Hip-hop rockers The Kottonmouth Kings play Vail
VAIL, Colorado Immediately after the Kottonmouth Kings leader, Brad Daddy X Xavier, finished talking about how the bands marijuana-loving image impacts their career, I heard a long inhale on the other end of the phone. Then an exhale. I asked Daddy X if he just took a bong rip. Without hesitating, he said yes.
Saying that marijuana plays a big part in the Kottonmouth Kings image would be a massive understatement. Songs like Wheres The Weed At?, Bong Tokin Alcoholics and Proud To Be A Stoner are splattered all over the Kings discography and they are frank about their beliefs. I believe in free speech, I believe in free choice and I think that the fact that a plant is illegal is, you know, pretty much a crime against humanity, Daddy X said.That brings us back to how the Kottonmouth Kings image impacts their career. They have struggled to find mainstream success and sponsors due to their outspoken fondness of ganja, so Daddy X started his own label Suburban Noize Records to keep creative control of their music and image. Daddy X sounds content to stay underground now and he is well aware that a major labels handling of the Kings hip-hop/punk-rock sound might not be in their best interest anyway. James Deighan of Highline Sports and Entertainment, who booked the bands for Spring Back to Vail, said he didnt know the band is crazily obsessed with marijuana, before he booked them. And from everything hes heard, locals especially skiers, snowboarders and lift operators love the Kottonmouth Kings; Deighan thinks the band is a perfect fit in between the hard rock of Govt Mule and the laid-back music of Ben Harper, the two other acts at this years festival. Its a fun-atmosphere band. Its a party band, Deighan said.
If smoking weed makes people lazy, somebody should tell Daddy X. He may be tokin up in between running his label, writing songs, recording and touring, but he has no intention of slowing down his pace and he is very proud that the Kottonmouth Kings have maintained their career on their own terms and without mainstream help. Daddy X credits the bands can-do attitude to his roots in Californias punk-rock scene and the independence it promotes.We never put limitations on ourselves, Daddy X said. I think when we go in to make a record we dont put any boundaries on it.The Kottonmouth Kings are a mixed bag of musical talent due to the six members (Daddy X, Richter, D-Loc, Lou Dog, Pakelika and DJ Bobby B) different influences. On one album alone its possible to hear them play an acoustic song followed by an energetic rap performance then a reggae finish. Too hip-hop to be labeled alternative and too alternative to be labeled hip-hop, the Kottonmouth Kings fall into a gray area, but Daddy X said that theyve never tried to promote a false image of themselves.Thats probably the reason why were still around, you know. If we were trying to be something that we werent wed probably be … here and gone. You wouldnt even be talking to me right now, Daddy X said.
Daddy X knows that the music industry is changing and hopes that the Kottonmouth Kings can adapt. As long as there is a place in the world for their music though, Daddy X said they will keep putting it out there and its obvious from his rapid-fire way of talking that hes still got plenty to say. Despite the stoner image that the Kottonmouth Kings promote they really only have one goal, and that is to entertain with their music. If you cant have a good time at a Kottonmouth Kings concert, you probably just dont want to have a good time, Daddy X said.High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 748-2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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VAIL — The lift operator in the maze at Vail Village’s Gondola One tilts his head back and hollers: “Masks up please!”