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Sublime/Lyrical Inspiration


Whats up Matt,

Who were Brad's biggest inspirations when it came to lyric and song writing. Like who would Brad listen too and try and emulate hen he would write. Any insight on this topic would be gnarly. Thanks alot.

Hi Greg,

You've asked the right person, but that's a very broad question. Sublime considered themselves a "rubadub blender" mixing all sounds and lyrics to be their own. There are very few songs that are completely original, without directly borrowing significant portions. Take for example, chart-topper "What I Got":

What I Got ---- Loving (Half Pint)
What I Got ---- Lady Madonna (Beatles)
What I Got ---- My Mom Smokes Pot (Rolling Scabs)
What I Got ---- Life Is Too Short (Too Short) [Too Short!]
What I Got ---- Nappy Heads Remix (Fugees) [...with my bulletproof vest]
What I Got ---- Have Your Ass Home by 11 (Richard Pryor) [Fuck you, you can't even sing]

Six samples and lyric grabs in one song that was famous! How about a less-famous song? "Get Out!":

Get Out! ---- It's Expected I'm Gone (Minutemen) [drum fill]
Get Out! ---- Slow Ride (Beastie Boys) [opening horns]
Get Out! ---- Clean Up Woman (Betty Wright) [background sample]
Get Out! ---- If It Ain't Ruff (N.W.A) [let me bust a freestyle then]
Get Out! ---- Clips from the film Scarface [Fuck you mang!]
Get Out! ---- Fuck 'Em (The Geto Boys) [I got a bone to pick]
Get Out! ---- Moby Dick (Led Zeppelin) [drumroll at 1:14]
Get Out! ---- Lemon Song (Led Zeppelin) [bassline at the end]
Get Out! ---- Four Legged Zoo (School House Rock) [ 1, 2, 3, 4, elk and bison, a gnu or two]

Who influenced Brad and Sublime? The list is LOONG. I recommend getting Rewind Selector, the 100 track bootleg album and getting some knowledge because Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone (KRSONE):

KRS-One ---- Charlie Mack (DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince) [drum beat]
KRS-One ---- You Must Learn (Boogie Down Productions) [Must Learn...]
KRS-One ---- Tough (Kurtis Blow) [Damn Tough!]
KRS-One ---- Breath Control (Boogie Down Productions) [chorus]
KRS-One ---- The Style You Haven't Done (Boogie Down Productions) [Be a producer, Be-biddy by-by-by]

Heidi Sigmund Cuda on Rewind Selector: “...I love the fact that Sublime ‘robbed the hood’ and made everything their own.  I went to Jamaica after I wrote the book [Crazy Fool: Portrait of a Punk] and heard Toots and the Maytals for the first time (really heard them) and discovered just how far Bradley took everything.  He left all the clues behind for people to figure it out on their own…”

Email me if you need to get a copy: mdmaguirespam AT comcast DOT net



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Matt Maguire


Guarantee: you will receive an answer within 2 days of posting the question -- whether it is a referral to a different expert or a straight answer to your question. I can answer most questions about the band, the significance of the lyrics, the show dates, the unreleased albums and tracks, misinformation, and, above all, I am an expert on their influences and related music. Additionally, if you're looking for that hard to find track or a cheap alternative to the $300 book Crazy Fool: Portrait of a Punk, I might be able to help.


I have been a huge fan for 16 years, I ran a server which distributed Sublime's live and unreleased music 24/7 for 4 years, I have answered questions about the band daily for a decade on their old website, and I know some of the largest collectors in the world. I created the 5 CD bootleg "Rewind Selector" which documents the influences of Sublime and was the topic of a Spin Magazine interview.

I did not study music in college, but I majored in English, so I can write a clear response. I worked as a research assistant in the past, so I have skills in research if I need to figure out an answer.

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