Taylor Swift has had a pretty astounding few months. Apart from launching her 1989 World Tour and (basically) confirming her to-die-for cute relationship with the delicious Calvin Harris, last night Swift dropped her music video for Bad Blood. The wait for the video has been agonising for Swift fans, who have been seeing sly hints about the style of the video and the many celebrities starring in it, for weeks.
The video’s premiere at the Billboard Music Awards gave Swift the arena she deserved and proved that is a complete master, not only of her craft, but of the social media scene and the recent resurgence of music videos. Even Rolling Stone couldn’t think of anyone who works the social media game better than she does.
— Capital (@CapitalOfficial) May 18, 2015
Swift started to release movie-style posters of the video’s star-studded cast weeks ago, creating instant excitement and fervor. The news of the song’s remix with rapper Kendrick Lamar combined with the black and blood red colour scheme suggested that this video was going to be dark, dangerous and undeniably sexy.
Bad Blood has been a controversial track since 1989 was released last year. Rumour has it that the single was written about Katy Perry, a known rival of Swift and, reportedly, the pop star who made Taylor ask “Are we friends or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?”
Selena Gomez’s appearance in the video in a Katy Perry styled wig seemed to cement the rumours, especially after Gomez (Arsyn) stabbed Swift (Catastrophe) in the back in the first fifteen seconds. Bearing in mind Swift and Gomez’s real-life friendship, there’s definitely underlying meaning there. In the rest of the video, Swift proceeds to undergo a Karate Kid-esque training montage full of impossibly sexy women in black leather until she’s ready to battle Gomez again at the end of the video.
Bad Blood cast:
Taylor Swift as Catastrophe
Selena Gomez as Arsyn
Karlie Kloss as Knockout
Kendrick Lamar as Welvin Da Great
Martha Hunt as HomeSlice
Jessica Alba as Domino
Serayah as Dilemma
Lena Dunham as Lucky Fiori
Hailee Steinfeld as The Trinity
Ellie Goulding as Destructa X
GiGi Hadid as Slay-Z
Hayley Williams as The Crimson Curse
Zendaya as Cut-Throat
Lily Aldridge as Frostbyte
Ellen Pompeo as Luna
Mariska Hargitay as Justice
Cara Delevingne as Mother Chucker
Cindy Crawford as Headmistress
Yes, Cindy Crawford. According to Swift, all the actresses/singers/models/amazing human beings chose their own names and personas. Probably the best part for Swifties is that each cameo represents something that Swift herself loves. A huge CSI fan, one of her cats is named after Olivia Benson, played by Mariska Hargitay. They all make short appearances in the video but hot damn, do they all look the part. Not only is it proof that Swift has many genuine and good celebrity friends, but that none of them are afraid to support her, her music or even her feuds. Those are some good gal pals.
Oh, and did we mention she even got her own emoji for the video launch?
— CrimsonCurseOnline (@HayleyWonline) May 18, 2015
Die-hard fans of Swift’s music and songwriting might be put off by Lamar’s contribution to the track. The original was perfectly fine as it was. But, for the purpose of kick-ass martial arts scenes, things blowing up and so so so much patent leather, the rapping does its job. Plus, lyrics like – Don’t you remember? You thought I would need ya, follow procedure, remember? Oh wait, you got amnesia – certainly make bring the Perry drama bubbling to the surface.
It’s a far cry from Swift’s previous videos, even the edgier accompaniment to I Knew You Were Trouble. Director Joseph Kahn seems to be Swift’s new best artistic tool. The creator of her Blank Space video has triumphed again – first there was that memorable moment on the horse and now rows and rows of strong, beautiful women ready for the battle of their lives.
Musically, Swift has proved herself to be so much more than a country singer in the last few years but now she’s also proving to the world that she is a person, with a real boyfriend, real friends and real issues. Okay, so her number one ‘frenemy’ may be another pop star, but it still weighs on you the same way. She is leading a new wave of modern musicians who are seizing the Internet and making it work for them. This will undoubtedly be the first of a long list of social media phenomenoms for the music industry with Swift at the helm.
Oh, right, so what about Katy Perry? Well, according to Hollywood Life, the I Kissed A Girl singer told sources close to her that she thought the video made Swift look ‘desperate.’ With a record-breaking album, superstar friends and one of the most anticipated music videos ever – I doubt Taylor Swift cares.