A deep dive into the “Drivers License” Drama. (because I have nothing better to do)


Claire Kunzier, Editor 

Left Carpenter, Center Rodrigo, Right Bassett

If you have been living under a rock since the new year, you might’ve missed Olivia Rodrigo’s release of her song “Driver’s License” on Jan. 8, 2021. Since its release date, the song has been at the top of every chart, streaming service and on everyone’s playlists. The critically acclaimed song is supposedly about Rodrigo’s relationship with Joshua Bassett, her “High School Musical the Musical the Series” co-star. The pair reportedly dated/had a fling for a bit in late 2019 to early/mid 2020, Bassett reportedly teaching Rodrigo to drive in an In-N-Out parking lot. (This is where my lack of social life, scary deep dive into this drama starts so get ready for it.) Now, Bassett has been reportedly dating fellow Disney actor Sabrina Carpenter and they were first spotted during July 2020. In relation to their first spotting, Rodrigo posted a sad song she had written on Instagram on July 11, 2020 around the same time the other two were spotted. Jump forward to July 14 where Rodrigo posted on her Instagram that she had gotten her drivers license and captioned it, “happy girl in the dmv parking lot because I (finally) got my drivers license!!!!! also @gracieabrams ep. came out today so now I can drive around the suburbs alone and cry to I miss you I’m sorry like a true American!!!!!” SHE GOT HER DRIVERS LICENSE AND IS PLANNING ON DRIVING AROUND LISTENING TO SAD MUSIC, foreshadowing. Jump forward to July 30 when Rodrigo posted her first draft or whatever you call it of her future hit, little did she know what type of drama she was going to cause for herself. From here on not much happened so here’s a quick rundown: Rodrigo posted a pic of herself and Iris Apatow on Aug. 16 wearing dump him shirts, Bassett and Carpenter were spotted getting lunch and hanging out, then the two dressed up as Sharkboy and Lavagirl for Halloween 2020 and Rodrigo had a pretty chill time perfecting her song. 

Before Jan. 8, 2021, there wasn’t much talk of the trio to the general public since they are all upper c or lower b level celebrities. After American democracy went to shit with the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021, Rodrigo released the chart topper “Driver License” on Jan. 8 and caused social media and every and anyone who heard the single to combust. Quickly, everyone wanted to know who the song was about, maybe Rodrigo’s ex Ethan Wacker? No, Wacker shot down those rumors with a comment on a TikTok saying that he treated her right, SO fans pointed the finger at Bassett. Basically everything mentioned prior was unraveled a day after the song was released and people began to choose sides. Many were on Rodrigo’s side, some were on Josh’s side and most people said “that blonde girl,” Carpenter, was not to blame because Bassett did the heart breaking. A week later on Jan. 14, Bassett released his own song “Lie Lie Lie” and said the song is about a prior relationship from years ago, whatever that means. No one really cared about his song and people were still riding the “Drivers License” train. THEN a week after that on Jan. 22, Carpenter released her own song “Skin” and lemme tell you, WACK. Throughout Rodrigo’s single, she focuses on how heartbroken she is and only mentions another girl during the first verse of the song, “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” By no means insulting or pointing the finger just the classic “girl you told me not to worry about” trope. Within Carpenter’s song, she basically says “Hey. This is my dude, you can be sad all you want, but he’s mine and fuck you for writing a song about him and trying to get under my skin.” Very much an aggressive attack on Rodrigo’s song where she legit calls Carpenter pretty, blonde and older than her. Should people have attacked Carpenter over Rodrigo’s song? No, but just because she could doesn’t mean Carpenter should have made a diss track about Rodrigo. 

In my opinion, Rodrigo wrote a Taylor Swift tier song, Swift even agrees with that because she reposted “Drivers License ” on her Instagram story. Carpenter and Bassett can release all the songs they want and be petty, but never reach the T-Swift status of Rodrigo. This drama has been great for those of us with no life and need a distraction from all the death, COVID-19 and impeachment drama going on, but these are just teenagers. They’re heartbroken and sad or annoyed and angry, releasing music and making their private life public, but they’re allowed to not give the details. So just remember that we can get wrapped up in this drama, but it’s not our lives and we don’t know so don’t publicly say anything on social media that you wouldn’t say to their face. Listen to “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo for some Taylor Swift break up vibes, if you haven’t already driven around crying to it on repeat. 

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