The Date: May 14, 2009
The Moment: During a radio interview with Detroit's 95.5 FM, Swift said that she loved Tim McGraw and Nelly's 2004 hit, "Over and Over," and admitted that she really wanted to sing a hook on one of Lil Wayne's songs.
How It Showed Taylor Swift's Love For Hip-Hop: Aside from the fact that she cosigned a popular country/hip-hop collaboration, she also said that she'd be open to doing a duet with Weezy. We're not sure if he never got the memo—or if he just wasn't interested in working with someone who would definitely give him a whole new fan base—but either way, Swift tried to toss her hat in the ring and offer up her services for at least one rapper.
The Date: June 17, 2009
The Moment: At the 2009 CMT Awards, Swift starred in a music video called "Thug Story" alongside T-Pain and spits bars like, "I'm 8-foot-4, blond hair to the floor/You shorties never thought I dreamed about rapping hardcore."
How It Showed Taylor Swift's Love For Hip-Hop: She basically opened herself up for ridicule when she took a huge risk at one of the biggest country music awards shows of the year. And she gave Pain a huge look that he wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Even if this entire video was completely ridiculous and something we'd never watch again, it showcased her love for hip-hop.
The Date: September 13, 2009
The Moment: After Swift won the Best Female Video award at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West jumped on stage, stole the mic from her during her speech, and proceeded to proclaim his belief that Beyonce, not Swift, should have won the award.
How It Showed Taylor Swift's Love For Hip-Hop: Well, she didn't punch Kanye, so we guess that proves something, right? Er, okay, maybe not. But this event forever linked Swift and 'Ye together and further, it put a whole lot of hip-hop fans who weren't familiar with her on to her as an artist.
The Date: September 11, 2010
The Moment: At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, Swift debuted a song called "Innocent" that featured several lyrics aimed at Kanye West and his behavior at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
How It Showed Taylor Swift's Love For Hip-Hop: Hold up, was Swift really going at Kanye? Yes, she was. It wasn't exactly "Takeover" or "Ether," but Swift proved that she wasn't going to sit by without speaking her mind when it came time for the one-year anniversary of her infamous run-in with 'Ye at the '09 MTV VMAs. We give her credit for doing it and for doing it through a song.
The Date: November 24, 2010
The Moment: While making an appearance on Chelsea Lately, Swift told Chelsea Handler—who was reportedly having a fling with 50 Cent at the time—that she is a huge fan of 50. "I love 50 Cent," she said. "That's my thing. When we're on tour, we have all three girls—the backup singer, the fiddler player, and me—all in one room and we all warm up to 50 Cent's music. It would be surprisingly how many lyrics I know."
How It Showed Taylor Swift's Love For Hip-Hop: Let us find out you're mouthing the words to "Many Men" backstage at your concerts, T-Swift! No, but seriously: We were intrigued by the last line in that quote. We never took her for someone who knew more than maybe—maybe—"In The Club." We were impressed to hear that it sounds like she's dug a little deeper into Fif's catalogue.
The Date: February 3, 2011
The Moment: While serving as the guest program director on Nashville radio station 107.5 FM The River, Swift requested Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass"—looong before it was getting any play on the radio—and recited a few lyrics from the song before the station played it.
How It Showed Taylor Swift's Love For Hip-Hop: Back in February, only Barbie heads knew any of the words to "Super Bass," which was little more than an album cut on Pink Friday. Fast-forward a few months and everyone knew it, partly because of the exposure that Swift gave to it.
The Date: July 28, 2011
The Moment: During a show in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Swift played Eminem's hit song, "Lose Yourself," on her guitar and rapped the words to the first verse of it.
How It Showed Taylor Swift's Love For Hip-Hop: In a lot of the cities that she visits, Swift tries to perform a song by a local artist. In Michigan, that artist was Eminem. Did it sound a little weird hearing her rap Em's emo song? Yeah. But we give her a lot of credit for learning how to play it on her guitar and then performing it live in front of an audience.
The Date: August 6, 2011
The Moment: In the middle of a concert in Philadelphia—a year after meeting Chilli and telling her that she loved TLC—Swift covered the girl group's smash hit, "Unpretty," shortly after covering Pink's "Who Knew."
How It Showed Taylor Swift's Love For Hip-Hop: Swift was like, what, 10 when "Unpretty" came out? Yet, she seemed to be genuinely expressing her love for it in 2010 when she told Chilli how much she liked it. She then followed that up by proving her love for it by covering it in concert.
The Date: August 28, 2011
The Moment: Just hours after Nicki Minaj won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video, Swift invited her to join her on stage during a concert stop for her Speak Now world tour at the Staples Center.
How It Showed Taylor Swift's Love For Hip-Hop: The pair performed "Super Bass" and the song came full circle. From a track that Swift loved off Pink Friday to a radio hit to a full-fledged pop song that won Miss Minaj an award, Swift was basically there every step of the way to help turn the song into what it eventually became.
The Date: October 2, 2011
The Moment: At a show in Atlanta, Swift brought T.I. out and sang the hook on his hit single, "Live Your Life." She also sent out a TwitPic to show that Tip, Nelly, and Young Jeezy were in attendance at the show that night.
How It Showed Taylor Swift's Love For Hip-Hop: How unlikely was it to see T.I., Nelly, and Jeezy posted up backstage at a Taylor Swift concert? That'd be like seeing Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka, and Lil Jon kicking it with Justin Bieber at a show. Yet, there they were! But, should we really be surprised? Taylor Swift and hip-hop have something special going on, no matter how strange it may seem to the rest of us.