Date Rape

Album: 40 Oz. To Freedom (1992)

Songfacts®:

  • This upbeat, frivolous-sounding song takes on a very controversial subject, though in this case karma bites back, with the convicted rapist being sodomized by another inmate.

    Written in a fast 4/4 time with lyrics by the band's singer/guitarist Brad Nowell, he claimed it was inspired by a joke at a party. Nowell made it clear that he was firmly against rape of any kind.
  • In a Songfacts interview with Sublime bass player Eric Wilson, he said that they wrote this song before they even had their band together. "We went to see Fishbone one day at a free concert in Reseda," he said. "We came home from that and were just writing songs. And we came home from that concert and wrote 'Date Rape.'"
  • "Date Rape" was the first Sublime release. It was issued on their independent label Skunk Records as a 12" single in 1991, with three other songs on the tracklist. The song was included on their 1992 debut album, 40 Oz. To Freedom, and then once again released as a single in 1995 when it received a lot of airplay in their native California.
  • On the original album release, a bit of the song "Rawhide" was attached to the end of this track. After Sublime got a record deal with MCA, the album was re-issued in 1996, but without "Rawhide" on the end.
  • Sublime made a popular video for this song that was directed by their soundman, Greg Abramson, and released in 1992. Chris Penn of Reservoir Dogs fame played the rapist in the clip; porn star Ron Jeremy was the judge, and also the inmate who takes advantage of the punk.

    Brad Nowell's Dalmatian, Lou Dog, makes an appearance in the clip, as does Todd "Z-man" Zalkins, who was part of the Long Beach music scene with his band Corn Doggy Dog and the Half Pound. The cantankerous canine bit Zalkins on the lip during the shoot, requiring a trip to the hospital and a number of stitches. It was one of a number of incidents involving the pooch, and not the only time he bit someone while shooting a video.

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