Sublime/Brad's Spanish


First off, I don't speak Spanish! But I often read that Brad's Spanish in Chica mi tipo is grammatically incorrect, but that it improved in later songs. Is that true, are other Spanish lyrics "correct"?

I think that you came to the right person for this answer.  I'm going to try to answer your question and add a lot of other stuff you might not care about (ja, ja, ja as they would say in Spanish).

My clearest first memory of Spanish and Brad was at university in 1986 when we were room mates.  We went to go take a placement exam for taking Spanish at UC Santa Cruz (Go Mighty Banana Slugs!)Generally Brad's Spanish was so much better than mine then.  He could have conversations with people and understand almost everything that was said to him.  His accent was really good.  He was just a natural when it came to languages, all sounds and of course music.

So when the results came in, it was sort of shocking.  My scores were higher than Brad's only because I could answer most of the boring grammar questions.  I couldn't really speak Spanish that well and Brad's oral comprehension skills were so much better.  The test didn't have a conversational part to it so it seemed that Brad's skill were inferior to mine when the opposite was actually true.

So fast forward about 7 years or so when Brad wrote most of the songs off of 40 Oz. to Freedom.  His oral Spanish skills were even better but he hadn't really learned the grammatical stuff.  Brad learned Spanish from working at construction sites.  Unfortunately he also learned it later and used his Spanish skills when he was dealing with drug dealers.

I started teaching high school Spanish around 2004.  The little errors in Chica Mi Tipo and Caress Me Down used to jump out at me after I finished teaching a specific concept like commands.  Brad was close to getting it perfect.  I counted at least 8 errors in Caress Me Down and nine errors in Chica Mi Tipo.  I don't think the little mistakes take away from the songs at all until you really listen to them and go, "Oh, that should be so and so."

Brad would just write down his lyrics and then just go for it when making the rest of the song with Eric and Bud (or Kelly Vargas or Marshall Goodman).  He didn't have anyone proofreading it especially when it came to the Spanish part.  He was all on his own.

It might be that the errors in Chica Mi Tipo sound more glaring because Brad generally chose more difficult grammar to deal with in that song.  He's trying to use the subjunctive tense and the conditional once.  At the beginning of it, he even uses the future tense.

If I missed a song that has a lot of Spanish in it, please tell me.


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Andy Hill


I lived with Brad for two years and I was a close friend of his so I feel like I am pretty qualified to answer some questions about Sublime. I will do my best to answer questions about Bud, Eric, Miguel and of course Brad. I should also be qualified to answer a few questions about Brad's lyrics that are in Spanish. With many topics though, like merchandise, bootlegs, and many other things I am completely under qualified. Refer these questions and any others that require extensive research to Matt (ha, ha, ha.)


Most of my experience in the area obviously comes from living with and hanging out with Brad. I've read the Crazy Fool book twice and I've also watched Stories, Tales, Lies, and Exaggerations along with countless other interviews and videos. When it really comes down to it though, I have not become a Sublime scholar like Matt has. If you want a personal insight on some questions then I am your man for the job.

Some of my writings about Sublime have appeared on the Sublime Forum and on the Sublime Wiki.

I am not sure if it matters but I am a college graduate. Adequate writing skills combined with my personal experience enable me to answer many questions. If I don't feel like I can answer a question well, I will tell you so or refer you to Matt.

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I do not financially benefit from anything Sublime. I do not sell or deal with Sublime merchandise, bootlegs or other recordings. My interest in being a Sublime "expert" is mostly altruistic. I've seen a lot of lies, half-truths and exaggerations out there about Brad and Sublime so I would like to debunk some of these myths or falsifications if possible.

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