The song that is played over the show's opening credits during Seasons 1 and 2 is a brief selection from "Canção do Mar" ("Song of the Sea"), by Portuguese singer songwriter Dulce Pontes. The piece was also used in the movie Primal Fear (1996), which was co-written by "Southland" creator Ann Biderman. A version recorded by British singer Sarah Brightman under the title "Harem" was a crossover hit for Brightman in 2003.
Throughout the series, real Los Angeles thoroughfares or sections are named (e.g. Rodeo, Florence, Vermont), while scenery is nowhere near the real life locations. Even fictitious addresses aren't within the range seen on the real street (e.g. 1024 Rodeo Rd. can't exist on a street that only goes as far east as the 2000 West block).