X to the Z
West Coast rapper, actor and television personality Xzibit (a.k.a. X to the Z) is best recognized for his platinum album Restless (2000), which spawned the hit single “X.” He hosted MTV's reality show “Pimp My Ride” in 2004-2005 and could be seen playing roles in 8 Mile (2002), xXx: State of the Union (2005) and Derailed (2005). He will soon be seen starring opposite Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson in the soon-to-be released football drama Gridiron Gang. As for his music career, the husky-voiced rapper is expected to release his latest album, Full Circle, in October 2006.
Childhood and Family:
Born Alvin Nathaniel Joiner in a rough part of Detroit, Michigan, on January 8, 1974, Xzibit spent most of his life with his father, a former Marine. His mother died when he was only 9 years old. He moved with his father and step-mother to New Mexico and Arizona. Young Xzibit was constantly getting into trouble and by the time he was 14, his care had been relinquished to the state, where he was released at age 17.
Xzibit has on son named Tremayne (Tre). He was mentioned in the songs “Sorry I'm Away So Much” and “The Foundation.”
Pimp My Ride
"I was doing dumb s**t, getting caught at state fairs with guns; ridiculous stuff because I didn't have anything to focus on. I was angry; my mother had passed when I was nine, my dad got remarried and we moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was a culture shock and difficult for me to adjust. I was acting out and I did end up in these facilities. It was a conscious decision because my father was a Marine and he was going nuts: ‘What's wrong with you boy?' When I left I was 17 and came to California and I started to realize, 'You know what, I'm smarter than this.' I realized if I continue going down the path I'm going on I'm gonna end up dead. It's easy to fall in line with everyone else but hard to step out on your own." Xzibit
At the age of 10, Xzibit began writing rhymes to kill his boredom. After being released from the state facilities at age 17, he packed for California to pursue a music career. There, he began as a member of the Likwit Crew, a loose collective of West Coast rappers which included Tha Alkaholiks and King T. After touring with them in 1995, Loud Records head Steve Rifkin offered the feisty young rapper his own record deal.
October 15, 1996, saw the release of Xzibit’s debut album, At the Speed of Life. It spawned the singles "Paparazzi" (was featured on the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 video game soundtrack and during the final scene of Sopranos sixth episode "Pax Soprana") and "Foundation." The album itself quickly became an underground hit, peaking at number 74 on the Billboard 200 music chart.
"I named the album ‘At The Speed Of Life’ because there's a whole lot of s**t that niggas go through. I know more niggas that is off-the-wall and crazy, runnin' guns and s**t 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
A follow-up album, 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz, was released on August 25, 1998. It spawned the singles “Los Angeles Times” and “What U See Is What U Get.” Although the album sold fewer than 10,000 copies, Xzibit was again hailed as one of the West Coast's most promising talents. He then scored a big breakthrough when he was affiliated with Grammy-winning producer Dr. Dre in Snoop Dogg’s hit, "Bitch Please." Subsequently, he made some high profile guest appearances on Dr. Dre's multi-platinum Chronic 2001, on songs like "What's the Difference?" and "Some L.A. Niggaz." During the summer of 2000, he joined Dr. Dre in the massive "Up in Smoke" tour, which featured such hip hop superstars as Snoop, Eminem, and Ice Cube.
In the winter of 2000 (December 12), Xzibit released his most successful album to date, Restless. With Dr. Dre as the executive producer, the album boasted the single "X," which became Xzibit’s biggest hit yet. Restless debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200 album chart and eventually went platinum. Also in this year, Xzibit started his own label called Open Bar Entertainment.
The next two years, on October 1, 2002, Xzibit released his fourth effort, Man Vs. Machine. It showcased the singles “Multiply" (with Nate Dogg) and “Symphony in X Major” (with Dr. Dre) with other special guests, including Snoop Dogg, Eminem and M.O.P. Even with the special guests, the album fell a bit short of mainstream success.
"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 s**t." Xzibit
Weapons of Mass Destruction, Xzibit's fifth album, hit the music stores on December 14, 2004. It spawned the singles "Hey Now (Mean Muggin)" and "Criminal Set." The album peaked at number 43 on the Billboard 200 music chart on January 1, 2005, and was certified gold on February 2, 2005. Meanwhile, Xzibit guest starred in the song “Stand Up” on Alice Cooper’s 2005 album Dirty Diamonds.
Xzibit will soon finish recording his upcoming album, Full Circle, scheduled for release on October 17, 2006. There will be 17 tracks on the album and the first single will be "Concentrate." Xzibit, also has a group with Mitchy Slick, Phil The Agony and Krondon, called Strong Arm Steady. They are expected to release their first album, Arms And Hammers, in the fall of 2006 under Blacksmith Music Corporation.
Besides rapping, Xzibit has also branched out into acting. He made a few cameo appearances in Snoop Dogg’s straight-to-video release Tha Eastsidaz (2000; also with Goldie Loc and Tray Deee), director Peter Hastings' live-action film The Country Bears (2002), which was loosely based on the Disney attraction Country Bear Jamboree, and the Eminem vehicle, 8 Mile (2002; also starring Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy and Mekhi Phifer).
In 2004, Xzibit played a more significant role in an action movie directed by music video director Mink, titled Full Clip, alongside Busta Rhymes. However, Xzibit scored even more exposure in 2004-2005 when he was chosen to host the MTV reality show “Pimp My Ride,” where his job is bringing a participant’s poor car to a custom body shop (West Coast Customs, WCC) for a complete makeover. The show earned Xzibit two Teen Choice Award nominations, one for Choice Reality/Variety TV Star (2004) and Choice TV Personality (2005).
Back on the big screen, Xzibit could be seen playing Zeke the arms dealer in the box office smash xXx: State of the Union (2005; starring Ice Cube). He also became the muscle behind a sadistic robber (played by Vincent Cassel) who blackmails a Chicago ad executive (played by Clive Owen) in the 2005 thriller/drama film Derailed. The film, directed by Mikael Håfström and also stars Jennifer Aniston, was based on a James Siegel novel by the same name, adapted by Stuart Beattie.
During the summer of that year, Xzibit also filmed Gridiron Gang, alongside Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, L. Scott Caldwell and Kevin Dunn. The film, which is about teenagers at a juvenile detention center who gain self-esteem by playing football, is loosely based on the true story of the Kilpatrick Mustangs during the 1993 season. It was filmed at Camp Kilpatrick, a Los Angeles County Probation Department facility in California, and will be released on September 15, 2006. Xzibit will play football coach Malcolm Moore in the sports drama.