Sabrina Carpenter's New Song Sounds Like A Response To The Joshua/Olivia Drama
"Dating boys with exes / No, I wouldn't recommend it."
After a year of sitting in the hot seat because she liked a boy, Sabrina Carpenter told her side of the story in a very revealing new single, and spared no details. The former Disney star laid all of her cards on the table in her new album emails i can’t send, which released on July 15. Carpenter has a few albums under her belt, but this is her first full album release since 2019, and it does not disappoint when it comes to addressing that very public love triangle she got caught up in. The most buzzed-about song is the album’s lead single, “because i liked a boy,” because the lyrics seem to clearly be addressing that Sabrina Carpenter/Joshua Bassett/Olivia Rodrigo drama that “drivers license” stirred up.
By now, the whole world is familiar with Rodrigo’s Grammy-winning tune “drivers license” and all the relationship drama behind it. Though none of the Disney stars have confirmed exactly what went down to warrant the heartbreaking track on Rodrigo’s album SOUR, fans had a pretty good guess that the song was about Bassett ending a relationship with Rodrigo to be with Carpenter.
Finally, Carpenter delivered her response to “drivers license” in “because i liked a boy.” In the dreamy ballad, Carpenter addresses how she’d been painted as the villain that broke up the High School Musical sweethearts, but claims that’s not how the story actually went. The first verse in “because i liked a boy” notes: “We bonded over Black Eyed Peas and complicated exes” — exes like Olivia Rodrigo? “Fell so deeply into it. It was all so innocent.” Until it wasn’t.
The heart of the song lies in the chorus, detailing the backlash Carpenter received following Rodrigo’s breakthrough hit “drivers license.” The public was quick to judge Carpenter before they even knew the details — “Now I'm a homewrecker, I'm a slut, I got death threats fillin' up semi-trucks. Tell me who I am, guess I don't have a choice.”
The chorus closes with Carpenter’s honest feelings about the judgment she received following the “drivers license” speculation. “I'm the hot topic on your tongue, I'm a rebound gettin' 'round stealin' from the young. Tell me who I am, guess I don't have a choice, All because I liked a boy.”
Carpenter opened up about how complicated it was trying to get her response to all the drama just right. “So many people probably have dealt with the situation of being labeled something that they’re not. And it’s frustrating because you want to do something about it. But then if you do something, people are mad; if you don’t do something, people are mad,” she told Rolling Stone ahead of the single’s release on July 14.
The music on emails i can’t send shows a vulnerable side of Carpenter that reminds listeners to be true to themselves, even in the face of adversity, because there is nothing freer than just being you.