If you are still unaware of the Miley-Nick-Selena-eqse Disney love triangle brewing between High School Musical: The Musical: The Series castmates Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett, please climb out from under the rock you’ve been living. This saga penned its second chapter yesterday, with the release of Bassett’s single “Lie Lie Lie,” one week after Rodrigo’s release of the heart-wrenching hit “Drivers License.” Bassett’s punchy bop calls out someone in his life who spread lies about him, and the music video features the singer giving the finger to whom it may concern. Neither Rodrigo nor Bassett have directly addressed the ongoing rumors, but Bassett recently shared on Instagram that “Lie Lie Lie” was written about a friend who’d been lying behind his back for a long time. Who was this deceitful friend? That remains a mystery.
Looking at the timeline for the two tracks, Rodrigo first shared a snippet of “Drivers License” in July 2020, with the caption “wrote this the other day. vv close to my heart. gonna call it drivers license I think lol,” right around the time fans began to suspect that Joshua and Olivia were no longer dating. Her HSMTMTS counterpart Bassett first shared a clip of “Lie Lie Lie,” originally called “I Know,” in 2019, the day before the first season of the series premiered. Rodrigo and Bassett both announced the release of their singles on January 4, sparking instant rumors about a possible connection between the two songs. Since Rodrigo’s came out first, the narrative that the tracks could be related stuck, considering she draws a clearer line to Bassett by nodding to an older blonde girl, rumored to be singer-actress Sabrina Carpenter. Given the timeline for the songs and the few details that both artists have provided on the subject, we are putting on our stan hats to take a deep dive into the potential reads of “Lie Lie Lie” when it comes to the current drama. Let’s look at it line by line.
“And you’re acting, oh, so innocent / Like I’m the only one to blame”
The general assumption here has been that Bassett broke Rodrigo’s heart, making him the villain in this story. Rodrigo has been very open about her feelings — through somber TikToks and the teary lyrics in “Drivers License” — while Bassett has done little to indicate that anything heartbreak-worthy has happened over the last few months, giving Olivia stans reason to shout, “Ugh, boys don’t care about the pain they cause!” The line above is what could be considered the definitive finger-point, claiming he’s not the only one who messed up in the situation.
“So you’re telling them it’s all my fault / You’re the victim this time, oh-oh-oh”
In the context of this week’s drama, the “them” would be the HSMTMTS cast. Following Rodrigo’s release announcement, co-stars flocked to her Instagram post, with high praise abounding. When it came Bassett’s turn an hour later, only one cast member commented on his post, Joe Serafini. This led many to believe that Bassett did something bad enough that his fellow actors took Olivia’s side in the fallout, and fans began to cast their votes for Team Olivia.
“I hope that it makes you happy / You can’t seem to get me off your mind, oh-oh-oh (Get me off your mind)”
When looking at the lyrics for “Drivers License,” it’s obvious that Rodrigo’s heart still only beats for one, and she see this person everywhere she goes. She sings, “And all my friends are tired / Of hearing how much I miss you, but I kinda feel sorry for them / ’Cause they’ll never know you the way that I do.” So yes, she really can’t seem to get someone, possibly Bassett, off her mind.
“You’ve been lying to yourself / Lie to everyone else / Only thinking ‘bout yourself / Darling, what the hell?”
Yes, darling, what the hell? Unless Bassett developed the habit of calling his bros darling, it’s safe to say that he’s referring to a girl. Is that girl Olivia? Not likely, unless they started feuding soon after filming HSMTMTS, which does not make their friendship track record.
“It won’t work this time, time, time, time, time / I’ll kiss your ass goodbye, bye, bye, bye, bye / I’ll kiss your ass goodbye”
In a table-turning moment, Bassett is the one doing the ass-kissing, but for the last time. If this was truly the last time this friend got to make a mockery of Bassett, then we may never know exactly who is doing all of the lying.