Johnny Richter: I'm Sick Of Dealing With Kottonmouth Kings Fighting

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Johnny Richter, formerly of the Kottonmouth Kings, doesn't slow down for anyone. He also doesn't take shit from anyone. After unexpectedly leaving KMK in mid-October, Richter hit the ground running with a rejuvenated solo career and a new EP, FreeKING Out, set for release December 17.

The short and sweet five-track EP delivers the vintage Richter sound that carried the Kottonmouth Kings to fame, but there is something different about this collection of songs. A new bull-dozing spark in Richter's lyrics courses through every verse and brings the EP to life, showing that he is for real about his own career.

"I just want to get back to making music," says Richter, "touring, playing shows, and having fun with it, and not [have] all the other drama and bullshit that goes with it."

That's not to say there hasn't been plenty of backlash and fallout from a sudden separation with the band he helped form in the mid-nineties. KMK fans seem to be divided, forced into picking a side through the forums that have lit up since Richter's departure. Most notably, however, have been the accusations by Richter's former band members themselves.

The full story behind the scenes of KMK may never be known. However, Up on the Sun took advantage of the opportunity to speak with Richter prior to his solo performance at Red Owl in Tempe on December 15, and asked him about his future, his EP, and to shed some light on KMK.

There's a lot going on in your world, and you're a few shows into your own solo FreeKING Out tour now. I heard you got pulled over by the cops on your first night out?
Yeah, it was pretty gnarly. I got woken up at 10:30 in the morning by two CSP's. They took everybody off the RV one by one, and I was the last person because I was asleep. They searched the RV, and found like an ounce-and-a-half and some pipes and shit. None of the guys wanted to do anything as far as the cops, so they just let us go. No tickets, no anything, and all of our pipes intact.

Besides that run-in, how has the audience reaction been to your show?
The reaction has been good. We've been hit with some crazy weather, though! It's been good, we're just having fun with it. Everybody that comes is having a blast, and has been really receptive to everything.

What can we expect with your solo performance?
Just some real hip-hop. We're just up there killing it for an hour-plus of straight hip-hop. There's no karaoke or anything, just what we're rapping is what we're doing. We're trying to keep it positive and keep smiles on all of the people's faces. It's an energetic show.

Do you play any Kottonmouth Kings songs live?
Well, anybody can play whatever they want; think about cover bands and all of that. I do all publishing on my songs, and at the end of the day it's my songs that I wrote. I have as much right as anybody in my heart, and I can play whatever I want. I only play one verse off a Kottonmouth song, though, and it's an old song that we never play live.

I'm getting a lot of flak, but that's coming from their camp. I'm not saying, "hey, all the songs that I wrote--you guys can't play them." I'm not saying that, but they're trying to say I can't play any Kottonmouth Kings songs and to sign a piece of paper that I can never say or mention I was a part of Kottonmouth Kings. That's what they want me to do, but I'm not trying to take that level with that.

Tell me your thoughts on the FreeKING Out EP?
With everything happening, I didn't really pre-think or plan that EP. The night of October 14th or whatever it was, which was the first show I didn't show up to, I put a Twitter response out saying where I'm at and why I'm not there. I was getting some negative shit said about me by my band.

They were making accusations about me [like] addict, junkie, thief, and liar. I just try to keep it positive, and they went straight for the jugular with blatant lies. It definitely sparked that EP. It made me feel better about what I was doing, and solidified my reasoning. I'm just done with all that bullshit. I'm just getting back to music, and what it's supposed to be all about. I'm not trying to get in an internet battle war with somebody.

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70 comments
Nick Woltering
Nick Woltering

This music is stupid and for emotionally unstable losers who will never make it in life

Michael Benz
Michael Benz

Figure it out...this is scripted greatly...the whole move and break out. Otherwise why would subnoize be posting this on their page? Get wise folks. It's a marketing gimmick in the wake of a very poor economy where nobody is spending much money.

Edward A Mahan
Edward A Mahan

its sad to watch a band that has been a part of my life for so long fall apart .. sucks i thought it was a fight to the top , but then again pak didnt make it to the white house . but he did teach us all about freedom .. i will rep my crown till the end..

Jonny Scott
Jonny Scott

Better off out of the childish bullshit

Jason Forque
Jason Forque

Kris Maier this is the interview I was telling you about

Nick Sheppard
Nick Sheppard

You'll be back..... or go no were. Hope you prove me wrong but what I have heard your ok by yourself.

Been Sailin Skilled
Been Sailin Skilled

I love this man. in KMK. Out of KmK..I don't care. just keep making music.

Brennan Whisler
Brennan Whisler

Damn, it sucks it happened like this, i grew up listening to kmk cuz they seemed to be just down ass hommies about smokin and riding and havin fun just like me and my friends, it sucks that they lasted so long and now its fucked, oh well though richter is dope and spits sick shit weather hes in a group or solo, FAN FOREVA

Bri Jaeger
Bri Jaeger

Wow Richter, you're real, you're true, and you have totally solidified why you have always been my favorite mc from KMK...after reading this, I have come to the realization that YOU are telling the truth...I've been so confused in this whole KMK drama as I'm sure all fans have I just didn't know what or who to believe...but your truth just makes a hell of a lot more sense than the bs they're spitting. I will always be a KMK fan...but I'm Team Richter all the way! You're the realest mc dude and I can't wait to see you live SOLO...since I've already seen ya with KMK...I'm excited to see what you do without them. Please come to Green Bay on your next tour...my hubs and I...another huge fan of yours...have a huge house and a long driveway so you're welcome to park the tour bus and come chill...mi casa su casa...any time man

Nick Gregory
Nick Gregory

As always Richter speaking the truth! Your the shit...the music will indeed do the talking! Ain't nobody in Kmk bout to drop anything close to the level your at. You were always the best, sang all the best hooks and 100% of the time you had the best verse. Good luck to Kmk but I just don't see it goin anywhere without you. #RichterRules

Kyle Sharpton
Kyle Sharpton

I feel bad for the other guys because when you left the group you took all the real talent with you. I always thought you were what made kmk great, man. Good luck!

Michael Leis
Michael Leis

Cool keep it real richter always liked you as a performer dont worry about the backlash keep it real

Brad McGue
Brad McGue

Why cant X be as calm about things as richter. Like the kings once said, life rolls on

Laurie McQuitty
Laurie McQuitty

U rock yo!! Keep on keepn on sexxy u!! Ur like jus awwwesuum possum!! U will succeed!!

Lauren M Baker
Lauren M Baker

I got kicked out of a kmk show in SD for wrestling someone to the ground for trying to steal my black and fuchsia angels hat.

Darrell Cardwell
Darrell Cardwell

Lmao love it. He said we ain't singing karaoke. Bout time. #rictherrules

Kate Nance
Kate Nance

Johnny so happy to see you happy making music! Saw you in ocean beach right after the split with Kmk and I can't wait to see you in pacific beach! Ill bring all my friends #supportrichter #richterrules #freakingout

Nick Swisher
Nick Swisher

cant wait to be bumpin this new album! glad to hear your back at it again JR

Marz BluSkyy Oshigoto Sha
Marz BluSkyy Oshigoto Sha

I hate that ther is hostility between you guys,and i love all YALLS music,since day one,im glad to see you break away and do your own shit,speacially after laughing,loved it,,,im not a haterim not gonna pick and choose like some folks,i support all underground artist,,,but i have notice kmk being more in for the money rather then the music,,,good luck positive vibe and run at full throtle,cant wait to hear your newset bangerz

Heaven Leigh
Heaven Leigh

Just remember what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, so keep your head up and keep doing you. :-)

Riley Hinton
Riley Hinton

I'm always gonna be a. Fan u and loc are my favorite artists. I've been lisening to the kings since 2003 its a real bummer to see such bullshit from the kings but it is what it is and u gotta do what Richter what's to do and not being a king is just another path u choose in ur road of life stay strong brother!

Melissa McColgan
Melissa McColgan

Having met ya before and talked with ya I know your words are true and not just for some act. I know you truly mean what you've said in the interviews and such. I'm glad to see ya happy again and doing what you love and I know you'll kick ass at it cause you've got the skills for it and the heart. Keep ignoring the haters and the negativity because the truth speaks for itself.

Michael Casey
Michael Casey

Y'all been through much worse stuffing all live in all battle did not come out on top yo always come out on top so quit actin like kids man grow up being a man. get back on top you'll see it

Travis Watson
Travis Watson

KansAS kOTTONMOUTH fan, he will get back with the boys again, all that traveling, fame and time spent together needed A break, Everybodys bullshit about this guys more talented and this guy sucks isn't helping

Angie Braasch
Angie Braasch

I take no sides, I dont know what to think. I love the music. I really dont like this getting ugly. Of all the bands in the world, why is THIS happening to KMK. I feel how people prolly felt when the Beatles broke up.

David Robbins
David Robbins

i like richter but daddy x old ass got the best flow

Erik Flores
Erik Flores

Yo Richter your the most talented of all in the group... KMK wont last much longer without you. Who is going to sing all of their chorus'? Lol cuz you mostly sang all of them. Well hope you keep risin and never look down bro! Fuck all the drama in the group! Sux you had to end Kingspade too... cuz when it was just you and Loc.. you guys were unstoppable. Maybe you and Loc can work things out since you guys been friends since you were kids. Fuck the group.. you met them later in life. Kingspade was the best with you and Loc. Stay up Richter!

Courtney Bird
Courtney Bird

Good to hear J Ric! Way to keep it respectful & do your thing regardless of the drama! Life Rolls On!

Amber Bruno
Amber Bruno

^^^ sadly, KingSpade is done. At least at this point. There is always hope for the future.

Jaden Hill
Jaden Hill

So what about you and D-Loc. No more Kingspade. That was the shot when you guys kicked it. I love kingspades beats and music.

Justin Forsman
Justin Forsman

Richter your the shit. I Always knew you would never let me down, like every other artist iv ever liked. Much love.

Justin Socal
Justin Socal

Do your thing bro. See you on da 19th in Fullerton

Aaron Abomb Mills
Aaron Abomb Mills

Good luck in your ventures. "Johnny's Got A Problem and He's Outta Control."

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