Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 breakout album Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City sold 241,000 copies in its first week, but it never made it to #1, since it had the misfortune to come out the same week as Taylor Swift’s Red. But Kendrick holds no grudges. Since then, Taylor has become a loud and vocal Kendrick fan, telling people that she blasts “Backseat Freestyle” on headphones to muster the inner strength to deal with paparazzi. Meanwhile, Kendrick has returned that appreciation, freestyling over Taylor’s “Shake It Off.” And soon, they’ll be together onscreen. Lately, Taylor has been teasing a big, star-studded video for “Bad Blood” the possibly-Katy-Perry-dissing track from her blockbuster album 1989. “Blank Space” director Joseph Kahn returns to direct this one, and in a series of Twitter posts, we’ve learned that the video will draw heavily on Taylor’s circle of famous friends. Taylor herself plays Catastrophe, the model Lily Aldridge plays Frostbyte, singer and Shake It Up star Zendaya plays Cut-Throat, Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams plays the Crimson Curse, model Gigi Hadid plays Slay-Z, pop star Ellie Goulding plays Destructa-X, True Grit star Hailee Steifeld plays the Trinity, Karlie Kloss plays Knockout, and Girls auteur Lena Dunham plays Lucky Fiori. That is already a whole lot of famous people, and today we learn that Kendrick is in there as well, playing a character named Welvin Da Great. That is not a great name! This should, however, be interesting. It sounds like the video will be for the “Bad Blood” single remix that’s been rumored to feature Kendrick. It debuts 5/17, kicking off the Billboard Music Awards.
UPDATE: Kendrick’s character name is apparently somewhat controversial. “Welven Da Great” is a disabled Instagram celebrity who was not contacted about his name being used. Taylor’s made it clear it was not her choice…
Fun fact about #BadBloodMusicVideo: Each individual actor/actress chose their character's name and persona. *CATastrophe*
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 11, 2015
I chose my Compton Boy Welven as King. Always had personality. Confidence and self love making it out the city. Hero pic.twitter.com/Tt9gopuZxY
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) May 11, 2015