Song Review: “Driver’s License”

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17-year-old Filipino American singer Olivia Rodrigo tops major streaming platforms such as Apple Music with her debut single “Driver’s License.” (Photo/ NME)

Olivia Rodrigo first broke the Internet with her hit song “All I Want” from High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (HSMTMTS).  The song resonated with many teenagers, especially with lyrics, “All I want is love that lasts / Is all I want too much to ask?” 

Although Rodrigo wrote the previous hit song, her actual debut song was “Driver’s License,” released Jan. 8. After only 17 days, the song hit 200 million streams on Spotify, and Rodrigo became the first Asian-American to hit No.1 on the US iTunes and Apple Music charts. 

The song is said to be based on her relationship with 20-year-old Joshua Bassett, her co-star from HSMTMTS. When I first watched The High School Musical remake I immediately started to ship Ricky (Bassett) and Nini (Rodrigo). Little did I know that the couple had some chemistry off screen as well. 

Once the song was released, social media started investigating to find out who broke Rodrigo’s heart and uncovered all the drama between Bassett and Rodrigo. Bassett supposedly told Rodrigo that he would wait for her to turn 18, but didn’t. This can be seen from her lyrics, “I guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me,” a possible reference to Bassett’s songs “Anyone Else” and “Common Sense.” 

When the song first came out, I immediately uncovered all the lyrics she directed towards Bassett’s new relationship with 21-year-old Sabrina Carpenter; a total Swiftie as Rodrigo too integrates Easter eggs throughout her music.

 “You’re probably with that blonde girl / Who always made me doubt / She’s so much older than / She’s everything I’m insecure about.” 

Carpenter was first spotted with Bassett in June of last year when they attended a Black Lives Matter protest. The couple began to start dating rumors when they dressed up as Shark boy and Lava girl for a TikTok and pictures came up of them in public. 

Rodrigo’s lyrics painted the picture of a truly broken hearted girl and caused many people online to become invested in the love triangle. The week the song came out, my TikTok was flooded with videos about the song and analyzing the song.

Even Taylor Swift commented on Rodrigo’s Instagram post in response to the success of her song. “I say that’s my baby and I’m proud,” Swift said. A major fan of Swift, Rodrigo then made another post freaking out about her comment. 

Overall, the lyrics of the song are beautiful as well as emotional and finding all the “hidden” messages directed towards Bassett and Carpenter are definitely rewarding.

Senior Nithisha Makesh returns for her third and final year on the Patriot Post staff. She hopes to make this year memorable and one of the best. Besides writing articles and studying, she enjoys crocheting and watching Gilmore Girls. On campus, she is involved in numerous activities including Literary Magazine, EHS, The Urban Garden Initiative, The Butterfly Project, Girl Up, Moot Court, Quill and Scroll and Key Club.