"Pimp My Ride" & West Coast Customs Part Ways

MTV and West Coast Customs have amicably split, ending a relationship that helped create “Pimp My Ride”, one of the most successful television shows for music television network.

MTV has confirmed that the network and West Coast Customs have split amicably over owner Ryan Friedlinghause’s concerns about his company’s image.

The new show will air on The Discovery Channel and is being developed with the producers of “American Chopper” and “American Hot Rod.”

The untitled show will focus on private jets, helicopters, tour buses and other high-end vehicles.

“We’ve had a great experience with Ryan,” said MTV spokesman David French. “Everyone in that garage is very talented and we wish them all the best.”

Discovery Channel representatives confirmed the new project.

West Coast Customs’ new headquarters will be based in a 21,000 square foot corporate-style building/warehouse in an industrial park in Corona, which has a thriving auto industry.

“Pimp My Ride”, hosted by rapper Xzibit, debuted in March 2004 and quickly became one of MTV’s most watched shows.

The 30-minute series featured West Coast Customs taking worthless cars and tricking them out to the tune of $20,000.

A version of the show debuted in the U.K. earlier this year.

‘Xzibit Is A Really Good Actor,’ Aniston Says As He Holds Gun To Her Head

Jennifer Aniston has nothing but praise for Xzibit’s acting skills — and all he had to do was hold a gun to her head.

“First of all, you’d think that this guy, holding a big old gun at your head …” Aniston said, referring to a scene in which they both appear in “Derailed” (see “Xzibit Insists He Had Nothing To Do With Brad And Jennifer’s Split”). “[But] he was so afraid that he was hurting me, and I kept saying, ‘Just go for it!’ I felt like he had the hesitation every once in a while.

“He’s really one of the sweetest guys on the planet,” she continued. “He’s a really good actor.”

“They’re both really fantastic actors,” Clive Owen said of his co-stars Xzibit and RZA. “The stuff they do in the movie is fantastic. You know, the relationship I’ve got with RZA in the movie is one of the key relationships. RZA’s a very, very smart and talented guy.”

Vincent Cassel, who plays a criminal in the flick, says he’s been a fan of both X and Wu-Tang for years.

“It was interesting,” he said. “I was surprised at how good they were in the movie and how humble they were. It’s like, suddenly you don’t have rap stars coming on the set — you have actors trying to make it the best they can. I really liked that humility about both of them.”

Xzibit Far From Done With Music

HOLLYWOOD — Xzibit wants to make something very real clear about the future of his music career: mainly, that there will be one.

“I’m not done. I’m far from done,” the rapper said on the set of Korn’s “Twisted Transistor” video, in which he impersonates the band’s bassist, Fieldy (see “Lil Jon, Snoop, Xzibit, David Banner Star In New Korn Video”). “I’m taking [the film roles] as they come, but I’m still focused on my music,” X said.

In fact, the West Coast rap star and his clique, Strong Arm Steady, just released an album last week, an independent venture titled Strong Arm Steady Presents: The Collectors Edition Vol. I. The LP features the best freestyles and mixtape cuts from X and his band of MCs: Mitchy Slick, Phil the Agony and Krondon. Talib Kweli, Planet Asia and Chace Infanet also make appearances on the album.

“We been bubblin’ in the Los Angeles underground for years,” X said. “So now we’re out here just making the music we want to make and this is our first step forward with that.”

The West Coast rapper, who recently parted ways with Columbia Records, insists that despite the setback, he will eventually be releasing a follow-up to 2004’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, which had some harsh commentary about President George W. Bush (see “Xzibit Joins The Anti-Bush Fray With New LP, Compares Iraq To Detroit”).

“We’ve been workin’ on that right now. I haven’t come to a place where I can say where I’m gonna put it through yet, but still, we constantly workin’ on the music,” X said. “And you never know who’s in there with us. I won’t let any cats out of any bags, but we’re always in the studio workin’.”

Meanwhile, you can get your Xzibit fix when the first of his two films on deck hits theaters on November 11. The rapper has a small role in “Derailed,” which tracks two business executives, played by Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen, who are blackmailed by a violent criminal. X will play a man named Dexter, who is part of an elaborate scheme. Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA is also featured in the flick, starring as a mailroom clerk who turns out to be an ex-con (see “Xzibit Insists He Had Nothing To Do With Brad and Jennifer’s Split”).

Then there’s “The Gridiron Gang,” featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Sean Porter, a probation officer who forms a football team in hopes of reforming a group of troubled youth by teaching them the value of teamwork.

“It’s not about football. It’s more or less about kids in troubled backgrounds in this group-home facility and instead of rehabilitating them the regular state way, we give them the option to play football instead,” explained X, who will play the team’s assistant coach.

The film was shot on location in Los Angeles and at Camp Kilpatrick, a real juvenile detention facility, in Malibu, California. It is slated for a November 2006 release.

And of course, X is also busy filming the third and fourth seasons of his MTV wheels-makeover show, “Pimp My Ride.”

— Brandee J. Tecson, with reporting by Corey Moss

New Xzibit Interview by BET.com

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