Sublime stood for a lifestyle more than a particular musical sound.
With a mixture of stony reggae vibes, light-hearted ska fun, punk rock attitudes and Long Beach gangsta brotherhood, Sublime attracted a segment of the diverse Southern California community to unite under one band.
Everyone from the wallet chain-wearing gangster skater to the old school punker to the reggae (and reggae dub) enthusiast found something to enjoy in Sublime.
It's no surprise that the Sublime posse (the three core members, singer/guitarist Brad Nowell, drummer Floyd "Bud" Gaugh and bassist Eric Wilson, along with numerous DJs, producers and friends) grew into a tight family unit that played together and partied together with a hip army of followers in tow.
While Sublime will be most remembered for the premature death of Nowell, the band's willingness to crisscross styles and blend genres played a significant part in expanding the world of pop music in yet unheard ways.
By the time Sublime started receiving national attention in 1995 (due to the popularity of the then radio hit "Date Rape"), the band had already independently sold thousands of copies of the 1992 release 40 Oz. To Freedom on its own Skunk Records.
Received nationally as a ska band, a peek at the musical diversity on 40 Oz. To Freedom or the 1994 reggae dub and punk experimental 4-track release Robbin' The Hood proved otherwise.
Going mostly unnoticed, Robbin' consists mainly of loose lyrical and rhythm explorations which later blossomed into full songs for the band's third and most cohesive release, Sublime.
Released in 1996 (months after the accidental drug death of frontman Nowell), the band's major-label debut on MCA produced a number of hits, a fine showing of what could have been a long-lived and healthy pop career.
Well into one year after Nowell's death Sublime was certified platinum and had produced three hit singles while 40 Oz. continues as a strong catalog seller.
During the summer of 1997, a party-style club song called "Doin' Time" was released with remixes by hip hop artists such as Snoop Doggy Dogg and the Pharcyde, bringing Sublime closer into hip hop circles.
The remaining members of Sublime and the expanded Sublime family continue with a Sublime tribute band called the Long Beach Dub All Stars while working with numerous other upstart bands of all genres.
While MCA is scraping demos and outtakes for another possible release (Second Hand Smoke), Sublime's legacy lives on in the many bootlegs found within independent record store circles.