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Sublime - What I Got - Lyrics Meaning

Considered one of the 100 greatest guitar based songs of all time, the 1996 "What I Got" was released on Sublime's last album before the band broke up due to singer Bradley Nowell's heroin overdose. It is a light-hearted piece that is actually a real lyrical pick pocket. Some of the questions about verse meanings stem from the fact that many of the snatches of text are actually stolen!

The song plays as a simple anthem to free love and enjoying the goodness of the universe, and yet references to some of the darker elements of life are definitely there. There is also a certain amount of foreshadowing, as the singer references his own drug habits and their hold on him. The lyrics also reference the Fugees, with the bullet proof vest line.

Since the death of the singer, the song has also taken on a bit of a nostalgic meaning for the band and the fans. Since no more music can come from the grave, the "What I Got" serves as a reminder that life and talent are both fragile and should be treasured. Valuing what is here, now, rather than focusing on stresses and worries in life is the only way to live.