The drama behind “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo


Sydney Seymour, Staffer

Star of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” Olivia Rodrigo sent TikTok and the rest of the internet into a loop of theories and rumors about her emotional single “Drivers License.” She released her new song on Friday, Jan. 8, and in three days it was streamed 21 millions times in the U.S. and has sold 16,000 copies. The song reached number one on Apple Music’s Top 100: Global and Spotify’s Global Top 50, making it the most played song around the world. 

Here’s the backstory: 17-year-old Olivia Rodrigo is a star on the show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” alongside 20-year-old Joshua Bassett. In the show they are each other’s love interests; however, it was rumored that they were dating on and off in real life. They wrote songs with each other that were featured in the show, took suspiciously close pictures together, sang together and in interviews were always caught admiring each other. Outside of the show, they separately wrote songs and posted them on social media, and the many of the song lyrics seemed to be about falling in love with each other. They never claimed they were dating, but we can assume they were. 

Recently, Bassett has been spotted with another Disney channel star and singer, Sabrina Carpenter. They were seen at BLM protests, on TikToks, at coffee shops and they even dressed as Sharkboy and Lavagirl for Halloween. This led fans to believe that something went wrong with Rodrigo and Bassett. Rodrigo posted a TikTok with the caption, “and that’s on failed relationships” and even posted an Instagram photo wearing a shirt that said, “DUMP HIM,” which only supported fans’ theories even more. 

Looking back at previous songs written by Bassett, it was rumored that Bassett told Rodrigo that they couldn’t be together because of their age difference, and that he would wait until she was 18 because he didn’t want “Anyone Else,” which was the name of his own single. “Anyone Else” was supposedly about Rodrigo, but Bassett released the song’s music video and Carpenter was featured in it. Bassett apparently moved on a little too fast, leaving Rodrigo behind. 

Soon after, Rodrigo wrote “Drivers License.” In the first verse, she sings, “I got my driver’s license last week/Just like we always talked about” which may refer to the fact that Bassett taught Rodrigo how to drive in an In-N-Out parking lot. She then sings about him moving onto someone else; “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.” First off, when Rodrigo first wrote the song she sang “brunette girl” but then suspiciously changed it to “blonde girl.” Secondly, Carpenter is blonde, a girl and 21-years-old. 

The speculations don’t stop there. She sings, “Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me/Cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street” in reference to Bassett’s singles “Anyone Else” and “Common Sense.” Bassett wrote “Common Sense” essentially about a girl he was falling in love with, even though common sense and the people around him told him it was wrong. Bassett also wrote “Not Right Now” which is about a relationship that can’t happen right now, but he will wait for the right time.  

Once Rodrigo released the music video, fans went crazy with the hidden messages and meanings in the video. In the music video, there are numerous clips of her with a guy holding hands and on dates yet his body face isn’t actually shown. She wore a fuzzy denim jacket that is supposedly his that he wore in the show and even created a fake driver’s license that has numbers that may correlate with scenes from the show. 

If you’re as invested in this as I am, don’t panic, there are millions of TikTok POV’s, rumors, Olivia and Joshua compilations, analyses and theories behind the drama of the song that you can look into. Bassett even posted on his Instagram story promoting “Drivers License,” and Rodrigo reposted all promotions except his…. eek. And, one more thing, on Jan. 14, Bassett is dropping a new song called “Lie lie lie.”