I first heard of the Kottonmouth Kings about 9 or 10 years ago. I can still vividly remember hanging out with two friends – one my age, one a couple years older - after the last day of my freshman year of high school and hearing “4-2-0” play as I experimented with the recreational use of cannabis for the first time. From that point on, the music of the Kottonmouth Kings became basically the soundtrack of my teenage years. Whether you think that’s a good thing or not is besides the point. KMK – the group Johnny Richter was a part of at the time – opened my eyes to a number of societal hypocrisies and had a serious impact on my perception of the world around me.
Various songs from the Kings were used by myself and two other students for an 11th grade project focusing on the the hypocrisy of marijuana prohibition – we got the highest grade in the class (pun intended, but we really did). And most importantly, some of my best friendships to this day started over chill sessions during which the Kottonmouth Kings played in the background. I’ve included this backstory to make evident just how significant my recent interview with Johnny Richter was for me. If you had told 15 or 16 year old me that I’d have the chance to ask Richter anything I wanted, I would have thought you were crazy.
Last year Johnny Richter shocked fans across the world when he made the decision to leave the Kottonmouth Kings, a group he’d been rocking with for over 15 years. Following his departure from the Kings, Richter released FreeKING Out and soon after started touring in promotion of the project. Straight Fresh caught up with Richter last week to discuss the EP, the tour, his reasons for leaving KMK, and a lot more.
Check out the full interview below.Read More →