Disney star Olivia Rodrigo released her debut single “drivers license [sic]” on January 7. The song was met with critical acclaim, topping Billboard’s Top 100. The music video currently has garnered over 100 million views on youtube, and the song has had over 15 million streams on Spotify as of February 9. Rodrigo was a part of the popular Disney shows Bizaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, both shows being musical-themed. In the summer of 2019, Rodrigo released one of her Disney songs to Youtube named “All I Want,” which similarly to “drivers license,” addresses a breakup of hers.
Fans theorize that “drivers license” addresses Rodrigo’s feelings towards her co-star Joshua Bassett, widely speculated to be Rodrigo’s ex-boyfriend, and how their parting has affected her. The song presents a lyrical story of happiness and sorrow as well as how Rodrigo was blindsided by Basset’s alleged betrayal.
The song starts slow and gradually builds up to a more rhythmic bridge creating wonder and suspense. The vocals stand out the most, with Rodrigo having experience from her time at Disney. You can feel the hurt and the betrayal that Rodrigo feels, and listeners can really empathize with her experiences. The lyrics are very compelling, giving the listener vivid pictures of this time of Rodrigo’s life.
“drivers license,” though liked by the general public, began to stir up controversy when fans started to wonder who the “blonde girl” that Rodrigo mentioned in the song was. Shortly after Rodrigo and Basset allegedly broke up, Basset was spotted with fellow Disney star Sabrina Carpenter. Many fans guess that the said “blonde girl” is Carpenter, as she meets the description of being blonde and is much older than Rodrigo, something else Rodrigo said in the song.
To combat the claims that Rodrigo said in “drivers license” both Basset and Carpenter have released their songs addressing the situation. Basset’s song “Lie Lie Lie” claims that Rodrigo left important information out of her narrative about their speculated relationship and did not tell the full story. Carpenter’s “Skin” confirms her and Basset’s relationship as well as denying the rumors of Basset’s cheating.
Though the drama that comes with the song is not quite as good, “drivers license” can be defined as a piece of art. I rate the song a 4/5 stars.