There are moments in an artist's career when it's obvious that his time has come. That the planets and the forces of the universe have aligned to unleash an energy and creative determination that's impossible to deny.
For Xzibit, that time is now and he has ushered it in with Weapons of Mass Destruction, the hip-hop artist's fifth full-length album. Pre-loaded with the high impact, bass-blessed, aggressive, street-hardened, West Coast hip-hop that his fans have come to expect, Weapons of Mass Destruction finds Xzibit digging deeper into his soul to create scorching salvos that get the party started while setting fire to your intellect. As Xzibit himself puts it, "I want people to hear this album and enjoy it. Laugh with me, cry with me, dance with me and think. This is one strong record."
Xzibit gets that strength from joining forces with some notable producers and artists. On board for the ride are Ric Rok, Rockwilder, Thayod, Hi Tek, Khalil, Denaun Porter, Sir Jinx, Battlecat, Jellyroll and Timbaland as well as MC Lyte, Busta Rhymes and the members Xzibit's other project, Strong Arm Steady. The end result is an album that takes no prisoners, pulls no punches and delivers a pure jolt of funkdafied, rugged wisdom. Ask Xzibit what he hopes fans will hear this time around and he answers, "Growth. This album is where I am as a man and a father and somebody who's got some experience under their belt. I've got a lot to say for being such a young man and since my first album came out when I was 19, I've had the luxury of growing with my audience. "
2004 has seen Xzibit expand that audience as the host of the top rated MTV show "Pimp My Ride." His participation came about because of his long time patronage of West Coast Custom and when the owners of that renowned Cali body shop were approached about being the subjects of a MTV series, Xzibit's name came up as a potential host. A pilot was shot and the rest is, if not history, then certainly one of MTV's most entertaining and popular programs. "Pimp My Ride," which kicks off its second season this fall, gives viewers an opportunity to see into Xzibit's personality. His skills as a host have garnered him an entirely new fan base, which he loves. "I was at Target and this woman who must have been over 50 comes up to me, says, 'Oh! I love "Pimp My Ride!"' That's the best thing. That's positive to me or like when little kids recognize me? That's fun!"
It's not just on the small screen that Xzibit has been honing his thespian chops. Following his cameo in the box office smash "8 Mile," look for Xzibit to appear, alongside Ice Cube, in the forthcoming sequel to "XXX" entitled "XXX State of the Union." When asked if his interest in acting means that he will be studying Shakespeare, Xzibit shakes his head, saying, "Nah, music is my backbone but acting is something I'm really getting into."
"Tough Guy" on Weapons of Mass Destruction, is notably a stand-out track. Produced by Hi Tek, "Tough Guy" features Busta Rhymes on a cut that Xzibit describes as "...me and Busta in the studio dropping orangutan slang and just beating up the mic." Boasting verses such as "I rock 2 glocks/I call them Barney and Fred," "Tough Guy" is as raucous as it is relentless.
Back on board is Ric Rok, who handed Xzibit the monster "Motherfucker." Laced with a steady, clapping backbeat and anchored by a terse, descending chorus, "Motherfucker" is just what the title suggests and allows Xzibit to unleash his vocal power. "I like to make aggressive music, I like to express myself," he confesses. "That's the way I like to perform because then you can give out a certain energy."
Xzibit keeps that energy level sky high on the compelling "Cold World." Produced by Jellyroll, "Cold World" breaks down three real life scenarios ranging from a young woman dealing with her sexuality to a child living in Iraq. Driven by its insistent hook, "You got 2 choices, you can just give it up or just die with it," "Cold World" is close to Xzibit's heart because its content allows him a chance to give something back. "I can't really tell someone what they should be rapping about but let's just say that I am aware of my surroundings and because of that there's a lot of things on this album that are going to be topical," he explains. "'Cold World' deals with circumstances that are beyond your control and that are heavy to deal with, but you've got to be able to relate to the music and that's what I'm trying to do: give some example of where I believe we should go with hip-hop."
Xzibit has been blazing his own path since he first stepped to the mic and in 1996, he secured his own deal and released his solo debut At The Speed Of Life. The album instantly became an underground sensation as did his 1998 follow-up, 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz. Both albums helped secure Xzibit's position as one of the West Coast's most promising and fiery young talents.
Xzibit made the leap from underground to center stage when, in 1999, he joined Snoop Dogg on the Dre-produced hit, "Bitch Please." Xzibit's next move was the posse cut, "Some L.A. Niggaz," on Dre's The Chronic 2000. Impressed with his flow, Dre brought Xzibit on board for 2000's heavyweight "Up In Smoke" tour, which also featured Snoop, Eminem and Ice Cube. That winter Xzibit made his move courtesy of Restless. Executive-produced by Dre, Restless spawned the chart-topping single, "X," and was certified platinum. After a two-year break, Xzibit went for it full-on once again with his high-profile Man Vs Machine. That album struck RIAA gold and Xzibit increased his visibility by hitting the road on Eminem's hugely successful "Anger Management" Tour. Always keeping one foot in the underground, Xzibit balanced his mass appeal by also working with West Coast heroes Tha Liks and Ras Kass.
Now with a new attitude and focus, Xzibit returns to the ring, ready to duke it out with anyone who dares to hold him back or stand in his way. Ask Xzibit how'd he categorize himself and he'll tell you, "My music is always evolving, always changing. If you're a good artist that's what you're gonna do and I feel I did that on "Weapons of Mass Destruction"."