Sabrina Carpenter seems to be telling her side of the story on her newest song, “Skin.”
On Jan. 8, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star Olivia Rodrigo released her debut single, “Drivers License.” Thanks to TikTok, the power ballad about watching the love of your life fall in love with someone else made it all the way to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — a rare and unusual feat for an emerging young artist.
On “Drivers License,” Rodrigo croons about how she drives through the suburbs alone, wondering if what she had with her ex-boyfriend was real. Though nothing was ever confirmed, most people believe the song is about Rodrigo’s HSMTMTS costar Joshua Bassett, whom Rodrigo allegedly dated while the two were filming the Disney+ show.
But what does this have to do with Sabrina Carpenter? In the song, Rodrigo mentions an older “blonde girl” who always “made her doubt” her relationship — and many believe this to be a reference to Carpenter, who is four years older than Rodrigo. Bassett and Carpenter have been spotted together looking cozy in recent months, which has led many to believe that they might now be dating.
When “Drivers License” was released, almost everyone took Rodrigo’s side. Even many of her fellow cast members from HSMTMTS (the show that Bassett also stars in) commented on her Instagram announcement to show their support for her new single.
Bassett himself never directly responded to the drama, but just hours after Rodrigo announced her debut single, he announced a single of his own, titled “Lie Lie Lie.”
As you can imagine, this didn’t go over well. However, Bassett said that the song was written about a friend who had lied to him and that it had nothing to do with Rodrigo.
“I wrote ‘Lie, Lie, Lie’ after I found out a friend had been lying about me behind my back for a long time,” he said on Instagram. “It always sucks to hear that someone you thought you could trust would throw you under the bus when it benefits them. It happens to all of us, and I think all you can do is seek out people that build you up rather than tear you down.”
It seemed like things were finally calming down with this love triangle, but then on Jan. 21, Carpenter announced she was dropping a new single the following day. That single, as we now know, is “Skin,” and the lyrics undeniably features some parallels to “Drivers License.”
In one verse, Carpenter sings, “There’s no gravity in the words we write / Maybe you didn’t mean it / Maybe blonde was the only rhyme.” As you might recall, Rodrigo references “that blonde girl” in “Drivers License.”
In the pre-chorus, she also seems to sing directly at Rodrigo, saying that while she doesn’t expect her to “let it go,” she also thinks it’s only fair that she should tell her side of the story.
“You’re telling it how you see it / Like truth is whatever you decide,” she says. “Some people will believe it / And some will read between the lies.”
Perhaps the most damning lyric though comes toward the end of the song, though, when Carpenter sings, “Don’t drive yourself insane / It won’t always be this way.”
Naturally, fans are enjoying all the messy drama of this Rodrigo/Bassett/Carpenter love triangle.
Carpenter hasn’t said anything yet about the inspiration for the song, but either way, it’s a bop.
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