Owing a stylistic debt to Cypress Hill (who make an appearance here), the Kottonmouth Kings cultivated a sizeable herb-loving underground following by 2005. Despite hailing from one of the most affluent addresses in the United States--Orange County, California--the seven-man outfit serves up concoctions leaning heavily on the harder-edged side of hip-hop. While the Kings incorporate punk and psychedelia into their music, the group's sound is firmly rooted in rap.
The Kings' self-titled effort opens with a vibe that would not be out of place on a Trick Daddy release, as the Kottonmouth rappers play off of each other with the ease of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on the opener, "King Klick." The group channels Bad Brains on the first half of "Revolution," and the Sex Pistols on "Slow Suicide," and waxes reflective and melodic on "Let the Sunshine," but this is primarily a hip-hop album, and a raw one at that. In an impressive three-track suite, the Kings wedge the hazy ballad "Get Your High On" between two Lil Jon-like club anthems, "Make It Hot" and "Bottoms Up," making for the highlight of KOTTONMOUTH KINGS.