Twenty Years Later, Sublime's “April 29, 1992 (Miami)” Is Still the Best Song About White Boys Piggy-Backing on a Riot

Let's begin by addressing a source of confusion: The Sublime song we're about to semi-fondly recall is entitled “April 29, 1992 (Miami).” But as sung, its lyrics refer to “April 26, 1992” — 20 years ago today.

This is clearly a mistake, since the song is about the L.A. Riots: Specifically about Sublime members' alleged involvement in the looting, burning, and general hell-raising that took place in the streets after a jury decided that video showing four cops (three white, one Hispanic) senselessly beating a black man named Rodney King somehow did not mean that four cops senselessly beat a black man named Rodney King. The jury's verdict was delivered on April 29, 1992, and inspired riots that lasted for for six days.

Those riots were a definitive event of the urban crime-obsessed early-'90s, and forever changed the relationship between the local community and the much-criticized Los Angeles Police Department. The shadow of the King riots loomed large over the O.J. Simpson trial of a few years later, with many predicting a similar outburst if Simpson was found guilty. (Simpson was acquitted, and to this day nothing like the King riots has happened again in L.A.)


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