“Drivers License” causes a three song pile up

Katlyn White, Columnist

With the release of “Drivers License,” a song by Olivia Rodrigo, the new wave of celebrity drama has piqued my interest. It has been over almost a month since its release date, Jan. 8, and I am still reading everything I see about the song. 

I don’t try to get invested in celebrity drama but I was interested to see what was up and what happened to them after I had watched High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (HSMTMTS) which they were co-stars on. And that began my deep dive.

“Drivers License” is a song about Rodrigo’s experience with a boy who told her he would love her forever but now she is alone and celebrating getting her drivers license without him. Rodrigo has not confirmed this is about Joshua Bassett, her co-star on HSMTMTS, who was rumored to be her boyfriend during the shooting of the show in 2019. It was then rumored that Basset and Sabrina Carpenter began dating in 2020 after they were spotted on outings and participating in BLM protests.

In Rodrigo’s song, she sings about a “blonde girl, Who always made me doubt, She’s so much older than me, She’s everything I’m insecure about.” This is a seemingly direct reference to Carpenter who is blonde and 21. This is the only mention of Carpenter in the song.

The rest of the song is about her relationship being over with Basset and how she wishes that he was here to celebrate her getting her license like they had talked about. It was mentioned in many sources, during my searching, that Basset was there the first time Rodrigo had ever driven a car. This makes the song almost undoubtedly about Basset.

The song is relatable as a teenage girl. I feel like it is a relatable human experience to make plans with someone or look forward to something happening with someone and then to have those plans not work out and lose that person. It is also relatable to see cars that look like a certain person’s car and thinking about that person. I still listen to it at least once a day even though it’s been a few weeks since the song came out. I love the song.

But a weird culture began around the song. People became obsessed with the drama. Like weirdly obsessed, including me for no reason. People began taking sides and began to say that Bassett was in the wrong. In my opinion he wasn’t in the wrong. It was illegal for him to date Olivia, due to him being over the age of 18 and her being a minor, so why would he? Carpenter and him seem like a really nice couple.

Basset then released his own song. According to his Instagram story a few days before the release of “Lie Lie Lie,” he wrote the song “after [he] has found out a friend has been lying about [him].” The song was catchy, and I think the song could have been applied to anyone. A few people, including me, are still suspicious of the intent behind the song and if it was about Rodrigo or not but after that release the drama seemed to fizzle out. 

I thought I was over it and thought that no one would care anymore, because in reality, why does anyone care about the drama between these two? In quarantine from the COVID-19 pandemic, I guess people are taking all the entertainment they can get. 

Then, a whole new can of worms opened when Sabrina Carpenter released a song called “Skin” on Jan. 22.

The song speaks about a girl who could have been her friend, but she does not think that they could ever be friends now after she sang a song about her. Carpenter sings “Maybe we could have been friends … There’s no gravity in the words we write … Maybe blonde was the only rhyme.” The last line is referring to Rodrigo’s lyrics “And you’re probably with that blonde girl.” 

Carpenter then sings, “You can try, To get under my, under my, under my skin, Whilе he’s on mine.”

My reaction to hearing this song was to wince.

To me this seems just a tad gross. For the record, Rodrigo is 17. Carpenter is 21 and bragging about having a relationship and having intercourse with Basset. The song is directed at a minor about explicit activities. The song just does not meet the mark.

Who writes a song bragging about having someone that a minor can’t have? I thought it was really immature of Carpenter to write this song. Like this seems just a tad bit illegal if I say so myself.

Carpenter missed the mark with this song. First off, Rodrigo never insulted Carpenter in “Drivers License.” If anything Rodrigo basically called Carpenter beautiful and said she wished she could be her. Rodrigo compliments Carpenter saying that she wishes she could compare. 

Secondly, if Rodrigo wasn’t a minor, then the song would not have been so weird. But, a jab at a minor for not being with someone she can’t legally be makes the song a bust. I had no problem with Carpenter before the song, but now I just think she’s a little weird. 

Thirdly, it’s just not a good song. It sounds like every single song that is on the radio these days. 

Carpenter shouldn’t have even tried to come back at Rodrigo with the song. How did she expect to beat out the song that has record breaking streams and is on the Billboard 100? It was just so weird for everyone to be involved in the drama in the first place. Maybe now that the little trilogy of songs has been completed we can all move on.