Sabrina Carpenter’s “Skin”, a Clapback to “Driver’s License”?

If you’ve been anywhere on the Internet recently, you’d have known that Olivia Rodrigo’s hit song “Driver’s License” was making the rounds all over streaming platforms and smashing records in the past few weeks. Aside from the deep-cutting and painfully honest lyrics, many fans took notice of the song because of its not-so-hidden message.

Lines like “Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me” and “And you’re probably with that blonde girl” points to a now-publicized love triangle between High School Musical: The Musical: The Series stars Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett, and fellow Disney actress/singer Sabrina Carpenter.

Olivia and Bassett as Nini Salazar-Roberts and Ricky Bowen on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
Photo from CinemaBlend

Rodrigo and Bassett were reportedly in an on-again-off-again relationship during the filming of the series, ultimately ending it in 2020 for unknown reasons. Shortly after, Bassett had been seen hanging out with Carpenter, much to the dismay of Olivia/Josh fans.

And while Rodrigo didn’t include any particularly malicious lyrics in “Driver’s License”, we can’t help but feel that she was definitely talking about someone when she said “She’s so much older than me/She’s everything I’m insecure about.”

Fast forward to Carpenter’s single “Skin”, which was released on January 22 (just two weeks after “Driver’s License”!), and all hell broke loose. Very pointed lyrics like “Maybe you didn’t mean it/Maybe “blonde” was the only rhyme” and “You can try to get under my skin while he’s on mine” seemed like fighting words to many fans.

Photo from RMBiz

Many assumed that Carpenter was challenging Rodrigo and her version of the story and quickly took to the Internet to voice their opinions.

However, another side of the story suggests that Carpenter was referring to the Olivia stans rather than Rodrigo herself. The lines were supposedly directed at those who chose to villainize Carpenter and make an issue out of what was happening.

At a second look, this story seems more plausible as neither of the ladies had any real direct conflict with each other.

In her most recent Instagram post, Carpenter did deny any bad blood between her and Rodrigo, citing the inspiration to the lyrics as a product of “plenty of other experiences.”

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She also squashed any hopes of more drama by saying that she did not want it to become an “endless cycle” and would not want for anyone to use her post as an opportunity to “send more hate anyone’s way.”


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