Suburban Noize, the powerhouse independent music label from 1998-2015, is poised to make a come back… and has apparently reunited with the Kottonmouth Kings, the legendary underground hip-hop group they split with more than six years ago, according to an announcement on social media.
During their reign as an indie music powerhouse, Sub Noize released notable records from a wide range of artists, including Swollen Members, Saigon, Kottonmouth Kings, (HED) P.E., and LA Coka Nostra, among others. However, the label was put on pause after co-founders Kevin Zinger and Brad Xavier’s very public disagreement.
During the dispute, Xavier (aka Brad X, a former member of Kottonmouth Kings) came out publicly with various claims against Zinger, but never seemed to offer up any proof to substainte the claims. Zinger, however, remained silent during the dispute, aside from one public statement, seemingly validating his side of the argument. When the dust settled and the lawsuit ended, both went separate ways with Zinger remaining as the owner of Suburban Noize and retaining most of the label’s catalogue. Xavier went on to start his own label called United Family Music that ultimatedly closed up shop as quickly as it started.
While Zinger continued on with multiple successful businesses, including other record labels, a management company, a booking agency and even ventured out into producing movies like Saving Banksy and getting behind iconic downtown Los Angeles hotel The Mayfair, he decided to run Suburban Noize strictly as a catalogue label and didn’t sign new groups under that label.
“At the time, it just didn’t feel right to keep signing bands under Suburban Noize,” Zinger said in an official statement. “All the stupid drama was just bullsh*t and I felt bad that the bands and the fans of the label got drug into that stupidity. It was so unnecessary and ridiculous. I moved on and focused on my other businessess, as I had a bad taste in my mouth from the whole experience. But, I think deep down, I wanted to bring it back when the time was right.”
One of the flagship artists of the label was the Kottonmouth Kings, which Xavier was also a member of, but he is no longer in the group. D-LOC, along with member Johnny Richter, have returned, and explain that they see things much clearer now.
“Looking back now, you can see things much clearer,” D-Loc and Richter said. “At the time, we wanted to believe Brad as he was a member of our group. But after a while, it became a total eye roll and hard to believe anything he said. His new label was a joke and he never paid anyone. We have to take legal action against him to get the royalties that are rightfully ours. We always got paid when Zinger was involved and Brad made him out to be the bad guy. And now, Brad is doing every thing he accused Zinger of doing. It’s very ironic.”
With Brad X out of the picture, the cloud around the Kottonmouth Kings seems to be lifted and they have been back out on the road doing sold out shows and re-claiming some of there former glory. Perhaps, this was the catalyst that brought the roster together, or perhaps, it’s just timing. But, all of the most notable acts on the label are also reuniting with Sub Noize.
“The truth always comes out in the end,” Kevin Zinger says. “I think people had a lot of time to reflect and this was a learning experience for all. But, with all the ups and downs we are just one big dysfunctional family. My motivation and drive to bring it back is to finish the legacy of the label off in the right way.”
According to label reps, Suburban Noize will roll out a number of new projects in the coming months, as well as making other major announcements. For more info, visit the official website here.