A recent interview of Xzibit was conducted by Sia Barnes on November 10th, 2005. The following is the interview:
After nearly 10 years in the game, X-to-da-Z is still itching to make music. But first, he has to finish his promotional tour for his second career as Hip-Hop Hollywood’s next big star.
You play Dexter in the upcoming release, Derailed co-starring Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owens. Is the grind different for you working as an actor as compared to your work as an MC?
Oh yeah, the grind is definitely different. When you go to the studio you go in there for hours and hours. On [a movie] set, you have designated times to do things and you only have a certain amount of time to get that done. Plus, in the studio, you have, you know…you can’t do that on set, your eyes get f**ked up. Keep it real.
But you have to be careful, right? Because didn’t you get caught in Guam for possession of marijuana?
Yeah, yeah, I did get caught up in Guam. But I didn’t get caught with a lot, you know what I’m saying, it was just a joint and the dog smelled it in my pants. It was from the night before so, you know. But I spent more time giving autographs and pictures than I did actually filling out paper work.
Has working with such big names made you officially catch the acting bug?
Nah, I mean, before that I did Triple X with Ice Cube and Sam L [Samuel Jackson]. That was extremely exciting to me too. [Derailed] is great. It’s a psychological thriller, the first installment of movies from The Weinstein Company, so they put a lot behind it and it’s a privilege to be involved in this movie. I take roles that I feel like are going to be…you know, I just don’t want to do stereotypical films just because I can. The roles they offer Black males in Hollywood are very slim and limited, so I think it’s a privilege to be able to make a choice.
So, between the paper work and the big budget movies, are you still recording?
Music is my forte. I’ve had a great run over the last 10 years that I’ve been making records – since ’96 – but it’s like I still have an exclamation point to put on my music. I still have something to say.
Still have something to say like the way you went at George W. on your last album Weapons of Mass Destruction?
The Bush intro, I mean, it was an election year when we did that record. We were trying to drop in on his inauguration day, because we had it done by then, but, of course, Sony f**ked that up. But it’s all good. I’ve always had a creative tie into the music I make, [I don’t] just make songs to put them out and try to make the radio play them.
Speaking of Sony, word on the street is that you’ve split from Columbia. What’s your label situation, now?
That’s right. I’m a free agent. Thank you, Jesus. I mean, you gotta understand, I was on Loud Records when I first got signed. We sold two million records with Restless. Then, when Sony sucked in Loud Records, we put out Man Vs. Machine right after, and it went gold with no promotion. That was a problem for me. It just wasn’t a good working relationship because we know what we’re capable of and it just wasn’t communicating right. So, I got out of there – it took a minute to get out of there because, of course, they didn’t want to just let you go because of creative differences. It took me like a year to get away from them and in that time I was blessed with film and television opportunities like “Pimp My Ride,” the Triple X film, this one [Derailed] and Gridiron Gang [starring The Rock and due to hit theaters in Fall 2006].
Do you feel any urgency to get your music out there again now that you are a free agent?
I feel like what I have to do is to put an even more powerful record together than I have in my past, and actually put the time and care and the promotion into it that the fans deserve to see. I think that that’s the justice; that after all of these years of working with major labels or working with big producers, the only person that’s really going to push the button for me, is me. The biggest thing that I can share with my fans is perspective. You guys have been listening to me since I was 19 and that perspective has changed a lot. I have a ten-year-old son, you know. I’m not unique, you know, I’m not the only one out there with kids, but I have responsibility and I have a family and I have views that need to be said. Not that my views have changed drastically or what not, but I’ve grown up a lot. That needs to be said coming from a gangsters perspective, coming from a man’s perspective. What I’m doing today, maybe I can shed some light and help a brother or sister actually get up and do something.
You can view the interview page on BET.com by going to: http://www.bet.com/Music/XZIBIT+THE+GRIND+CONTINUES.htm?wbc_purpose=Basic&WBCMODE=PresentationUnpublished