Like a lot of people I didn’t know who Sublime was until their massive self-titled album released post-humorously after lead singer Bradley Nowell. Being a huge fan of that album I was disappointed that I wouldn’t get to hear any more music, it wasn’t until a year later that I found out that it was their third album not their debut.
I remember the first I heard of anything related to 40 oz to Freedom was my freshmen year of high school. I was in a computer class and my friend Rob kept singing Date Rape, eventually I asked him what it was and he played me the actual song. I really dug it but it sounded very different than the Sublime that I was familiar with from the self-titled album I had purchase four years earlier.
That summer my family vacation was at a mountain house. It rained the entire weekend and we ended up stuck inside most of the trip. Since we didn’t really bring any supplies for being trapped indoors we were starting to climb the walls (They didn’t get any TV channels and the only movies we had to watch was Bowfinger with Eddie Murphy). Finally my dad decided if we were going to be stuck indoors most of the trip we was at least going to drive to the store and pick up more entertaining things. I went with him and while we were in the mall looking for board games, movies and other indoor activities I walked into the CD store and picked up a copy of 40 oz to Freedom.
I remember putting on my headphones and listening to this CD for the first time. This was a very different Sublime than what I was used to hearing. I remember the first time I listened too it I didn’t like it except for 3 or 4 songs. I felt extremely disappointed and didn’t touch the CD again for a year or two. It wasn’t until a friend told me to give it a second spin during my senior year of high school, suddenly I was hearing the CD for the amazing album it was.
What I had once disliked about the album became the thing I loved the most. You see the thing that made me dislike the CD was that it wasn’t their self-titled album, but that became the reason to love it more. The self-titled album has a great range of genre’s but it’s nothing like 40 oz. You’ve got straight up punk rock (Hope), Ska (Date Rape), Acoustic (KRS-One) and sometimes all different styles wrapped in one (New Thrash).
It is honestly one of the most impressive debut albums and independent releases of all time.