New picture disc EP featuring MF DOOM; Album in Fall
MP3: Black Girl, White Girl

CX KiDTRONiK is obsessed with the female butt crack. Stones Throw’s new DJ/producer/vocalist makes explosively-danceable hip hop, meshed with electro, metal and other genres. A new member of the recently re-formed Atari Teenage Riot, he also counts Kanye West, Girl Talk and Saul Williams among his biggest fans. “He is a character,” says former tour mate Trent Reznor. “He’s also one of those guys, when he’s around, things start to happen.”

The Brooklyn-based artist CX once saw Jody Watley squat to pick up a tambourine at a Central Park performance – at the height of the low-rise jeans era – and it was all over. “People think I’m ass-obsessed, but that’s wrong,” CX says. “I love ‘accidental’ ass crack.” Regardless, his 2006 party-starting debut Krak Attack pledged allegiance to the sag, while his latest work Krak Attack 2: Ballad Of Elli Skiff takes a more political angle. The title references a low-slung-pants-wearing Portsmouth, New Hampshire woman, who was arrested for refusing to leave a mall. CX decries ordinances around the country banning saggy jeans: “We’re supposedly in the post-racial Obama era,” he says, “but these types of laws are aimed at Black men, and there are more Black men in prison now than in 1850.”

It may come as a surprise that CX — with his spiky mohawk, oversized flashing sunglasses, and a rapid-fire MPC playing style that recalls John Bonham – was raised in Madison, Wisconsin. Born Christopher Davis, he adopted the name Christopher X after reading the works of Malcolm X. “KiDTRONiK” comes from ‘80s electro rap group Mantronix, a major influence on his style.

By the time he’d arrived at Atlanta’s Morehouse College he was an official, bow-tie clad member of Farrakhan's Nation Of Islam. There, he met slam poet Saul Williams, who became hype man and dancer for CX’s conscious-rap group, K.I.N.
Eventually CX got pierced and dyed his hair bright colors – adios, Nation of Islam – and started developing his own outrageous live show. Playing custom-built synths and drum machines with names like the “CX Betacrack Box” and “The Catonator,” he dazzled audiences around the world with his technically-proficient, yet completely-chaotic performances, full of gyrating women, flashing lights, lazers, sweat and beer.
A one-time member of Anti-Pop Consortium, he worked for years as an NYC club DJ. His production style specialized in live kicks and snares, rather than samples and loops. “I’m from the generation of Marley Marl and DJ Red Alert,” he says, “not Fruity Loops.” He reunited with Williams and contributed beats and vocals to his 2007 album, The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!, produced by Trent Reznor. In recent years CX has toured with Reznor, Williams and Girl Talk, and in 2009 Kanye West flew him out to Hawaii for co-production work. What’s more, CX recently became the new member of German digital hardcore group Atari Teenage Riot.

CX’s new album Krak Attack 2: Ballad Of Elli Skiff promises to be the most contagiously-adrenalizing, genre-busting album of the year. Featuring guests including Deee-Lite’s Lady Miss Kier, DOOM, Ramm:Ell:Zee and Alec Empire of Atari Teenage Riot, it’s the thinking man’s mosh pit music. “It’s got speed metal, gabber and ballads,” says CX. “It’s the craziest shit Stones Throw has ever put out.”

— by Ben Westhoff