Try to travel back to May 2015. Fox’s “Empire” is finishing its first season, and “Mad Men” is wrapping up its last. “Fifty Shades of Grey” has lit up the box office. “Hamilton” is ending its Off-Broadway run and gearing up to take Broadway by storm. And Taylor Swift has just begun her “1989” World Tour. How did she celebrate that? By releasing the music video for her song “Bad Blood” — officially “Bad Blood” featuring Kendrick Lamar. And the music video itself was jam-packed with celebrity cameos, featuring primarily faces from Swift’s group of friends, known colloquially at the time as her “squad.”
Unsurprisingly, eight years later, the singer isn’t quite as close with everyone featured in the video. But with the release of “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” — the rerecorded version of the 2014 album that first brought “Bad Blood” to us — we thought we’d take a trip back to the colossal music video.
The song itself is widely believed to be about singer Katy Perry, as she and Swift had a years-long feud. It all traced back to three dancers on Swift’s “Red” tour leaving her to go dance for Perry’s Prismatic World Tour. Swift ended up explaining the song in a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, saying that it was about someone who, “For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not.” And then, this unnamed person “did something so horrible” and Swift realized they were “just straight-up enemies.” And the video itself has a lot of references to Perry. (Don’t worry, the pair have since made up, and Perry appeared in the music video for “You Need to Calm Down” in 2019.)
Ahead, you can rewatch the “Bad Blood” music video and see the full cast list, which we promise has some major surprises.