Xzibit is one of the most influential hip hop artists in the rap game. He has collaborated with the greatest artists such as Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Nate Dogg.
Xzibit aka Alvin Nathaniel Joiner was born in Detroit. His mom died when he was only 9.
Xzibit’s passion for rap started early. He started writing his own rhymes at 10.
He spent some time in New Mexico and in Arizona with his dad and step mom and then moved to California during his teenage years. Trying to get a deal in the music industry in California, Xzibit became a member of the Likwit Crew composed of Tha Alkaholics and King Tee. In 1995, he gained some notoriety and went on tour with them.
Xzibit’s musical style is an interesting mixture of Westcoast gangsta rap and of the typical raw Detroit sound.
In 1996, he released his debut album ‘ At The Speed Of Life ‘. The name of his first album has its story:
‘ I named the album “At The Speed Of Life” because there’s a whole lot of shit that niggas go through. I know more niggas that is off-the-wall and crazy, runnin’ guns and shit than I know regular Joes that all they want to do is feed their kids. That’s their speed. But it’s weird how everything is coinciding together, and at the same time is moving in all kinds of different directions. ‘ (Xzibit)
The offensiveness of his lyrics helps Xzibit to get rid of his negative emotions and to control his anger, as he points it out:
‘ I express a lot of anger through writing, because I’ve already been through where I put my hands on niggas and taking it there in a negative fashion,” he explains. “Instead of doing that, I just take out my hostility in my thoughts and put it down in a rhyme. And going into a studio and releasing that shit makes it all worthwhile. Instead of having a long-ass police record, I go a record on LOUD.”
‘ At A Speed Of Life ‘ was followed by ‘ 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz ‘ in 1998.
Xzibit’s third solo album ‘ Restless ‘ was released in 2000. His collaboration with Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg , featuring the song ‘ Bitch Please II ‘ gave Alvin Joiner his big break.
If you have watched 8 Mile, you know that rapper Xzibit played a minor role in the movie where he was opposed to Miz Corona and Eminem, starring as Jimmy Smith.
In 2002, Xzibit’s fourth album ‘ Man Vs Machine ‘ was released. The title of the album represents all kind of battles we may have to face:
‘ Man versus Machine, man’ I thought it was fitting because I feel as though its all type of shit we up against. It’s a corporate world, corporate machine we got to battle. It’s a social machine we got to battle. It’s all type of shit. ‘
In 2003, Xzibit has worked a lot on doing mixtapes. He also went to the Anger Management Tour 2003 in Paris, where I had the great pleasure to watch him performing on stage, introducing the concert.
Xzibit is planning to release his fifth album, ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’
around the end of 2004. You can be sure it’s gonna be a bomb: Xzibit is a respected and gifted artist in gangsta rap.