Xzibit Interview on BallerStatus.com:
Following his 1996 debut album, The Speed of Life — named because of the crazy life of rappers around the time — Xzibit has sculpted a path to rap supremacy. Parlaying his rap success — via six albums: Restless reaching platinum and both Man Vs. Machine and Weapons of Mass Destruction reaching gold — X has been able to infiltrate mainstream America and has become a household name along the way, thanks ultimately to the wildly popular MTV show, “Pimp My Ride,” which he plays host for.
But despite the TV and movie fame, X has a solid history of being one of the West’s fiercest lyricists, so he’s back on the music type, working his latest release, Full Circle. While on a European tour in support of the album, BallerStatus spoke with the Los Angeles rapper about everything from rumors and the music to his recent police stop during the UK’s Gumball 3000 Rally race.
BallerStatus.com: How has your trip to the UK been?
Xzibit: I’m just here to do promotion for my European tour, which is about to kick off in Brussels. It feels good to be back doing music again. I’m tearing it up. I’ll be in London on the 14th of May (London Astoria) and I’ll definitely be hitting the stage with music from my old albums to the new ones. It’s about that energy.
BallerStatus.com: Do you listen to any UK artists when you’re out here?
Xzibit: Yeah man! I just got something from Klashnekoff the other day and also Roots Manuva. I’m up on all of that, I got you!
BallerStatus.com: It states on Wikipedia.com that you’re already working on a new album called More Than Just A Game.
Xzibit: Nah, that’s not true and I have no idea where that’s coming from. I would never name one of my albums that anyway.
BallerStatus.com: Who did you work with on your current album, Full Circle?
Xzibit: I worked with a few producers on this and we recorded it within two months. It was a matter of just wanting to get certain things off my chest, so it was something we banged out quick. It felt good because the movement was there. I’ve never finished an album in such a short time before.
BallerStatus.com: You dropped it through Koch Records?
Xzibit: It was just a one-off licensing deal with them. I would like to see a new business model for my new album in order to move forward. I don’t know what the next album is going to come out on. I like being independent and I think distribution is the key. We’ll see what happens.
BallerStatus.com: (Phone cuts and comes back) X, are you there?
Xzibit: I’m here and can hear you now, but it sounds like you’re speaking from a prison or something (crazy laughter). Are you calling me from jail?
BallerStatus.com: No, but if I was in jail, I’d still be doing this.
Xzibit: That’s tight.
BallerStatus.com: You’ve had six albums out. Do you think you’ve still got a lot to write about?
Xzibit: I definitely have a few more records left in me as I grow and mature. I try to put that into the music and it’s a release and form of expression that I don’t have anywhere else. I can’t get that feeling with films or TV shows. It’s a totally different platform. As long as I perform to an optimum level and I feel satisfied with my performances, hopefully the audience will grow with me and see the direction I go in.
BallerStatus.com: I was searching the net and saw that you have a few fan sites. Have you seen any of them?
Xzibit: I’ve definitely seen a few on there. Xzibit.com is the main domain that I’ve been sitting on for a long time since 1996 when I first came out. I just got it back, so I can do what I want with it. I’ve also got my MySpace site where I’ve got like 3 million plays. I don’t check a lot of my messages ,but I do look at the ones on the first page I see when I log in. I’m not a Myspace freak and can’t be on it all f—ing day.
BallerStatus.com: Have you thought of doing anymore acting in the near future?
Xzibit: After “Gridiron Gang,” I had to fulfil obligations with “Pimp My Ride.” Now I have to put my priorities right. If the right film comes along, then I’ll jump on it, but I want to focus on the fans and my music, which are the catalysts of what’s happening.
BallerStatus.com: Is there going to be anymore “Pimp My Ride?”
Xzibit: There are two more seasons lined up, but we’ll see where it goes. I’ve seen a couple of episodes of the “Pimp My Ride UK.” It’s good that they’re expanding the brand and so many people can enjoy the program.
BallerStatus.com: You were at the Gumball 3000 rally. Do you do that every year?
Xzibit: Nah, this was my first time. It was really good. I know there are a lot of rumors going around on the internet that I lost my licence, but come on, it’s not that serious. I got a fine just like everybody else. They can’t do sh–. It’s not like it was the Netherlands, thank you very much. I would never speed in the Netherlands. It’s not news that I got a ticket. My car (Lamborghini) goes about 200 miles per hour. I’ve also got a Range Rover super charged and a Bentley Continental GT. I don’t like to put a lot of stuff on my cars, maybe just some rims and accessories to make it unique, and that’s about it.