It's been a busy year for the Kottonmouth Kings. The OC rappers put out a new studio album, Kingdom Come, as well as a compilation, The Harvest. They started their own label, Kingmaker Music, and they're worked at rebuilding a career that had faltered earlier in the decade. They play the Whisky in January, so we chatted with Dustin Miller, aka D-Loc, about it all.
L.A. WEEKLY: How do you think the Kottonmouth Kings sound has evolved in the 22 years you've been a group?
D-Loc: Shit. The sound definitely changed. It’s not a secret to anybody that Kottonmouth Kings are not the same as they used to be. Members growing older and people living their life, doing what they want to do. It’s going to forever go down in history, the way we we sounded. The past is the past, but the new is the new and it sounds hella dope to us. We’re still expanding our catalog and it’s not a secret. If you supported the past, that’s awesome. But we’re all kings and queens, and we’re stepping onto 2019 right now. That’s gonna be 22 years that me and Johnny Richter have been rocking together. If you support the old and you’re a true king, then you’re gonna support the new music and what the future brings. We have a new label called Kingmaker Music.
Have you been pleased with the fan response to Kingdom Come and The Harvest?
Kottonmouth Kings haven’t been this dope since Suburban Noize Records was putting out music. Now that Kingmaker is putting out music, we put out three CDs this year — Kingdom Come, The Harvest compilation and my solo project.
What do you think of the current state of OC hip-hop?
When we started, we were the minority white hip-hop artists trying to make a name for ourselves. Nowadays, it’s saturated with a lot of artists sounding the same. I’m a fan of new music like trap, and I respect it 100 percent. But a lot of this shit’s not going to be around in 22 years. All these songs that trappers and the songs that sound the same — that’s a fad. That’s cool for the moment but it’s gonna fade.
What can we expect from the Whisky set?
Me and Johnny Richter grew up five houses down from each other, so you’re gonna see a lot of good Kottonmouth Kings classic, and you’re gonna see two guys that have been friends for a long time, that created something special, that never knew people were gonna pass away. You’ll see two dedicated Kottonmouth Kings who eat, breathe and sleep the group with a lot of pride. Don’t blame me or Richter for anybody’s departure. Don’t raise your fingers at us please. You guys should be thanking us for keeping this legacy alive for 22 years. If you’re gonna be poopy-pants about it, be poopy-pants about it.
What’s next for you and the group, as we kick off this new year?
After that show, we’re working on our February tour right now. Go to Kingmakermusic.com and see all our latest releases, where we’re playing and stuff like that.
The Kottonmouth Kings play at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Whisky a Go Go.