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"End Game" is the second track from Taylor Swift's sixth studio album, reputation. It was released on November 10, 2017, through Big Machine Records. It is a collaboration with Swift's best friend Ed Sheeran and American rapper, Future. It became the third single off the album. The music video released on January 12, 2018.

Background and release

This star-studded track is the sole collaboration on reputation. Before it was announced, “Eddie” and “Future” were written in graffiti in certain shots of the “…Ready For It?” music video.

Taylor previously worked with Ed Sheeran on her 2012 track “Everything Has Changed,” on which Ed sang the second verse. This is her first collaboration with Future and her overall third collaboration with a rapper, following the remix of her track “Bad Blood,” which featured Kendrick Lamar and she also appeared on B.O.B track "Both of Us".

On November 14, 2017, the week Reputation was released, this song was release on contemporary hit radio in France. On January 11, 2018, Swift announced that the music video of "End Game" will release in midnight. 'End Game' was then released on contemporary hit radio in the United Kingdom radio on January 26, 2018.

Critical reception

In a review by Pitchfork, one critic wrote that "End Game" is "a song that capably absorbs and regurgitates the hybridized sounds of 2017 rap and R&B." but also noted "there's something deeply uninspired in tasking Martin with assembling a bland composite, rather than going straight to the source—who wouldn't be at least a little curious as to what a Taylor Swift and Metro Boomin track would sound like?"[1] Vulture predicted it to be one of the more successful singles that album would produce because of its catchy rhythm, especially because of the verses contributed by Future.[2]

In a positive review written by Time, it says that "End Game" is a "self-reflective, slow-jam style track."[3] A review from Spin suggested that although the song was "fine" in its depiction of finding love despite opposition, it had been bettered by previous songs, verses and albums by Future.[4]

Nominations

Year Organization Award Result Ref.
2018 Teen Choice Awards Choice Music Collaboration Nominated [5]

Music video

In early December 2017, Sheeran confirmed that a music video for the song would be released.[6]

On January 10, 2018, Swift revealed through her social media app "The Swift Life" that the music video for the song would be released on January 12 and that the video's teaser would premiere on Good Morning America. She also posted a few pictures from the video as well. The next day, Swift posted the teaser for the video on social media.

On January 12, 2018, the video debuted on Swift's Vevo channel. It is Swift's seventh video directed by Joseph Kahn. The video shows Swift partying in various locales - with Future on a yacht in Miami, Florida, with Sheeran at a nightclub in Tokyo, Japan, and with various friends on a double decker bus in London, England. In a Miami scene, Future is seen driving a Lamborghini Aventador worth $500,000. In one of the London scenes, Swift is seen sitting on a bar playing Snake on a handheld game console, riding a motorcycle through Tokyo while wearing a snakeskin suit, and sipping drinks through a snake straw, all references to her "snake" reputation.[7] The video gained 14.4 million views within 24 hours of upload on YouTube. As of January 2019, the video has over 190 million views.

Chart performance

The song debuted at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the date ending December 9, 2017 due to its strong digital sales.[8] The following week it moved up to number 83 and then in its third week it reached number 36 giving Swift her 55th top forty entry. Two weeks later it peaked at number 18 becoming the third consecutive single from "Reputation" reach the top 20.[9] The following week the song dropped to number 30. The song has since peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 giving Swift her 15th top ten entry on the chart. It has also peaked at number 16 on the Adult Top 40 and number 25 on the Rhythmic Songs.

In Canada the song reached number 53 but after the release of its official music video the song moved to number 11 on the Canadian Hot 100. It also peaked at number 17 on the US Mainstream Top 40 chart.

In Australia the song debuted at number 38 and peaked at number 36. The next week it dropped to number 40. In the UK, the song debuted at number 87 and later peaked at number 49.

Live performances

Swift and Sheeran performed "End Game" for the first time during the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball on December 2, 2017.[10] A solo version of the song is also a regular part of her setlist for the Reputation Stadium Tour.[11]

Lyrics

Taylor Swift:
I wanna be your end game
I wanna be your first string
I wanna be your A-Team
I wanna be your end game, end game

Big reputation, big reputation
Ooh, you and me, we got big reputations
Ah, and you heard about me
Ooh, I got some big enemies (yeah)
Big reputation, big reputation
Ooh, you and me would be a big conversation
Ah, and I heard about you (yah)
Ooh, you like the bad ones, too

Future:
You so dope, don't overdose
I’m so stoked, I need a toast
We do the most, I'm in the Ghost like I'm whippin’ a boat
I got a reputation, girl, that don't precede me (yah)
I'm a call away whenever you need me (yeah)
I'm in a G5 (yeah), come to the A-Side (yeah)
I got a bad boy persona, that's what they like (what they like)
You love it, I love it, too, 'cause you my type (you my type)
You hold me down and I protect you with my life

Taylor Swift:
I don't wanna touch you, I don't wanna be
Just another ex-love you don’t wanna see
I don’t wanna miss you (I don't wanna miss you)
Like the other girls do
I don’t wanna hurt you, I just wanna be
Drinking on a beach with you all over me
I know what they all say (I know what they all say)
But I ain't tryna play

I wanna be your end game
I wanna be your first string
I wanna be your A-Team
I wanna be your end game, end game

Ed Sheeran:
Now well, when I was young, we connected
When we were little bit older, both sprung
I got issues and chips on both of my shoulders
Reputation precedes me and rumors are knee-deep
The truth is, it's easier to ignore it, believe me
Even when we'd argue, we’d not do it for long
And you understand the good and bad end up in a song
For all your beautiful traits and the way you do it with ease
For all my flaws, paranoia and insecurities
I've made mistakes and made some choices, that's hard to deny
After the storm, something was born on the 4th of July
I've passed days without fun[?], this end game is the one
With four words on the tip of my tongue, I'll never say it

Taylor Swift:
I don't wanna touch you, I don't wanna be
Just another ex love you don't wanna see
I don't wanna miss you like the other girls do
I don't wanna hurt you, I just wanna be
Drinking on a beach with you all over me
I know what they all say, yeah, but I ain't tryna play

I wanna be your end game
I wanna be your first string
I wanna be your A-Team
I wanna be your end game, end game

Big reputation, big reputation
Ooh, you and me, we got big reputations
Ah, and you heard about me
Oh, I got some big enemies
Hey, big reputation, big reputation
Ooh, you and me would be a big conversation
Ah, and I heard about you
Ooh, you like the bad ones, too

I hit you like bang
We tried to forget it, but we just couldn't
And I bury hatchets, but I keep maps of where I put 'em
Reputation precedes me, they told you I'm crazy
I swear I don't love the drama, it loves me
And I can't let you go, your hand prints on my soul
It's like your eyes are liquor, it's like your body is gold
You've been calling my bluff on all my usual tricks
So here's a truth from my red lips

I wanna be your end game
I wanna be your first string (Future: Me and you)
I wanna be your A-Team (Ed Sheeran: Be your A-Team)
I wanna be your end game, end game
I wanna be your end game
I wanna be your first string
I wanna be your A-Team
I wanna be your end game, end game

References

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