What Sublime means to me

Reflecting back on 20 years since the passing of Sublime’s Bradley Nowell

Today marks 20 years since the world lost one of its brightest young musical visionaries, Bradley Nowell, front man for the Long Beach, California-based reggae/rock/punk/ska/hip-hop band Sublime, to a heroin overdose at the age of 28.

Few outside of Southern California knew how much the world would miss Bradley, though, as the band was just beginning to break through and become more than, depending on who you ask, the world’s greatest party band or just a group of drunken, rowdy punks. Brad supposedly as clean as he’d been in years, had recently had a son and gotten married, and his band had just recorded an album that would go on to become influential to an entire generation of musicians.

Shortly after Bradley’s death, Sublime’s self-titled, major-label debut album was released, “What I Got,” “Santeria,” and “Wrong Way” became alt-rock radio staples and millions of albums flew off the shelves. It was too late; all these new converts would never see them perform live.

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How a hardcore rap album helped teach me about financial responsibility

This is not a post I was proud to write, publish, and share with the world forever. But it’s something I wanted to document for myself and for the future.

Twenty years ago today was the first of several times in my younger adult years that I truly experienced what it was like to be broke. While this is not an anniversary I look fondly upon, it did help me begin to learn lessons about financial responsibility that have proven invaluable.

Many will read this story and roll their eyes because it is, admittedly, a #whitewhine or #firstworldproblem. But it was an eye-opening experience for a college freshman who grew up in a firmly middle-class family and whose parents sacrificed a lot to provide their three sons with the expensive shoes, toys, and experiences that kids gravitate toward.

What could have caused this feeling? I was attending a swanky, private college two states away from home, had a dormitory roof over my head, and a meal plan with so much credit available that most days I struggled to spend my allotment.

Brace yourselves for the horror: I did not have the cash in hand (nor the credit, but we’ll get to that) to purchase Cypress Hill’s “Temples of Boom” album during its release week.

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