“Driver’s licence” drama


Olivia Rodrigo and her debut single, “Driver’s License” have taken the internet by storm. It was streamed 65,873,080 times on Spotify in the first week, continuously topping charts, and getting noticed by some of the biggest names in music.
 The 17 year old’s song gained popularity because of how relatable it is to other teens, on a deeper level than getting your license and driving through suburbs. “Driver’s License” features Rodrigo’s raw emotions conveyed in gut-wrenching lyrics, as well as speculation and drama surrounding its contents.
 She portrays deep feelings that teens don’t get credited for, based around getting her driver’s license. There are many aspects of this song that can be tied to her rumored real life heartbreak, Joshua Bassett.
 Bassett is an actor, singer, and Rodrigo’s co-star in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” (HSMTMTS). Although never confirmed, there was speculation that their on screen relationship advanced into real life back in late 2019 through early 2020.
 The couple never spoke about their relationship publicly, but fans gathered evidence based on their obvious chemistry during interviews and flirtation on social media. It was obvious they liked each other more than just friends.
 In Rodrigo’s unreleased song, “Gross,’’ posted on her Instagram, she mentions a brown haired boy. There are other references in this song and others that can’t be directed at anyone else but Bassett. As the popularity of HSMTMTS decreased, so did the talk in the media about the couple.
 Bassett and Rodrigo both announced new singles on Jan. 4. Fans couldn’t help but believe the two singles were connected, although neither artist spoke on it. Rodrigo was first to the punch after releasing “Driver’s License” on Jan. 8, a week before Bassett released his single, “Lie, Lie, Lie.” After TikTok caught wind of the drama, the situation went viral.
 Evidence-wise, the first line definitely set the tone. It reads, “I got my driver’s license last week, just like we always talked about …” Bassett taught Rodrigo how to drive. Perfectly indirectly direct.
 To keep the clues coming, our next line is featured in the bridge, “I still see your face in the white cars, front lawns …”. Not as heart wrenching, but Bassett has been seen owning a white car, and probably has a front lawn too. Parallels continue.
 An honorable mention in this song is the last line of the chorus, “‘Cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street.” Ouch. Rodrigo is clearly going through it.
 A few lines before, Rodrigo writes, “And you’re probably with that blonde girl, who always made me doubt/She’s so much older than me/she’s everything I’m insecure about”.
 Actor and singer, Sabrina Carpenter, is our blonde girl. Carpenter is 21, four years older than Rodrigo, and has been spotted in public romantically with Bassett, starting in Jun. 2020.
 Carpenter apparently took this lyric to heart, because on Jan. 22, 2021 she released her new single, “Skin”. The song features the lyrics, “maybe ‘blonde’ was the only rhyme” and “You been tellin’ your side/So I’ll be tellin’ mine.” It is not much of a stretch to assume that the verses are in response to Rodrigo’s song, and its mention of a blonde girl.
 Carpenter cleared the air on Instagram after getting backlash for the song’s harsh lyrics. “The song isn’t calling out one single person. Some lines address a specific situation,” she admits, possibly referencing the Rodrigo situation. “While other lines address plenty of other experiences I’ve had in this past year,” Carpenter said.
 She adds that she “wasn’t bothered by a few lines in a (magnificent) song and wrote a diss track about it.”
 Bassett took the more cryptic route when writing his new music. He clarified that he wrote “Lie, Lie, Lie” in November 2019, about a friend who had lied behind his back, and not Rodrigo. His latest single, “Only a Matter of Time,” released on Jan. 28, contains lyrics that are more telling.
 “Time to tell the world that you’ve been lyin’ on my name,” and “but why would you make your pain mine?/You’re makin’ me pay for your crimes,” are just a few lyrics in his recent song that point to Rodrigo. None of this was confirmed or denied, but similarities are definitely adding up.
 This love triangle has been keeping the media entertained for weeks, and has brought a lot of success to all three of them.
 The songs share details in the lyrics, deeper meaning, and music videos, which were all released closely together. So, I find it hard to believe the situation was a huge coincidence. It caused a buzz in the media and got people talking about their music careers.
 During an interview with “British Vogue”, Rodrigo said she did not want to discuss the person referenced in “Driver’s License.”
 From the looks of it, Rodrigo may never spill the details, or who each song is truly about. I know, real or just a stunt, this drama has been fun to keep up with and has kept me wondering.