Joshua Bassett – Crisis | Lyrics Meaning Explained

“Crisis” is the first track on Joshua Bassett’s three-track EP titled ‘Crisis – Secret – Set Me Free.’ This song acts as his-side-of-the-story in his breakup with Olivia Rodrigo, who released “drivers license” about their breakup. His personal life crisis has now become the lore of the world written in history books.

‘Crisis – Secret – Set Me Free’ EP is the second EP released by actor and singer Joshua Bassett, after releasing his debut self-titled EP in early 2021. All these EP releases will likely culminate in the release of Joshua’s debut studio album next year.

Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo were lovers during the recording of ‘Highschool Musical: The Musical: The Series’ by Disney. The lovers did not make it after the recording ended and this resulted in Olivia Rodgrio releasing his breakout debut single “drivers license.” In this song, and the album that followed, Olivia Rodrigo paints her ex-boyfriend as the bad guy of the breakup. “drivers license” was a major global success breaking record after record. Joshua Bassett did respond to this with “Lie Lie Lie” in his debut EP and he is back for more.

Listen to “Crisis” by Joshua Bassett

Joshua Bassett “Crisis” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review

Verse 1

Joshua Bassett starts off with the hidden intention of this song;

My label said to never waste a crisis

It might look like he is saying that he is the one taking advantage of their highly publicized breakup by releasing a song about it. But the horse has left the stable by now. Joshua’s debut EP was quite well-timed, though. Anyway, the point he is trying to get through is not about his music releases. It is about how Olivia Rodrigo capitalized on the fame she gained through “drivers license” and the subsequent album ‘SOUR.’

In the entertainment industry exists one golden rule; even “negative publicity is good publicity.”

Joshua Bassett was clearly on the losing side in this battle of the exes. He had zero chance of trumping the success Olivia Rodrigo saw with his breakup-inspired album. So it makes sense that Joshua Bassett says that he did not want to be in the limelight anymore.


Joshua Bassett has been claiming that Olivia Rodrigo has been lying about their relationship and their breakup in the songs and in their personal circles. She painted him the bad guy everywhere. Joshua is not backing away. He says he has some truths to get out as well.


One main premise of Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license” and the album is that her ex moved on so easily after their breakup. She did not see him hurt as she did. This hurt her more. So Joshua responds;

But don’t you dare act like I didn’t love you
Don’t go thinkin’ that I didn’t hurt, too

Joshua Bassett reveals to us that his love for her was true while it lasted. There is no rule saying that one should suffer alone after a breakup. But this is up for debate!

Half the sh*t you’re saying’s only half-true
Messin’ with my life as a career move

Joshua continues to claim that Olivia Rodrigo’s version of their story is only half true. She probably did not anticipate her career to kick off as it did. But her record label definitely made her rake in those dollars once it did. The more popular her career got, the bigger impact it had on Joshua’s personal life. For him, it was his personal life being thrown off a bridge and the other party seemed to stop at nothing.

You would never dare to waste a crisis

The above lyric is the ‘crisis’ theme coming a full circle. In the first verse, Joshua said how he was advised by his label to take the opportunity of this situation. He did not want to. She did.

Verse 2

In the second verse of the song, Joshua details how he has been getting death threats following the skyrocket of Olivia Rodrigo’s career. In an interview with GQ Magazine, Joshua explained this further;

I would see TikToks with like 50 million views and 10 million likes saying, ‘If I ever see that kid on the street, I’m going to fucking kill him’. It’s hard to see that and then be living in New York and walking down the street.

It is quite ugly to see professional matters spill into personal matters and the general public taking matters into their own hands.

Joshua continues to point fingers at his ex for fanning the flames in pursuit of the success of her professional career. He is possibly trying to label his ex as ‘shallow’ for doing what she did.


In the bridge of the song, Joshua Bassett continues his slander or the truth revelation. He points out that she was the one who broke things off between them and she was the one who left. A person calling things off first does not necessarily put the blame on them. They might have realized that they were not being treated well and decided to walk away.

If anything, we would never know who was at fault in the breakup saga between Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett. One thing we do know is that their story is written in stone in music history now.

Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.

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