The 2018 ACM Awards

Taylor Swift & Kendrick Lamar: A History of Their Public Lovefest

Getty Images; Christian San Jose
Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar

No "Bad Blood" here.

In addition to his already-announced cameo in Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video, Kendrick Lamar had a surprise for fans during the Billboard Music Awards Sunday night (May 17): He also guested on the track, being featured in two brand-new verses during the electric video.

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It was the culmination of nearly a year of public love fest-ing between the two stars. The two may seem to be from completely different worlds, but they actually have a mutual appreciation society going on. The public lovefest began when Swift spoke with Rolling Stone about how "Backseat Freestyle" was her "go-to" jam in September 2014. 

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Lamar appreciated the support: That same week (Sept. 13), the rapper told reporters, "I appreciate Taylor Swift for supporting not only my music but just the hip-hop culture. There's really no gap. It's music and it feels good."

When Swift's 1989 went to No. 1, she celebrated on Instagram by uploading a video of her in the car lip syncing to Lamar's hit.

"I really wish I was best friends with Kendrick Lamar, and I'm not, and it makes me sad daily," Swift shared.

Lamar kept the public discussion going in a November interview with The Fader. "Shout out to Taylor Swift," he said. "You can't put great music in different genres. I enjoy great music outside of my own music all the time, so I definitely can see where she's coming from when she says that she listens to the record, and it's a great thing for her to acknowledge that and put that good energy out into the world like that." 

In January, Lamar told Billboard that he could see a potential collaboration in their future. "She's passionate about her craft. When you put two people in the studio you have to have the same type of passion for the music in order for it to be right. It's not about the names; it's where we at sonically and creatively....Can the music be great?"

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But it's not just "Backseat Freestyle" that has got Swift excited. She returned the compliments in March when Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly dropped early, freaking out on Twitter. 

And now, finally, the two have seemingly finally worked together, with Lamar's participation in her latest music video, which premiered at the Billboard Music Awards Sunday. 

Something tells us this is only the beginning.  

Billboard Music Awards 2015