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Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.
"I've never had this much fun with a mix before. When else have I had an excuse to drop the Minutemen alongside Tenor Saw with bits of a Malcolm McLaren tune creeping in the background? Say what you want about Sublime, but no single group introduced me to more musical styles and eras. I hope in some tiny way, I can show love back by outlining a cross-section of their rich (and poor) musical heritage. All respect due to Bradley and crew."
It's been nearly twenty years since Sublime sampled the Minutemen declaring "punk rock changed our lives" on its debut album 40 Oz. to Freedom. Looking back, the same could be said about Sublime for educating a generation on punk, reggae and hip hop. Clear away the late 90s oversaturation, the frat-boy fans and cornball stoner reputation that came after mainstream success and what emerges are great tunes showcasing deep musical roots.
Never coy about its sources, Sublime sampled Public Enemy, versioned Peter Tosh, lifted a guitar line from Led Zeppelin and shouted out fellow SoCal act The Ziggens. They covered The Descendents and The Grateful Dead, sang a tender paean to KRS-One and featured local musicians and MCs. Put simply, Bradley and company wanted you to love the music they loved.
It worked. Think of all those who discovered Toots & the Maytals after hearing Sublime's take on "54-46" or bugged out upon realizing Bradley's acoustic version of "Foolish Fool" was not the Dee Dee Warwick original but the rocksteady cover by Cynthia Richards. Spurred on by similar moments of recognition, fans have put tremendous energy in identifying Sublime's influences; Check out Matt Maguire's Rewind Selector: an impressive 100+ track compilation of source material. In contrast, 100dBs took a more curatorial approach to 40 Minutes to Freedom, focusing on flow, style and narrative. The result is a mix that will have you rolling down the windows, turning up the bass and and singing along like you're thirteen years old again.
Special thanks to Soft Scientist whose aid was key to completing this mix.