Interview by Steven Hager

Ignored by the mainstream media for 10 years, the Kottonmouth Kings cracked Billboard’s Top 40 for the first time with Koast To Koast, their 10th CD release. While the Kings may not get radio play or MTV coverage, they do have one of the largest and most fervent fan bases around, and that’s why they’ll be headlining the 19th Cannabis Cup this November. In town for a sold-out gig, the Kings dropped by HIGH TIMES for the first time in seven years. Pakelika speaks and Brad is now Daddy X, but their enthusiasm for the chronic remains undiminished.

What’s the origin of the Kottonmouth Kings?
Daddy X: D-Loc and Johnny Richter, we all grew up within a three-block radius in Orange County, CA. At the time, I’d moved up to Los Angeles and was doing nightclub promotions just when they were getting out of high school. One night we were in Johnny Richter’s ’74 VW bus. We had a session getting high in this bus, and Richter, who was super-quiet at the time, all of a sudden the radio’s playin’ and he’s rappin’ every word. I said, “Dude, I didn’t know you could rap!” He said, “I dunno if I can rap or not.” But he’s rappin every word, word for word. And then he’s singing classic-rock songs, perfect harmony, and I was like, “We should start a band.” We had a little home studio up in LA and we just started by making songs. Before you know it, we wound up getting in this bidding war between major labels. But before we put out our first record, I formed Suburban Noise Records, because I knew that we wanted to be self-empowered and in control of our own destiny—and not at the mercy of some major corporation.