El Khatib is of Palestinian and Filipino descent. He grew up in San Francisco, where he became an avid skateboarder. He performed music on the side while working as creative director at the skateboard fashion label HUF.
In 2010 he released two singles on Innovative Leisure, a subsidiary of Stones Throw Records. His debut album, Will the Guns Come Out, was released on September 27, 2011. The album features eight original songs and three covers. His second album Head in the Dirt in 2013 was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.
He describes his songs as being for anyone who has ever been shot or hit by a train. His musical style includes elements of garage rock and blues.
During his live performances, El Khatib is accompanied by drummer Ron Marinelli, bassist Adrian Rodriguez and guitarist / keyboardist Hayden Tobin. They performed at the South by Southwest festival in March 2011, at Bonnaroo in June 2011, and at the Shaky Knees festival in May 2013. They have opened for Florence and the Machine. On July 31st, 2013, they appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.