By Gigi L.
One of the music industry’s most cherished icons, Taylor Swift, has released a total of nine albums throughout her career, all of them being immensely successful. But have you ever heard the theory that there could be a 10th? Ever since the release of her most recent album, Midnights, fans have been suspecting that there is a secret, unreleased Taylor Swift album hiding away somewhere. You might think it’s far-fetched, but you’d be surprised at how much evidence actually supports this wild idea. Break out your shovels because we’re about to do some deep digging.
The theory about the lost album has been around for a while, but the release of Taylor’s new album has made fans start to connect the dots. The theory is as follows: there is a secret Taylor Swift album entitled Karma that was supposed to be released in 2016, but was scrapped because of the scandal with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at the time. (Long story short, Kim released excerpts of tapes catching Taylor in a messy public lie, and fans turned on her. Don’t worry, the rest of the tape was released in 2020 and Taylor’s name was cleared). The song “Karma” on the Midnights album is theorized to be an unreleased track from the “lost” album.
First, the evidence. For the first part of her career, Taylor released an album every two years: her debut album in 2006, followed by Fearless in 2008, Speak Now in 2010, Red in 2012, and 1989 in 2014. Following this pattern, her 6th album should have been released in 2016. However, it wasn’t. There was no album in 2016. Instead, Taylor took a one-year hiatus and released Reputation in 2017. Fans suspect that Taylor was supposed to release the lost album, Karma, in 2016, but it was thrown out after her feud with the Kardashians, which led her to skip her usual album release date.
I know you’re thinking, “That’s probably just a coincidence.” However, there are more pieces to the puzzle hidden in the first song of the album Reputation, “Look What You Made Me Do.” If you watch the music video, Taylor can be seen with a chainsaw, cutting the wings off of an airplane. Look a little closer and you’ll see that the plane is labeled TS6, possibly representing Taylor Swift’s sixth album. She then spray-paints the word “reputation” over it, suggesting that her sixth album, Karma, was scrapped and transformed into Reputation. But that’s not the only piece of evidence in the song. Taylor sings, “The world moves on, another day, another drama drama, but not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma.” Which karma are you referring to, Taylor?
But wait, there are more music video Easter eggs to look at. In her music video for “The Man” in 2019, a businessman can be seen standing in front of a wall with the names of all of Taylor Swift’s albums written on it. Guess what’s written in the middle of the wall? That’s right, “Karma.” In fact, next to the word “Karma” is a sign that says “MISSING, IF FOUND, RETURN TO TAYLOR SWIFT.” Is it still just a coincidence?
Now let’s look at some old interviews. In a 2016 interview with Vogue, Taylor was asked about her favorite life lesson. She responded, “Karma is real.” Fans thought this was an allusion to Taylor’s album Karma, as it is very common for her to plant Easter eggs like that. More recently, in 2021, Taylor told Jimmy Fallon about how she started planting Easter eggs for her fans in her very first album. She said, “All I started thinking of was, ‘How do I hint at things, like how far is too far in advance? Can I hint at something three years in advance? Can I even plan things out that far? I think I’m going to try to do it.’”
Still don’t believe it? Well, the theory was confirmed by Taylor herself… sort of. After she announced that the 11th track on her album would be “Karma,” Taylor’s marketing team tweeted a GIF from the “The Man” music video showing the gratified wall with “Karma” on it. While this doesn’t directly confirm anything, it does suggest that there is some sort of connection between the karma graffiti in “The Man” and the song “Karma.”
Overall, you can’t really deny that there is something fishy going on with “Karma.” Is it a secret album? Is it just publicity for the album? Or are we overthinking this too much? Some might say all of this evidence is a coincidence. But nothing’s ever really a coincidence with Taylor Swift, is it?