CX Kidtronik: The Crack Game
- Words: Jesse Serwer
Hip-hop might be all about the crack game these days, but CX Kidtronik has an entirely different sort of crack driving him. Spurred by the recent low-rise jeans craze, the Brooklyn beatmaker's debut LP, Krak Attack (Sound-Ink), is an homage to female ass cleavage, punctuated by cover art that features a collage of ample-assed women doing their best plumber impersonations.
"The pictures were taken by the winners of my 'Krak Attack Booty-Krakmonster Kandid Photo Kontest' on Craigslist," CX explains. "They had to be 100% real candid shots of chicks on the streets, subways, or wherever. One poor photographer suffered a Flintstone bump because the lady heard him laugh [while he was taking her picture]–and then she hit dude in the head with a gallon of orange juice."
Sonically, Krak Attack mimics a smash to the head. A distinctly punk aesthetic (CX is also a member of punk-rap fusionists Deuce Gangsta, with Krak Attack contributor EKG) informs the mohawked former-Airborn Audio DJ's bugged-out, crunked-up electro hip-hop, which is generally distilled into manic, one- and two-minute joints. While the hour-long, 32-song album features some familiar voices–Zion of Zion I, MC/graf legend Rammellzee (who apparently launched rockets from the shoulders of one of his Gothic Futurist get-ups to the beat while recording "Tricky Dick," a routine that dates back to the Bambaataa/Flash days), Antipop Consortium's High Priest–it's filled out by a cast of largely unknown but talented MCs like Rockola, Moses, Ricky Ray, and DET.
"I (directed) the rappers to rap about krak, and then everybody just went off and did their own thing–not rapping about krak," CX says, explaining the relationship between the MCs' lyrical output and his own thematic vision. "(Everyone) is talking about selling crack, or they shit is crack, so it makes sense in a retarded way. I even tried to bring ladies in the studio. I asked them to stand with their backs to the rappers, and told them their shoelaces were untied. Eventually I had to put skits on the album, so it would make sense to the slower-moving humans."
While he's been holding down Brooklyn for the last decade, CX spent the early '90s in Atlanta where he and Morehouse College classmate Saul Williams formed K.I.N., a group whose spacey vibe and mosh-pit-instigating shows caught the attention of Andre 3000 and Lil' Jon long before Dre donned wigs or Jon got crunk. Reunited with his former partner after nearly 15 years, CX recently served as the one-man band and DJ during Williams' opening slot on the last Nine Inch Nails tour. While on the road, CX and Trent Reznor teamed up to produce a large chunk of the material on Williams' forthcoming album.
"Trent was cool as shit to work with and mad open to all ideas," he says. As for his own wild ideas, CX explains, "I am from the world of Zerf in the 5th Quadrant. We have similar vowel sounds, but our women have bigger krak attack problems."
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