough, MA (May 21) - 'I Think He Knows' and 'Red'

East Rutherford, NJ (May 26) - 'Getaway Car' (with Jack Antonoff) and 'Maroon'

East Rutherford, NJ (May 27) - 'Holy Ground' and 'False God'

East Rutherford, NJ (May 28) - 'Welcome To New York' and 'Clean'

Chicago, IL (Jun 2) – 'I Wish You Would' and 'the lakes'

Chicago, IL (Jun 3) – 'You All Over Me' (with Maren Morris) and 'I Don't Wanna Live Forever'

Chicago, IL (Jun 4) – 'Hits Different' and 'The Moment I Knew'

Detroit, MI (Jun 9) – 'Haunted' and 'I Almost Do'

Detroit, MI (Jun 10) – 'All You Had To Do Was Stay' and 'Breathe'

Pittsburgh, PA (June 16) – 'Mr. Perfectly Fine' and 'The Last Time'

Pittsburgh, PA (June 17) – 'seven' (with Aaron Dessner) and 'The Story of Us

'Minneapolis, MN (June 23) – 'Paper Rings' and 'If This Was A Movie'

Minneapolis, MN (June 24) – 'Dear John' and 'Daylight'

Cincinnati, OH (June 30) – 'I'm Only Me When I'm With You' and 'evermore'

Cincinnati, OH (July 1) – 'ivy' (with Aaron Dessner), 'I miss you, I’m sorry' (with Gracie Abrams) and 'Call It What You Want'

Kansas City, MO (July 7) – 'Never Grow Up' and 'When Emma Falls in Love'

Kansas City, MO (July 8) – 'Last Kiss' and 'dorothea'

Denver, CO (July 14) - 'Picture To Burn' and 'Timeless'

Denver, CO (July 15) - 'Starlight' and 'Back To December'

Seattle, WA (July 22) - 'This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things' and 'Everything Has Changed'

Seattle, WA (July 23) - 'Message In A Bottle' and 'Tied Together With A Smile'

Santa Clara, CA (July 28) - 'right where you left me' (with Aaron Dessner) and 'Castles Crumbling'

Santa Clara, CA (July 29) - 'Stay Stay Stay' and 'All of the Girls You've Loved Before'

Los Angeles, CA (Aug 3) – 'I Can See You' and Maroon'

Los Angeles, CA (Aug 4) – 'Our Song' and 'You Are In Love'

Los Angeles, CA (Aug 5) – 'Death By A Thousand Cuts' and 'You're On Your Own, Kid'

Los Angeles, CA (Aug 7) – 'Dress' and 'exile''

Los Angeles, CA (Aug 8) – 'I Know Places' and 'King of My Heart'

Los Angeles, CA (Aug 9) – 'New Romantics' and 'New Year's Day'  

Mexico City, Mexico (Aug 24) – 'I Forgot That You Existed' and 'Sweet Nothing'

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