Xzibit is one of those rappers that everyone knows from something beside rap, like Flavor Flav. His MTV show Pimp My Ride put him into the mainstream, but Xzibit had a strong music career through the 90s and early 2000s. After Pimp My Ride was cancelled in 2007, his music career faltered as well, and Xzibit tried acting for a while. Recently, he’s picked back up his musical career, with Napalm, and seen his acting career take off, with an upcoming guest spot on Fox’s break-out drama Empire.
Xzibit Early Career
Xzibit was born as Alvin Joiner, on September 18, 1974. The middle of five children, his father left his mother and them when he was very young. When his mother died, they moved in with their father, who quickly remarried and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, when Xzibit was ten. It was soon after the move that he started rapping, and when he was 14, staying with his older sister in LA, he started rapping under the pseudonym “Exhibit A.”
Xzibit’s first recorded work was on The Alkaholiks’ Coast II Coast, released in February 1995, when Xzibit was 20. Soon after, he was on a song with King Tee, and touring with the Likwit Crew. By early 1996, Xzibit signed on with Loud Records and released his debut, At the Speed of Life in October 1996. The album was massively successful, not just for a debut, peaking at #74 on the Billboard Hot 200. The first single peaked at #86 in the United States, but all the way at #11 in Germany.
After continuing to tour and build up his reputation among the West Coast rap community, he released 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz. The album came out on Augst 25, 1998, and reached #58 on the charts. Beyond being commercially successful, the album has become one of the critical cornerstones of classic West Coast hip-hop. Four radio-friendly singles came from 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz, helping him catch the eye of bigger names in the community.
This helped Xzibit get guest spots on Snoop Dogg’s No Limit Top Dogg, produced by Dr. Dre, which introduced him to a much wider audience. Opening the new millennium, Xzibit released Likwit Rhymes, a compilation of his work from the last decade. From there he released his most successful album to date, Restless. Dr. Dre was the executive producer, while Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and other huge names came in to make guest appearances. The album, certified platinum, peaked at #12 on the Billboard charts, and spawned three singles. Notably, the singles also did better in Germany than America.
The album secured Xzibit a spot on Dre’s Up in Smoke Tour, and a close working relationship with most of West Coast scene. He starred in films produced by Eminem and Snoop Dogg, and released two massive concert films. He released a second compilation album, and in 2002, he continued his trend of releasing albums every two years.
Man vs. Machines was a mixed bag for Xzibit. While the album itself charted higher than any previous, none of the singles did well, and it ultimately didn’t sell as well as Restless. Eventually, the lack of success motivated Xzibit to end his relationship with Dr. Dre, and form his Golden State Project rap collective. Working with long-time colleagues like Tha Alkaholiks and Eminem, Xzibit went on his All Access Europe tour, which was also another video album.
Pimp My Ride
In late 2003, Xzibit started working with MTV for Pimp My Ride, their car modification show where they would take people’s beat up cars and massively overhaul the interior and exterior to the person’s interests, usually to nearly ridiculous levels. The show was one of MTV’s most popular shows, and became a pop culture icon, being referenced and parodied in multiple forms.
Through five seasons, West Coast Customs, and later Galphin Auto Sports, did some amazing things to cars. They added a TV and Gamecube to the back of a truck. They put a coffee maker in the center console. They put on gold-plated rims worth more than the car’s original price. Converted a Ford Escort into a mock-M3. They installed more TVs and more game consoles anyplace they could fit them. It’s also where the Xzibit meme came from, “Yo dawg, we heard you like X, so we put X in your Y so you can Z while you Z.”
Through the tenure of Pimp My Ride, Xzibit continued to push out solid albums. He released Appetite for Destruction and Weapons of Mass Destruction. Weapons of Mass Destruction did decently, but not as well as Xzibit had wanted. He continued acting, outside of Pimp My Ride and music, starring in Full Clip opposite Busta Rhymes, and guest starred in CSI: Miami.
In 2005 he appeared in Derailed, xXx: State of the Union, and Hoodwinked. In 2006, he was in Gridiron Gang and two episodes of The Boondocks. Keeping with his two-year cycle, he released his sixth studio album, Full Circle. The album undersold expectations, and later that year, Pimp My Ride was cancelled. It was clear that Xzibit’s career had peaked. However, this hasn’t meant that his career is over.
What is Xzibit Doing Now in 2018 – News & Updates
After Pimp My Ride ended, Xzibit worked as an actor in various small roles in big productions. But by 2008, he was mostly idle, and he failed to meet his tradition of an album every two years. By 2010, he had filed for bankruptcy twice, though not received it, leading to his possessions being seized by the IRS in an attempt to pay taxes.
He started to star in more small roles after that, and had plans to release an album, to get back on his cycle, but issues with his label caused it to meet his self-imposed deadlines. Xzibit also joined the permanent cast of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, as a designer. He worked with other artists, and continued refining his next album, at that point schedule to be six years in the making.
On October 2012, he released Napalm, and toured heavily on it. However, he dropped any pretense of routine releases, and as of now has scheduled his next album to be released sometime this year, four years after Napalm. Outside music, Xzibit continues to act, with a guest role in an upcoming episode of Fox’s Empire set to air later this season.