interview XZIBIT (PART 2)  (May 2008) | Interview By: Nima Etminan

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 nima@dubcnn.com.

Related Media:

Xzibit - Dying 2 Live (X-Files 2: I Want To Believe)
Xzibit - I'm On My Way (Unreleased Track)
Interview was done in May 2008.

Questions Asked By: Nima Etminan

Xzibit Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Audio Interview Here
Missed Part 1 of this interview? Click Here

Part 2:

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 something?

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" together.

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 show?

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 you one?

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 with it.

Dubcnn: Do you wish that the whole situation could have been handled differently?

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 me, so...

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 with Xzibit!


Xzibit Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Audio Interview Here



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