A Love Triangle Gone Viral


From left: Sabrina Carpenter, Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Basset

If you haven’t heard the song “Driver’s License” by now, it’s safe to say you are missing out on one heck of a song. Not just by the way it starts with a car sound that forms into the beat. Not just the way the bridge will leave you speechless. No, it’s more than that, just listen to the lyrics. I have had so many people tell me that the lyrics, “speak directly to them.” The song is very catchy and hooked so many people instantly.

On January 8, 2021, Olivia Rodrigo, mainly known for her role in the 2019 Disney+ hit show High School Musical: The Musical The Series, shook the world with her first single “‘Driver’s License.” Within hours the song went viral. In the next few days, it was the talk of the town and topping the charts. At just 17-years-old, Rodrigo’s song became “the fastest song to surpass 100 million streams in Spotify History.” A week after the release, “Driver’s License” debuted as the biggest song in the world on the Billboard Charts.

Okay, so now you may be wondering: what is the song even about? Let me break it down for you. Jumping back to her Disney filming days, Olivia and her co-star Joshua Bassett had great chemistry on-screen and off. The two sparked dating rumors fast, but there was an issue that couldn’t be resolved. She was too young to drive, and since they live a pretty good distance from each other, in 2020, the couple called it quits.

The plot thickened in November of 2020 when Basset was seen in TikToks with another former Disney star, Sabrina Carpenter. The two were seen multiple times in public together and many people assumed they were a couple. Fans could not believe it. Basset had supposedly told Rodrigo when they were together that he would “wait for her.” Meaning, once she got her license they could see each other more often and make their relationship work, but now he was with this other girl, a blonde girl… In her song, Rodrigo writes “you’re probably with that blonde girl, who always made me doubt, she’s so much older than me..” Carpenter is 21 while Rodrigo is 17, the age difference in real-life matches spotlessly to the age difference she mentions in the song.

The first lines in the song go as follows, “I got my driver’s license last week, just like we always talked about, cause you were so excited for me, to finally drive up to your house.” As I mentioned earlier, the former couple had been waiting for her to come of age so they could see each other more often. In a later line, she astonishes listeners with… “I just can’t imagine how you could be so okay now that I’m gone. Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me.” With Basset being a musical person himself, that line about a song is a pretty important clue that she is in fact singing about him.

After dissecting her outstanding love song, fans were blown away by how much it hinted to her ex, Basset. People have become so invested in these songs and the relationships they portray, eagerly waiting to see who makes the next move. Six days after the release of “Driver’s License,” Basset released a song of his own, “Lie Lie Lie”. Basset said in an interview that his song is about someone close to him who had been lying behind his back for a long time. While his statement may be true, you can’t deny the timing of the release was extremely close to Rodrigo’s song release. Furthermore, the lyrics are very universal so you can see how it got listeners very worked up that he could be singing about his ex.

The gossip spiraled all over TikTok for days and is not stopping anytime soon. Why? Because January 22, the love triangle trilogy was completed. Carpenter dropped her new single, “Skin.” Remember the blonde girl reference from Rodrigo’s song? Take a look at this line from “Skin,” “Maybe blonde was the only rhyme.” You can not tell me that is a coincidence. Carpenter opens the song by saying “Maybe we could’ve been friends if I met you in another life. Maybe then we could pretend there’s no gravity in the words we write” ‘We both write’… because both girls write songs. She goes on to say that, “you’ve been telling your side so I’ll be telling mine” Many people believe “Skin” could not be about Rodrigo because there is no way she would have written a song so fast, but the lyrics are so direct it is easy to see that there may be some feud between the two girls.

Carpenter posted a statement a few days after the release of her song responding to some criticism that she was receiving. Many people were convinced she released a “diss track” about Rodrigo’s song and she said that was not the case. Carpenter said her song was not about a specific person, and while some lines are about specific situations the majority of the song was a way for her to share her feelings about things going on in her life. The message she wanted to send was about not letting people have power over your feelings, but that seemed to have gotten a little lost in the drama. Carpenter and Basset have joined forces to collaborate on a song titled “We Both Know” that will be featured on his upcoming EP, projected to release in March 2021.

Now one question remains: was this all just one big publicity stunt? While many were shocked after hearing Carpenter’s song, fans speculate there are no hard feelings between the three teens and that the close release dates could have been a planned move to draw more of a crowd to the new music. Following the release of ‘Driver’s License,’ Basset congratulated Rodrigo via Instagram story. He did the same when Carpenter dropped her song. While Rodrigo has stayed quiet about both of her peers’ new songs in general, she has also not addressed any negative rumors going around assuming she may hold anger toward either of them so we are in the dark about where she stands for sure.

To listen to any of the mentioned songs click the links below.
Driver’s License

Lie Lie Lie