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What I Got by Sublime

Album: SublimeReleased: 1996Charted:
  • A band composition with lyrics by lead singer Brad Nowell, this song is an anthem for the spiritually free but financially downtrodden. Nowell finds himself getting up in the morning, smoking his special cigarette, and wondering how he ended up broke. Then things start to look up as he reframes his life and sees all the good things about it: he has a dog, he can get high, and he's never gone to war. Instead of focusing on what he doesn't have (money) he sees what he does have (love), and realizes that's all he needs if he can keep a good attitude and not let problems bring him down. The song became far more poignant when Nowell died of a drug overdose just two months after it was released.
  • Many elements of this song, including the "Loving, is what I got" chorus, are based on a 1986 song called "Loving" by the Jamaican dancehall singer Half Pint (which can be found on the Skunk Records release of his album Recollection). Sublime didn't share the love - Half Pint got no credit on "What I Got."
  • The solo of the song was not performed by Brad Nowell, the singer/guitarist of Sublime, but rather one Michael "Miguel" Happoldt, who is one of the Recording Engineers. (thanks, Ryan - Davenport, IA)
  • There's a widely disputed "lyric" at the beginning of the original version of this song that exists in the commercially released versions but is toned down, possibly for copyright issues. Before the music starts, someone says what sounds like "F--k you Kenny." This is in fact a sample from Richard Pryor's standup comedy album That Nigger's Crazy, track name "Have your ass home by 11" where he says, imitating a girl who wouldn't sleep with him, "I don't want to f--k you, you can't even sing!" Pryor was talking about how musicians had a hard time picking up women in his day because there were Doo-Wop groups on every corner. (thanks, Matt Maguire - Watertown, MA)
  • Blues Traveler starting covering this in 2011 and released their version on their 2012 collection Blues Traveler: 25. Their guitarist Chan Kinchla told us: "We actually played a show with a band, Rebelution, who are managed by and related to some of the people that were in Sublime. They always loved the track, and that was kind of in the air, and they were like, 'You should record that and release it.' Because we did the best cover of it. Mainly because we didn't really try and copy their cover, we did our own version, which I think is why they liked it."

    Chan adds that the song suited the band, especially their lead singer John Popper: "John's great at that kind of quick vocal scan anyway. And when you release a new record, you always want to put a few new things on it, and it just came together."
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Comments: 29

Did anyone else ever notice that the first verse or whatever is the exact same tune as lady madonna by the beatles? I just realised this . Still, One of my favorite songs by anyone ever.
I can play the gui-tar like a mother f--king riot! ah. classic.
Rachel - Annapolis, Md
it's true about the f--- you kenney part i got the richard pryor CdKane - Wytheville, Va
Actually, Izzie, it's titled (Reprise) but it's actually done by a different producer (David Kahne) because MCA decided that Paul Leary wasn't good enough. Assholes. In any case, the reprise was never supposed to happen, but they were forced to make it. It was a big waste of time and money for Sublime. Also, it's "F**k, you can't even sing." that Brad says in the beginning of the Leary version. And Jordan, you're both wrong. In the Leary version, Miguel played the solo and the lead guitar and Brad played rhythm guitar. In the Kahne version, Brad didn't play at all. Miguel played the solo and lead and Paul Leary played electric. For the last time, the beginning is not a sample! Bradley says "F**k, you can't even sing!"Pedro - Chula Vista, Ca
in the begginning of the song you can here really softly before any music plays "ooh F*** you jenny" this is also heard at the very beginning of the song "shimmy shimmy" by old dirty B******Connor - Lansing, Mi
Brad and Lou Dog

This song is about never giving up no matter what gets thrown at you, and they'll always be something. :D
Laura - Bham, United Kingdom
this song does remind me of a time when it came out and a generation of kids, but IMO Sublime had waaaaay better songs on their 40oz. to Freedom album, as well as Robbin the Hood, those albums kick ace!!Susan - Westchestertonfieldville, Va
this song just is perfect, tells hey life can suck at times but love it its all you gonna get
this is why the lyrics are tattood on my back
Jarrett - Friendswood, Tx
I agree with Charles from IowaElmo - La La Land, Wa
My name is Hudson Brown and I like hugging my father, especially when i get cold and my toes curl up. My fathers warm hands wrapping around me so tightly makes my toes curl back down and become relaxed.Jonathan - Macon, Ga
good summer makes you think of the good old daysMadalyn - Greensburg, Pa
I LOVE THIS SONG! it's amazing, it's been my ringtone forever cause when I hear it i get really relaxed and at eeaaaseee....Anna Mullin - Atlanta, Ga
Listening for when he starts singing is the hard way to figure out which is the reprise...

If you here the line 'take a small example, take a tip from me' then its the reprise
Ryan - Lanesborough, Ma
this was the first song i heard by sublime, and i loved it. i heard it on dave mirras game.Josh - Los Angeles, Ca
ive only listened to the reprise...what exactly is a REPRISE? sorry maybe its stupid but i really dont know!Jayme - Waipio, Hi
This song rocks!!! As do most, if not all, of Sublime's music. Typical of most true talent, who are often fighting their own demons of mental illness, or (in Brad's case), drug addiction, Bradley Nowell left us too early.Jena - Bonner Springs, Ks
all i know is this song is pretty sweet to get messed up to and just relaxAndy - Chicago, Il
actually andy, the "rough version" is the actual "what i got". the original. the "more polished one" is the what i got reprise.
does the first one have a few instrumentals at the beginning before the singing begins? then thats the real what i got.
does the second have his voice and the instruments starting at the exact same time? thats the reprise. hope that cleared it up for you :)
Izzie - Lala, Hi
There are two versions of this song on the Sublime album. The second track on the album sounds like a rough version of this song, like they're rehearsing it. The next-to-last track is a more polished version. The rough version is the one I always hear on the radio, for some reason.Andy - Arlington, Va
u all r really bad smelling people who smell bad
my name is josh hungfo dont make fun
Josh - London, China
This song kicks ass its probly one of their best songs ever to bad he had to die¿? - Gold Beach, Or
Actually, Ryan's last fact is somewhat incorrect. Miguel did do some guitar work for "What I Got", but the main solo doesn't belong to him. Brad is responsible for the main solo...a way of checking up on this is simply listening to the song. During the first solo you can hear him humming it in the background ("do do do do, do do dooo.."), a common practice among guitar players.Jordan - Philadelphia, Pa
this song is awesome. if im ever feeling down i just pop this song in and bam i start looking at the brighter side of life. you cant always feel down about stuff look at your problems laugh at em and move on. this song taught me that because it is wicked sweet.Calvin - Kyle, Tx
this is my 2nd fave song and the lyrics are my manual on how to live my life....Izzie - Lala, Hi
is it just me or is this song on the self titles record?Madison - Atlanta, Ga
i love this song its great. it reminds me of my low key, souhern california life. i live in a shack on the beach. im living in hawaii jsut for the moment.Izzie - Lala, Hi
In the first 2 seconds on the song the very first spoken lyrics of Shimmy Shimmy Ya by Ol' Dirty Bastard are sampled.Thierry - Brea, Ca
not only is it pretty much the same rift chirs from ames iowa... but it is shamelessly coped from lady mondonna. the similarites are quite remarkable... have a listenMaggie - Austin, Tx
This song is pretty much the same riff as Lady Madonna by the beatles. Check it out.Chris - Ames , Ia
song was on dave mirras freestyle BMXCraig - Chester, Va