When I was growing up, more often than not the people you went to school with only listened to one genre of music. The kids my age had very specific tastes, and they were passionate about them; so passionate that it was rare for people to cross over into other genres. The kids stuck to their music, and defined themselves by social group according to genre.
In defiance of this siloed approach to social structure, however, there was one band whose sound served as a great unifier throughout not only my schools, but throughout all of southern California:
It didn’t matter who you were, or what crews you rolled with — chances were pretty god damn good you liked Sublime. If you found yourself sitting next to someone you’d never talk to otherwise, you could at least talk about how good Sublime was, and it would always go something a little like, “Duuuude you like Sublime? Man, ‘Santeria’ is my shit!!”
One of my favorite personal examples of this phenomenon happened when I was 18, delivering a pizza. I was taking a shortcut through the golf course in Indian Hills. It was a swelteringly hot day, probably around 105 F/40 C, so I had all my windows down (because running AC made my shitty Hyundai Elantra run even shittier). The radio had just rolled up “Santeria,” and I was pumping it almost as loud as my busted speakers could take.
As I was driving along through the golf course, I saw three dudes sitting on the green, all with tallboys. These dudes looked mean — each ripped as fuck with shaved heads, tank tops, and huge baggy Dickies, and two of them were sporting cuts and bruises on their faces. These were the type of dudes I’d generally steer clear of, after years of bullying and abuse at the hands of guys just like these. I subconsciously tensed up as I approached.
They were minding their business when, as if struck by some hidden signal, they stopped what they were doing and began bobbing their heads in unison; bobbing in unison to the bass of the song blasting out my windows.
As I got closer, the three dudes all raised their tallboys to me in a salute. I slowed down as I approached, threw up a peace sign, and cranked the music even louder.
They cheered and took huge swigs of their beers.
And I drove off to finish my delivery, leaving them bobbing in my wake.
For today’s recommendation, I invite you to put aside whatever your preferred genre is in the name of harmony and unison. Let’s take a trip to southern California.
Bob with me.
(Song recommendation by Kevin D. Woodall)