"Drivers License" Dominates the Road

By Saanvi Mirchandani


Olivia Rodrigo’s latest release, “drivers license,” has taken the internet by storm and has quickly risen to the top of the charts: it topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for more than three weeks. “drivers license” set a daily record for global streams for a non-holiday song, and then beat its own number the next day, eventually setting the record for most streams in a week worldwide.


“‘drivers license’ is honestly one of my favorite songs right now. Olivia Rodrigo sings with her whole heart and you can truly hear all the emotion she puts into this song about heartbreak,” said senior Aarti Devjani.


Rodrigo stars as Nini Salazar-Roberts on the Disney+ show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,’” and “drivers license” is the first song that she has released outside of the context of the show.


The song begins with Rodrigo singing, “I got my driver’s license last week,” as she quickly delves into her emotions and heartbreak. Many fans speculate that the song is inspired by her relationship with her co-star, Joshua Bassett.


Source by Saanvi Mirchandani

A student listens to "drivers license" as they drive around New Hyde Park.


Bassett and Rodrigo’s characters date on the Disney+ show, which sparked rumors about them dating in real life. In August, Rodrigo posted a TikTok to her song “All I Want,” and it was captioned, “And that’s on failed relationships.” Many fans believed this TikTok implied the end of Bassett and Rodrigo’s relationship. She continued to talk about the end of this relationship in her song, the lyrics including, “I guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me,” which many fans believe is about Bassett’s two singles “Common Sense” and “Anyone Else.”


Fans believe that the story behind “drivers license” does not end there. After Rodrigo and Bassett ended their relationship, it was rumored that Bassett started dating actress and singer Sabrina Carpenter, since they often appeared in each other's social media. In the lyrics of “drivers license,” Rodrigo references a “blonde girl” who is “so much older than me,” which many believe is a reference to Carpenter and Bassett.


“‘drivers license’ is a good song, but it got too popular too fast. It almost felt as if it was being shoved down my throat seeing it everywhere from on the radio to TikTok. I still like the song but I feel like it will be the type of song that gets old pretty fast since it has become so popular already,” said senior Katrina Rivers.


“Some fans believe that the entire love triangle narrative is a publicity stunt...”

Hours after “drivers license'' was released, Bassett announced his new single, “Lie Lie Lie,” which was scheduled to release on January 14. Fans were quick to notice the similarities between both songs’ music videos since both featured night-driving scenes, purple themes, and hanging outside car windows. On January 22, Carpenter released a surprise single titled “Skin,” which included numerous lyrics that reference the complicated love triangle. In the opening verse, she sings that maybe her and Rodrigo could have been friends, telling herself “Maybe you didn’t mean it, Maybe blonde was the only rhyme.” Carpenter also sings, “But you been tellin’ your side, So I’ll be telling mine” and “You can try, To get under my, under my, under my skin, While he’s on mine,” which correlates with the love triangle narrative between Rodrigo, Carpenter, and Bassett and possibly refers to the fact that the blonde is now with Bassett and Rodrigo is not.


However, in an Instagram post, Carpenter explains the context of her song in a long caption, stating that some words refer back to some recent events, while other lyrics do not. She also asked for her fans and listeners to keep their minds open so that they would not be quick to jump to conclusions.


Some fans believe that the entire love triangle narrative is a publicity stunt since it seems highly unlikely that Bassett and Carpenter could write and produce songs responding to “drivers license” in such a short period of time.


“I strongly believe that the entire love triangle between Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett and Sabrina Carpenter has been exaggerated to promote all of their songs and increase sales. In real life, they are all probably good friends,” said senior Suhani Madaan.