Daddy X (Kottonmouth Kings) Interview
Author: Adam Bernard
When the Kottonmouth Kings formed in 1994 they could have never predicted
that in 2010 they'd be 17 albums deep and still packing houses, as well as
bowls, nationwide. Being that during most of their time, including the
present, the group has been an independent act, theirs is truly one of the
great hip-hop success stories of all-time. This week, with the group hitting
the road for their Party Monsters Tour, which runs until the end of
November, RapReviews caught up with the Kottonmouth Kings' Daddy X (pictured
center) to find out how they made it all happen.
Adam Bernard: You're hitting the road right now. Tell me about the tour
you're embarking on and the kind of show fans can expect.
Daddy X: We put together a state of the art light and stage show to take
the experience to another dimension! It's the Party Monsters Tour, so the
fans can expect a hell of a party! We have been doing two hour sets every night.
AB: With the exception of "Suburban Life" you guys have had zero
mainstream radio, or video, airplay, but you've still managed to build a
very long and successful career. Did you go in knowing your music might not
fit into the mainstream, and if so, did you have a plan for how to survive
without radio or video airplay?
DX: From day one our goal was to build a career and be in control of our
own destiny. I started Subnoize Records so we could put out music when and
how we wanted. I never knew where this journey would take us, I just knew we
had to set a course of independence. We are only in control of things that
we can control and that is making good records and putting on good shows,
the rest is up to fate and destiny.
AB: How much do you feel not being in the mainstream has helped your longevity?
DX: I think the Kottonmouth Kings fan base realizes that after all these
years they are responsible for us still doing this for a living. Our fans
feel a pride of ownership in the Kottonmouth Kings and Subnoize. Without
them none of this is possible. We have a lot of new fans just discovering
us, and we have older fans that have taken the ride with us. The lives we
touch through our music is the most rewarding part of the process.
AB: Speaking of your fans, how would you describe your relationship with them?
DX: We are so lucky to have such great fans who really get behind us and
relate to what we are putting down. We are all humans beings experiencing
this very intense time on our planet, if the Kottonmouth Kings can help
someone forget about their troubles for a while, and give them pleasure,
then that's a good thing. We try to relate to our fans as our brothers and
AB: One person you've developed a very brotherly relationship with is
Tech N9ne. When and how did you develop that relationship with Tech, and his
label, Strange Music, and what doors do you think that relationship has
opened for both of you?
DX: We met some of Tech's camp when we were touring through KC. They
turned us on to his music. We met and really got to know him on the Wicked
Wonka Tour with ICP, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, us, and Tech N9ne, and we just
hit it off. We became friends and allies. They (Tech's camp) are great
people and we have shared thousands of miles and many stages touring
together. It has been one of the many blessings of our journey.
AB: You rhyme, we'll say occasionally, about weed, and your audience
certainly appreciates that. Why do you think weed is such a uniting force?
DX: It represents personal freedom, and freedom of choice. It also
represents man's need to dominate, dictate and control nature. Like music,
herb unites people with a common bond - truth, freedom and feeling good!
AB: You started Suburban Noize Records as a way to get your music out.
You now have a full roster of artists, and even the imprints Break Silence
Recordings and Skunk Records, under Suburban Noize. When you think about the
development of Suburban Noize, what surprises you most?
DX: As the industry started to shift so radically because of the internet
it left a void for a lot of great artists. It also empowered a lot of
artists to take control of their careers. At Subnoize we have grown in so
many ways. We have a dedicated staff, and Kevin Zinger, my partner, is
relentless. We have had growing pains trying to adjust to taking on so many
projects, and it can leave our staff feeling overwhelmed, but we are trying
to become more efficient so we can grow and adapt with the changing times
and technology. It is a work in progress, a true labor of love.
AB: Incidentally, congrats on Eyes Set To Kill. I saw, and spoke with
them, at Warped Tour this year and they're amazing. I'm really looking
forward to the Lexia solo record. Not all of your artists have been so well
received, though. Of course, I'm speaking of Brokencyde. Did you know they
were going to get so much negative press, and when the negative press
started coming in, did you panic? How did you deal with it?
DX: I came from the punk rock world, so any artist that can get that type
of reaction from people must be doing something right! It's like the Sex
Pistols, or Corporate Avenger, or NWA; groups that get a reaction out of
people excite me. On the business side they were, and are, one of our
biggest selling groups! I will take ten Brokencydes any day of the week so I
can go retire on some island and smoke weed and surf all day!
AB: Finally, speaking of smoking weed all day, do you think America is
getting any closer to decriminalizing weed, or is it, if you'll pardon the
pun, just a pipe dream?
DX: We have made such great progress in the last five years. Prohibition
in America will end. Common sense policies on marijuana are inevitable. It
is the will of the people! We the people! We love to get high! Enjoy life.
You can find the Kottonmouth Kings online at kottonmouthkings.com.
"Long Live the Kings"
is in stores now!
Originally posted: September 7, 2010