Gold Coast gangster with face tattoos has fashion and music label ‘turning over six figures’
Friday - 09/02/2018 17:38
A CONVICTED criminal who’s friends with outlaw motorcycle gang members says his new “legitimate” business is turning over six figures.
TO SAY Nathan Leonard Richards is an intimidating character would be an understatement.
With an extensive collection of tattoos covering his face and body, a past as a cage fighter and periods of time spent in jail, the 24-year-old from the Gold Coast is no stranger to the underbelly of society.
His connections to the criminal underworld are far from secret either and have helped Richards attract a cult following online where he shares his seemingly glamorous life with his followers, while also promoting guns, crime, women, luxury cars, drugs and violence.
But it’s one of his latest updates in which he boasts about his lifestyle in a video featuring patched members from the Bandidos motorcycle gang that is drawing the most attention.
These days his social media accounts are all about promoting his new-found passion for making music and his A-K Clothing fashion label, which he claims “turns over six figures”.
“Both the music and the clothing has themes of guns, crime, that sort of thing because that’s the environment we are involved in, but now I am a 100 per cent legitimate businessman,” he told news.com.au.
“I’ve gone from being a soldier earning my stripes to now being a certified boss. I’m what you call an OG. I don’t gotta [sic] get my hands dirty anymore, my people look after that sort of thing for me.”
Richards is adamant his clothing and record label is 100 per cent legitimate, but admits he ran his business from jail for a portion of last year after he was arrested for breaching probation for possessing weapons. He was released in April last year.
“I was locked up because I was on parole from early release from a previous sentence. While I was on parole a gang squad taskforce raided my house,” he said.
“They found weapons and my parole was cancelled, so I had to finish my remaining six months in jail then was released on bail.”
Since his release, the Gold Coast local has been developing a record label and recording original rap tracks including his latest release “All About My Business”.
The clip for the song features patched members of the Bandidos MC — both masked and unmasked.
The track starts with the sound of heavy machine gun fire with footage of a bikie doing a burnout, while Richards says “free all Bandidos worldwide”.
The rapper then boasts about being an “A-list criminal”, sending his boys to your door to “kidnap your f**king whore”, having “half a million is his bank” and “guns in his safe”, and “robbing drug dealers”.
When it comes to the controversial lyrics of his songs, Richards said they are based on truth, but refused to divulge any further information. “I’m not going to go into that,” he said.
Richards was also very tight-lipped when it came to his association to the Bandidos, despite appearing alongside members of the outlaw motorcycle gang in the clip.
“You got your friends and I’ve got my friends,” he said.
The gritty clip has proved popular on YouTube, although listeners have had mixed feelings about the promotion of crime and the outlaw motorcycle life.
A surprisingly large number of comments are quick to show support for both Richards and the Bandidos.
“SYLB BFFB [Support Your Local Bandidos | Bandidos forever, forever Bandidos],’ wrote one user.
“BFFB SYLB respect brah bout time we got you rolling with the red & gold,” added another.
However, not everyone harboured these sentiments.
“I love to know what the prez has to say about this,” wrote one user, referring to the president of the Bandidos chapter that appeared in the clip.
“This is 110 per cent certified cringe,” added another.
Richards insists A-K Records is the real deal, with artists from Australia, Atlanta, New York, Chicago and New Orleans signed to the label.
“A-K is connected and respected worldwide,” he said.
“I take hip hop artists who may have been involved in illegal activity, give them a record deal and other opportunities.
“We pay for their studio time, music videos, sponsor them with A-K Clothing — my label is my family, you f*ck with them you get hurt. There’s no ifs, buts or maybes.”
To back his claims his money income is now legitimate, Richards points to A-K Untouchable Empire, Vol 1, which reached number 65 on iTunes “All Genres” charts and number 5 on the “Hip Hop” charts.
“To the people who think our money comes from crime, we sold 30,000 albums at $30 an album ... you do the math,” he said.
The self-proclaimed gangster claims it’s his tough reputation has helped him develop loyal supporters on his popular social media channels and buyers of his clothing and music.
“My social media following has helped because people know my reputation and who I am. They know not to f*ck with me,” he said.
“We don’t need to do anything illegal to make money anymore. The clothing appeals to a market that was previously left untouched.
“We sell hundreds of items per week across Australia and the world. Combine the clothing sales with the music and we’re building a very rich, legitimate empire.”
Richards said he first started the A-K clothing label with $500 cash, printing the logo and slogans on a handful of T-shirts.
“Originally these were just for members of the gang I ran to wear, but so many people were asking for them so I decided to turn them into a clothing brand,” he said.
“I knew with my natural aggression and ruthlessness I could be the best at whatever I decided to do.”
”I sent a broker overseas to three countries to visit suppliers to find me the best factory and set up a meeting.
“I flew over to one that stood out the most, with the best machines and workers and I brought it. My factory works 24-hours a day with a full-time design team and staff.”
Richards believes his label is the first brand in the world to combine designer fashion with streetwear.
“Think of quality such as Versace, Armani, Louis Vuitton mixed with gangster/hip hop inspired designs.”
Richards 2015 one-punch attack on the Sunshine Coast saw him sentenced to 18 months in jail with immediate parole, with the judge allowing him to stay on the street because he did not continue the attack after throwing the punch.
CCTV footage showed Richards punch the security guard, who was knocked into a woman walking beside him, pushing her into a bathroom door.
The guard remained unconscious for about five minutes, with Richards turning and walking away immediately after the attack.
When walking free from court, Richards showed little remorse for his crime, giving a statement to waiting media. “Poke the lion, get bit,” he said at the time.
During the court case, defence barrister David Crews explained his client’s heavily tattooed face and head had been done by his uncle to help with his cage fighting.