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“Drivers License”: The Drama and the Heartbreak is Giving Me a Headache

Yes, you read that title correctly. I am here to do a deep dive into this drama. I have never felt older than I do right now in this moment. I have been compared to an old man in my tastes and hobbies a few too many times for my liking, so let’s just say that I am as far removed from this drama as one can be. I did not watch High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, I do not have a TikTok and I do not know any defining details about the people involved in this story. Yet, here I am sitting down to write about the drama revolving around Olivia Rodrigo’s new song “Drivers License.”

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to hate on any of the individuals involved. I am just intrigued as to what could have been so dramatic that three whole songs were dedicated to this messy teenage relationship. So here we go.

Let’s start with the basics. Olivia Rodrigo is a 17-year-old actress and singer that starred in the Disney+ original series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series where she met her co-star and alleged ex-boyfriend, Joshua Basset, age 20. The two of them dated, which may or may not have been illegal, but I digress. The couple broke up and now Joshua is currently dating Sabrina Carpenter, 21, another singer and Disney’s Girls Meets World alum.

Olivia wrote this song titled “Drivers License” which was released on January 8th, 2020 and it BLEW UP. I mean this song is literally everywhere: on TikTok, on the radio, on every Spotify playlist, h*ll even Pitt Barstool is making merch about it. This song isn’t exactly my cup of tea per se, but it is a very sweet and sad song about this girl’s first heartbreak. The song is about Olivia getting her driver’s license and being nostalgic for the first time she drove, which is said to be with this ex of hers, Joshua. Nothing in the song explicitly reveals anything about their relationship. It is just Olivia singing about how she misses what she used to have with her ex and how she still has feelings for him. So, imagine my confusion when TWO diss tracks were written in response to the song.

Joshua came out with “lies lies lies” on January 14th of this year, only six days after Olivia dropped her song. Now is this song actually about Olivia, I have no idea, but it does seem like more than just a coincidence that it came out so very close to “Driver’s License” and it also mentions the details of a past relationship.

Up to this point in the drama, I guess I can kind of understand it. Two exes having different sides to the same breakup story and making songs about it, neat, you do you. The idea of a breakup song isn’t new; there are thousands of others out there and hundreds of playlists dedicated to this topic. But, when the new girlfriend gets involved, that is when things start to get a little crazy.

In Olivia’s song, she mentions how an older blonde girl is now seeing her ex, Joshua, and this alleged blonde girl is none other than Sabrina Carpenter. Sabrina came out with her newest song “Skin” on January 22nd ‘allegedly’ in response to Oliva’s song that briefly mentioned her. “Skin” was just a bit too on the nose for my liking. I personally did not even think Olivia was rude about this “blonde girl” in her song.  She just said that she was blonde and older, which are just facts, and that Sabrina made her insecure, which I am sure so many women have felt when their ex moves on to someone else. In “Skin,” Sabrina claims that Olivia has been talking bad about her and then continues to rub in the fact that she is sleeping with this Joshua guy. This article is beginning to sound like a recap of a bad episode of Degrassi, but with singing.

All of this craziness exploded on TikTok as the youths of the world explored who the song could really be about and created POVs from all different perspectives. Upon watching hours of these TikTok videos for the sake of research at 2 a.m., the most common theme was crying teens lip syncing to this song. Something just isn’t adding up, it’s as though I left the room in the middle of a joke and missed the punch line. Why do people care so much about this teen drama?

Maybe it’s the fact that two of the main people involved are co-stars and love interests on the same show. Maybe it is because people find drama, no matter who it is about, so entertaining. Or maybe, just maybe, people genuinely like the music these artists are putting out.

To summarize, some talented people got in a fight over some very ambiguous wording and all wrote songs about each other. If this isn’t a publicity stunt, it sure as hell should have been because I am almost positive that each of these creators are raking in tons of cash over this situation. My last and final note before I actively try to forget this very petty altercation that has taken place all over my news feeds is that maybe, sometimes, the best response is just no response at all.

Katy is a Senior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Psychology and minoring in Social Work and Mediterranean Art and Archaeology. Outside of class she loves to binge watch movies and TV at a ridiculously alarming rate.
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