XZIBIT (PART 2) (May
2008) | Interview By: Nima
Dubcnn had the great opportunity to sit down with West Coast veteran Xzibit
for an in-depth 3-Part interview we like to call "The Life & Times Of Xzibit".
In Part 1, we discussed his childhood, hooking up with
the Likwit Crew, coming out with
"Paparazzi", 2Pac, meeting Dr. Dre, the Up In Smoke tour and more.
This is Part 2, where we talk
about Snoop Dogg's beef with X, his career after "Restless", the issues that
occured between him and Tha Alkaholiks, the incident where X got attacked
with a bottle and how he ended up becoming the host of "Pimp My Ride".
We then talk about his move to Sony after Loud
folded, why he then chose to take it independent with "Full Circle", how
Strong Arm Steady was formed and why he left the group, and much more. Look
out for Part 3 of this interview where we talk about the "Full Circle"
album, his song "Thank You", The Game, who Xzibit is feeling right now, what
he thinks of Hip-Hop evolution as well as his plans for the future.
As ever, you can read this exclusive interview below and we urge you to leavefeedback on our forums or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dying 2 Live (X-Files 2: I Want To Believe)
I'm On My Way (Unreleased Track)
Interview was done in May 2008.
Xzibit Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout! Check That
Full Audio Interview
Missed Part 1 of this interview?
Dubcnn: And then, Snoop dropped your name in "Pimp Slapp'd". When did you
first hear that Snoop dissed you?
I heard about it as soon as it came out. People called me, brought it up,
like "Oh you heard what he said? You heard he did that?" But he didn't call
me, I mean he got my number!
Dubcnn: Were you expecting it?
No, you never expect it! Especially if they're your family! You never expect
it. So I don't know, I consider Snoop one of my peoples that I used to look
up to, like "Wow! What happened there?" Because he does know how to contact
me, he does know how to reach out to me, but I don't know. When you take it
to that level, to where he decided to say what he wanted to say, you can
take it one or two ways. For me, I didn't give a fuck. Like I said, when I
got words for somebody or when I feel like I got to diss somebody, I'll diss
them to their face. I ain't gonna sit up there and hide behind no rap music
or hide behind nothing. That's for other people. That's a dog and pony show
for other people.
Dubcnn: So how did that situation get squashed later on?
Like I said, if it was some real problems, some real beef, then it would
have went further from there. But brothers don't know how to talk to each
other, so instead of talking to each other, they throw shit at each other
like fucking primates. *laughs* You know what I'm saying? So I don't know,
I'm a bigger man than that. People can say what they want, but it's a
different story when you come and say that shit to my face. To this day,
nobody has done that.
Dubcnn: What was that beef about anyway, a Suge Knight situation or
I don't even care what it was over. The fact is, the music that was made
before and after that situation still can't be fucked with. So that's what I
choose to focus on. It's like, if I really gave a fuck about every nigga
that said "Fuck Xzibit", I'd be caring about a whole bunch of niggas! And
that ain't it, you know? *laughs* Cause I really don't give a fuck! With me,
it don't affect my reality. Girls gossip and hate on each other, that's a
womanly instict, that's a female emotion. For me, I don't play in that
world. I don't spit no venom unless it's on the mic. I'm not Us Weekly, I'm
not Xtra, I'm not none of that shit! If you want gossip, you go to TMZ! You
know what I'm saying? That's not me.
Dubcnn: Ironically, with your commercial success, it seemed like a lot of
stuff started going wrong too. You had issues with the Alkaholiks... How did
that first come about?
I mean... I don't know. I consider them dudes my brothers too. So when
things didn't start jelling together the way I thought it was going to when
my success started to happen, I was never the one to diss them or to put
them in a negative light at all. That wasn't my standpoint. J-Ro made the
song he made, people listen to what other people wanna say, but I never said
anything negative about them dudes, ever, in any kind of publication, in no
way shape form or fashion, on any kind of record. I never disrespect the
hand that feeds me. The way I feel is that the Alkaholiks are the first ones
to put me on a record.
King Tee put me on the first record that was ever put out with my voice on
it, it was King Tee "IV Life", the fourth album from King Tee, the eleventh
song on his album. How could I disrespect them? They gave me my voice to be
heard for the first time. No matter what the say or how they feel. I have a
higher form of understanding, because I've been through this. I hadn't
walked in their shoes for years, so I don't know what they've been through,
I don't know what they're going through, and I like said, brothers don't
know how to talk to each other. Yeah, over the years, we've talked and we've
worked it out, but when you display family matters in front of people that
don't have no insight on who we are or how we've been together as family,
then it gets all fucked up, and that's what happened.
Dubcnn: I feel you. But now everything is cool between ya'll?
Yeah, I ain't got no problems with them. Hate is a heavy ass emotion that
you gotta carry, and it gets heavier over time. Even a little bit of hate.
So I choose not to carry any.
Dubcnn: And then it seemed that at the height of Pimp My Rides success and
all, that stuff happened where you got attacked by those Mexicans with the
bottle. Was that a turning point for you?
Nah, that was before that! That was way before "Pimp My Ride". In fact,
right after that happened, it had been like 6 months after that had
happened, then I got the call to actually put the pilot for "Pimp My Ride"
Dubcnn: Okay my bad, I got that mixed up. But yeah, I remember the day that
happened, there were rumours that you would never be able to rap again. Was
that something that truly could have happened?
Nah, nah... It was a scratch. It gave me some character. *laughs*
Dubcnn: How do you feel about that situation looking back at it now?
Ah man, it was just the wrong place at the wrong time. That's it. You know,
shit happens man! You know what I'm saying? I'm thankful that the dude, when
I turned around, had a bottle and not a fuckin' gage or a .45 or something
that could've put a hole the size of a softball in my face. You know what
I'm saying? I'm just glad it wasn't that. I'm just glad the nigga was so
broke that he didn't have his shit on him. *laughs* The nigga had a bottle,
fuck it! Be thankful for the positive, you know what I'm saying?
Dubcnn: Now Xzibit is not only known as a rap star, but also as the host of
Pimp My Ride. Are you happy with your time over there?
I mean nobody knew that shit was gonna do what it did. I didn't even know.
Am I glad about what happened over there? Yeah! We had 100 something million
people watching that show all together, and it was incredible. It was
incredible, the audience that it reached, and it definitely helped to bring
attention to the studios, what I was doing, it got me in some movies, and it
started a whole new different career, along with what I was doing as
musician! So yeah, either way you cut, I was happy with it.
Dubcnn: What was the reason that West Coast Customs were dropped from the
I don't know... It was stuff with the network, I wasn't a part of that.
Dubcnn: Do you feel that you being a host on a MTV show jeopardized your
music image to a certain extent?
Hmm, nah. I mean to some people, they saw that as a sign of weakness. But
the same people that talked down on it are the same people that if you put a
button in front of them and said "If you push this you'll be the new host of
Pimp My Ride", it would be a gang of niggas pushing that button, I'll tell
you that much! *laughs*
Dubcnn: After Restless, you dropped "Man Vs. Machine" and "Weapons Of Mass
Destruction". How do you feel about those two records?
Man vs. Machine and Weapons Of Mass Destruction were my records that I put
out through Sony. That's when Loud got soaked into Columbia, and it was my
first time putting out music on a so-called "big label", something that I
thought was going to be benificial. we sold maybe 2,5 million records on
Loud, independently with "Restless". So to come in and sell two Gold
records, I wasn't happy at all. But at the same time, Dre and Jimmy Iovine,
after "Restless", they didn't want to see me still over there.
They had just made a lot of money with me over with Columbia, so they tried
to tell me to come over to Interscope and Aftermath. But Steve Rifkind, the
owner of Loud at the time, couldn't come to an agreement to let me go, which
was crazy for me to go through, to be held in limbo because somebody doesn't
want to agree to terms. So to let me go to a bigger place and let me step up
another level, it was green involved in that! It was a lot of things that
happened behind the scenes that the fans really don't understand, but it's
hard to explain.
Like I said, I'm a very private person, I don't bring my headaches to the
workplace. So it's not for me to put to the fans like "Ya'll check this out
bla bla bla" *laughs* That's a sign of weakness. I think that being a good
artist and being able to balance and maintain a professional appearance and
a professional performance when you're in front of your people, and then
when you gotta go and handle your shit behind the scenes, you handle that
shit in a different manner. You don't cross the two.
Dubcnn: Is that why you decided to move to an independent after that?
Exactly. But "Full Circle" simply happened because I only had two months.
See when I did "Pimp My Ride", I was filming day to day to day, and in
between seasons I only had two months. I hadn't put out a record since
Weapons Of Mass Destruction, so it was time for me to put out a record! But
I only had two months to do it. I didn't wanna go back to a major label
because why sign to a major label when they don't even know their bottom
line? If they don't even know their bottom line, how are they gonna offer
So I was like licensing is the best way for me to still protect my assets,
but still not be in a hole with a major label. Koch was the only place that
would facilitate the time restraints I had, so we got in there, I did my
record in two months and just went on a quick little tour. I just brought
that in for me a my crew, my producers, to eat! I was doing so much film and
TV, I wanted put my voice on something. So that's what that record came
from. Did I want it to blast off and do something else? Yeah I did! But the
promotion wasn't there, the deal with Koch was a mistake in itself because
there were so many things that they did wrong... like fuck, man!
There was not enough attention put into that record for me to be happy with
it. But the music itself that I put in, I felt good with it, I was happy
with it. For two months worth of work, to go in without even one beat laid,
to have a whole record come out, with Keith Shocklee (Bomb Squad), fly to
New York and sit in the studio with him for a month and then do a month in
L.A., that shit came out pretty fuckin' cool with me! *laughs*
Dubcnn: Around the same time, you formed a group with Krondon, Mitchy Slick
and Phil Da Agony called Strong Arm Steady. How did the idea for that group
first come about?
Well they had the idea first. Actually a gentleman named Will Blast had a
promotional company called Strong Arm Promotions, where he would do mixtapes,
movie promotions, and it was his company. Krondon, Phil and myself had known
each other for years, and then Mitchy Slick was one of the homies that my
partner introduced me to from San Diego, cause he was a Lincoln Park Blood.
I was feeling like if they wanted me to be a part of the group, we could
build a nice little thing together if we all got together and did that.
They asked me to get down with it, I came in and put my little two cents in,
we had a nice little run for a little while, and then that was that! I think
that as time progressed, the situation that they were looking for to be
signed was more urgent, so they decided to move on and do business as Strong
Arm Steady under Blacksmith. I just didn't agree with the terms, I didn't
think it was the proper deal to take at the time, so I didn't go forward
Dubcnn: Do you wish that the whole situation could have been handled
Well wishing is like fishing, my nigga. *laughs* You know... It went the way
it went, you can never stop a man from making his own decision. If they felt
like that was the best place for them to be, then so be it. I'm not ever
gonna be the one to stand in anybody's way, or stop them from doing what
they feel is gonna be progress.
Dubcnn: Did you hear Krondon's recent track "My Big Homie" where he talks
about your relationship?
I heard about it. I didn't bother myself with it, because it's been two
years since the last time I spoke to Krondon on the telephone, he knows
where I live at, he knows my number, he knows how to reach out and talk to
Dubcnn: He wasn't dissing you though.
Yeah but like I said, if he wants to speak to me, he knows how to get in
touch with me, I ain't hard to find. I ain't talked to him in two years and
I'll be damned if I listen to his voice on fuckin' rap song!
Dubcnn: Your last album, "Full Circle", was often criticized because of the
production. Is that something that you can agree with?
Find out the answer the that question in Part 3 of our 3-Part interview
Xzibit Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout! Check That
Full Audio Interview