Meaning of War by Low Rider & Song Story

The subculture of lowriders originated in the Mexican quarters of the Southwestern United States in the mid-twentieth century. Wanting to stand out in the traffic, Hispanics began to paint cars in unique colors, install additional headlights, change the shape of the body, put chrome wheels and trim the interior with luxurious materials.

But the hallmark of the tuning was considered to be the ground clearance, which was too low, due to which the car almost touched the asphalt. The most advanced owners installed hydraulic suspensions. On them, the car could rise, swing and even bounce.

The boom in the popularity of lowriders occurred in the second half of the sixties and has not completely died down since then. They are most in demand on the West Coast.


Members of the funk band War were also ardent fans of this type of car and wrote a composition that has become almost an anthem for lowrider fans.

The story of creation & the meaning of the song Low Rider

Drummer Harold Brown, one of the founding members of the band War, became interested in lowriders back in the sixties and even founded a car tuning shop. The idea for the future song came from saxophonist Charles Miller. He also sang the vocals.

Harold told how they composed the composition:

We were jamming and I had to stick to the strong beat of the beat. But suddenly I was on the weak side. And I said, “Wow! I reversed the beat.” But I didn’t panic and said, “Wait a minute. Let it be. Don’t change anything. Stop.” Because as long as you do it over and over, it won’t be a mistake. We were just improvising. And then I hear Charles start singing, “Low rider drives a little slower. The low…” He just started pumping her up. And then I hear Lee playing harmonica, because Lee always comes up with melodies.

In the lines of the song, many saw references to drugs, but Harold Braund refutes this opinion:

We didn’t want it to look like we were hinting at drugs. As a general rule, most lowriders don’t really get into drugs, because we all worked in auto shops, body repairs and mechanics all the time. We didn’t have extra money for drugs. We invested in cars. For some reason, it has become a Hollywood thing. Maybe it’s Cheech and Chong [американском комедийном дуэте Cheech & Chong, использовавшем трек в фильме Up in Smoke]? We wanted to convey to the listeners the idea that a lowrider enjoys driving his car, is proud of the way he drives. […]

She also claimed that the song is autobiographical.

“Take a little trip, take a little trip with me and see.” That was the case with my older brother Charles Miller. He sang the song. When he and I rode in his 1948 Chevy, we never knew what adventures were in store for us.

Recording and release

The composition was included in the album Why Can’t We Be Friends? (1975). The single topped the Billboard R&B chart and peaked at number seven on the pop chart.

Video Low Rider

Check out the music video for “Low Rider” by War.

Cover versions

Let’s listen to how Korn performed the song Low Rider. Jonathan Davis played the main melody on bagpipes.

Interesting facts about Low Rider

  • The song has been featured in over two dozen films, including Gone in 60 Seconds, A Knight’s Tale, Dazed and Confused, Beverly Hills Ninja and 21 Grams.
  • The composition is also featured in GTA: San Andreas and several other computer games.
  • Samples from Low Rider were used by The Beastie Boys on Slow Ride, The Offspring on the Pretty Fly (for a White Guy) remix, Tito & Tarantula on Bullets from a Gun and other musicians.

Low Rider Lyrics

All my friends know the low rider
The low rider is a little higher

Low rider drives a little slower
Low rider is a real goer

Low rider knows every street, yeah
Low rider is the one to meet, yeah

Low rider don’t use no gas now
Low rider don’t drive too fast

Take a little trip, take a little trip
Take a little trip and see
Take a little trip, take a little trip
Take a little trip with me

Low Rider Lyrics Alternative

All my friends know the lowrider
Lowrider is a little stoned.

Lowrider rides a little slower
Lowrider is really cool on the road

Lowrider knows every street
Lowrider you will meet everywhere

The lowrider does not use gasoline,
Lowrider doesn’t drive too fast

Ride a little, ride a little
Ride a little and you’ll see
Ride a little, ride a little
Take a little ride with me

Quote about the song “Low Rider”

It can be said that it is imbued with the spirit of America.

Harold Brown

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