Sabrina Carpenter sings about receiving “death threats” and getting slut-shamed in a new song that contains glaring hints about Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo.
The 23-year-old songstress unveiled “Because I Liked a Boy” on Friday as the fifth track on her fifth studio album, “Emails I Can’t Send.”
The pop ballad seemingly addresses the backlash Carpenter faced after Rodrigo’s debut single “Drivers License” became a surprise smash hit.
“Now I’m a homewrecker, I’m a slut / I got death threats fillin’ up semi-trucks,” Carpenter sings in the chorus. “I’m the hot topic on your tongue / I’m a rebound getting ’round, stealing from the young.”
Carpenter and Bassett were photographed together in August 2020 and even wore matching Halloween costumes that year, which further stoked speculation they were a couple.
When Rodrigo released “Drivers License” in early 2021, many fans deduced that it was inspired by Bassett, Rodrigo’s on-screen love interest in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.”
Her jealous lyric about “that blond girl” (“She’s so much older than me / She’s everything I’m insecure about”) was widely assigned to Carpenter.
Carpenter was vilified by some fans online, although Rodrigo has condemned this “weird and speculative” response to the song.
Bassett weathered similar insults in the wake of “Drivers License” and suffered septic shock and heart failure days after the song came out. He told GQ that doctors gave him “a 30% chance of survival,” adding, “I’m sure stress had a part in it.”
Carpenter alludes to Bassett’s health problems in her song’s second verse: “Was only tryna hold you close / While your heart was failing.”
She adds in the bridge: “Dating boys with exes / No, I wouldn’t recommend it.”
Carpenter recently told Rolling Stone that “Because I Liked a Boy” was “very therapeutic to write.”
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