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Before becoming one of the West Coast's most illustrious MCs at the end of the 1990s, and later a TV celebrity, Xzibit was a promising underground rapper. Born Alvin Nathaniel Joiner on September 18, 1974, in Detroit, MI, Xzibit began his rap career was part of the Likwit Crew, a loose-knit collective of California rappers including King T, Defari, and Tha Alkaholiks. Early on, he was featured on "Free Style Ghetto," a song on King T's IV Life (1994), and subsequently appeared on "Hit and Run," a song on Tha Alkaholiks' Coast II Coast (1995). Signed to Loud Records, Xzibit released his solo debut album, At the Speed of Life, in 1996. The album boasts a Billboard Hot 100 single, "Paparazzi," and features production work by Thayod Ausar, Craig Sherrad, E-Swift, DJ Muggs, Saafir, and Diamond D.
Xzibit's second album for Loud, 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz (1998), was a bigger success on all counts. Often considered the rapper's best album, 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz spawned a Top 50 single, "What U See Is What U Get," and features extensive production work from Sir Jinx, who had previously worked at length with Ice Cube, among other significant West Coast rappers. Following the acclaim of 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz, Xzibit made several high-profile guest appearances in 1999, most notably alongside Snoop Dogg on his hit "B Please" and on three tracks of Dr. Dre's 2001 album, including alongside Eminem on the hit "What's the Difference"; also that year he was featured on Kurupt's Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha, Prince Paul's A Prince Among Thieves, Sway & King Tech's This or That, and Tash's Rap Life.
Xzibit's third album, Restless (2000), was executive produced by Dr. Dre, who personally produced or co-produced three songs, including the Hot 100 single "X." Restless features an illustrious list of featured guests and producers -- among them Snoop Dogg, Eminem, KRS-One, Nate Dogg, Erick Sermon, DJ Quik, Sir Jinx, Rockwilder, Scott Storch, Rick Rock, Soopafly, and Battlecat -- and marked the zenith of Xzibit's popularity as a rapper, passing the platinum sales mark handily. Man vs Machine (2002) sought to duplicate the success of its predecessor, once again featuring a roll call of well-known talent, including Dr. Dre, DJ Premier, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Nate Dogg, and Anthony Hamilton. However, despite debuting at number three on the Billboard album chart (his first time breaking into the Top Ten), Man vs Machine proved a bust. It spawned no major hits and barely reached gold sales status, let alone platinum.
Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004) also sold disappointingly, and consequently Xzibit began diversifying his portfolio, turning toward acting instead of music. He had previously appeared in the films The Wash (2001) and 8 Mile (2002), along with numerous videos, so it wasn't much of a stretch when he acted in the Hollywood films Full Clip (2004), XXX: State of the Union (2005), and Derailed (2005). Furthermore, in 2004 he began hosting the MTV show Pimp My Ride, which quickly became one of the network's most popular, carrying on for many seasons (with Xzibit) and eventually being spun off internationally (without him). Full Circle (2006) marked Xzibit's return to the music marketplace. No longer signed to a major-label recording contract, Xzibit released the album via Koch Records, and consequently it sold only a fraction of what his previous few albums had, despite some first-rate production and the rapper's newfound status as a TV celebrity. Pimp My Ride was canceled in 2007 and Xzibit focused for a time on his acting career, doing small roles in an X-Files movie, television roles as well as a cameo appearance in the concert film Tha Alkaholiks: Live from Rehab. Financial troubles plagued the actor/rapper in this time, and he dealt with the repercussions of both tax evasion and multiple bankruptcy filings during this phase of his career. In 2012, after a long musical hiatus, he returned with full length album Napalm, assisted by friends like Dr. Dre and Wiz Khalifa on the album's party-friendly hip hop.
Alvin Nathaniel Joiner (born September 18, 1974), better known by his stage name Xzibit (pronounced "exhibit"), is an American rapper, actor, and television host. He is known as the host of the MTV show Pimp My Ride, which brought him mainstream success. Before hosting the show, he achieved fame in the West Coast hip-hop scene as a rapper, debuting with his acclaimed At the Speed of Life and gathering chart success with his follow-up albums Restless, Man vs. Machine and Weapons of Mass Destruction, working with high-profile artists such as Eminem, Cypress Hill, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Knoc-turn'al, Timbaland, Limp Bizkit, Alice Cooper, Game, 50 Cent and Within Temptation, as well as being one of the first out internationally, working with overseas acts such as Russian rapper Timati, Raptile from Germany, Bliss N Eso from Australia and Adil Omar from Pakistan.
Born as Alvin Nathaniel Joiner on September 18, 1974 in Detroit, Xzibit grew up with a single mother. His father left the family early to pursue a career as a preacher, forcing his mother to raise a young Alvin and his four siblings (an older sister and brother as well as a little brother and younger sister) alone. After her death he had to move in with his father. His father remarried and relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Joiner lived in Albuquerque from age 10 to 17, and began writing rhymes. However, he had numerous run-ins with the law and ultimately ended up moving to California to live with his sister. It was here where he first began to rap and pursue a music career. He later reconciled with his father, who can be heard on his second studio album."Xzibit Biography – life, family, childhood, children, parents, name, school, mother – Newsmakers Cumulation". Notablebiographies.com. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
ContentsCareer1.1 1994–1999: Career beginnings, At the Speed of Life and 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz1.2 2000–2003: Restless and Man vs. Machine1.3 2003–2007: Pimp My Ride, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Full Circle1.4 2008–present: Musical hiatus, focus on acting and Napalm
1994–1999: Career beginnings, At the Speed of Life and 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz
Xzibit started to rap at the age of 14, shortly after his relocation from Albuquerque to Los Angeles, then under the pseudonym "Exhibit A". He marked his first appearance on a professional record in February 1995 on The Alkaholiks' Coast II Coast, on the song "Hit and Run" and also appeared on King Tee’s IV Life shortly after, on the track "Free Style Ghetto". After touring with Likwit Crew the same year, Xzibit signed to Loud Records and released his acclaimed debut album, At the Speed of Life in October 1996, which peaked at number 74 on the Billboard Hot 200 and reached 38 on the Canadian Albums Chart. The album produced his first breakthrough single "Paparazzi" which peaked at No. 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 and proved very successful in Germany, where it peaked at number 11 on the German Singles Chart.
After spending the next two years with further building his reputation as a West Coast underground artist and touring with the Likwit Crew, he released his second album, 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz on August 25, 1998 which charted in the U.S. at number 58 and 50 in Canada. Like its predecessor, it was well received by critics and is widely seen as a Classic West Coast Hip-hop record. It spawned four singles, the most successful being "What U See Is What U Get" charting at number 50 in the United States. With his growing following in the West, he caught the eye of rapper and producer Dr. Dre, who secured him high-profile guest spots, such as joining Snoop Dogg on the Dre-produced hit "Bitch Please" of his album No Limit Top Dogg, and appearing on Dr. Dre's 6x platinum album 2001, on the songs "Lolo", "Some L.A. Niggaz", and "What's the Difference" with Eminem. He closed the year 1999 with his acting debut, starring in the The Breaks.
2000–2003: Restless and Man vs. Machine
Xzibit started the year with the release of a compilation album Likwit Rhymes, which featured mostly previously unreleased material from his earlier recordings and a guest spot on Bitch Please II, along with Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Nate Dogg. His breakthrough came with his third studio album Restless, with Dr. Dre as executive producer and guest appearances by Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Eminem, Dr. Dre and the Alkaholiks, among others, which sold almost 2 million copies and was certified platinum. It spawned three singles, the most successful being "", which peaked at number 76 in the U.S., 14 in the UK and 4 in Germany. The album climbed to number 12 in America. Dr. Dre invited Xzibit to perform on his American Up in Smoke Tour in mid-2000, which featured Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and Ice Cube, among many others. The same year, he also starred in the direct-to-video crime film Tha Eastsidaz by the group of the same name and was a playable character in the football game Madden NFL 2001. He continued to star in films involving fellow rap artists such as The Wash, co-starring Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, in 2001 and The Slim Shady Show and 8 Mile, co-starring Eminem, in 2001 and 2002, respectively. He released two concert films in 2001, Xzibit: Restless Xposed, centered around the recording of his third studio album and various live-performances and was also seen in Tha Alkaholiks: X.O. The Movie Experience by the rap group of the same name. He also released a compilation album of songs that featured him, entiteld You Better Believe It.
In 2002, he guest-starred in the comedy series Cedric the Entertainer Presents as Mack Daddy in the eponymous episode and released his fourth studio album Man vs. Machine with mostly similar guest appearances like its predecessor, which spawned three singles, which all failed to chart in the Hot 100, although “Multiply” reached number 39 in the UK and 33 in Germany. The album itself went gold, although Xzibit was unhappy with the crafting and promotion of his newest product, ending the cooperation with Dr. Dre. The album is his highest charting album to date, reaching number 3 in the U.S. and 8 in Canada. He starred in 8 Mile and The Country Bears the same year. He continued to collaborate with his closest West Coast colleagues, primarily Ras Kass and Saafir, with whom he formed The Golden State Project rap collective, and Tha Alkaholiks, along with bigger names like Snoop Dogg and Eminem, whom he accompanied on his All Access Europe tour in 2003.
2003–2007: Pimp My Ride, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Full Circle
The popular MTV show Pimp My Ride boosted his popularity even further, as it introduced him to a major audience in 2004. The show starred him as the host, who brings an individual's wrecked car to West Coast Customs, where it undergoes a rejuvenation. He continued hosting the show until its cancellation in 2007, those years can easily be seen as the most successful in his career.
Musically, he started the year off with the release of his second compilation album Appetite for Destruction featuring 50 Cent on one track, consisting mostly of tracks from his Dre period and songs that didn't make the cut for his fifth studio album Weapons of Mass Destruction, which was released in December 2004, entering the charts at 43 in the U.S. For this album, he reunited with Columbia Records, after having parted ways with producer and mentor Dr. Dre. The album managed to go gold, but yet again Xzibit was unhappy with the promotion and backing of his label, claiming that they were trying to promote him like Jessica Simpson, leaving the label in anger and going independent. His single "Hey Now (Mean Muggin)" featuring Keri Hilson marked his last chart success on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 93, while the second single "Muthafucka" failed to chart. Aside from his music and Pimp My Ride, he starred in the movie Full Clip, alongside Busta Rhymes, guest-starred in CSI: Miami in the episode The Rap Sheet, released a concert documentary with his new group, eponymously titled Strong Arm Steady and hosted the 2004 MTV Europe Music Awards in Rome. In 2005, he collaborated with shock rock legend Alice Cooper on a track entitled "Stand" from the album Dirty Diamonds. This represented Cooper’s first-ever foray into rap music. This year marks his most busy one, also being featured in three video games, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, where he lent his voice and likeness to the warden Abbott and Def Jam: Fight for NY and NFL Street 2, where he was a playable character.
The following year, he mainly focused on acting, getting roles in the Hollywood blockbusters Derailed as Dexter, xXx: State of the Union as Zeke and Hoodwinked, where he voiced Chief Ted Grizzly. In 2006, he starred in the drama Gridiron Gang as Malcolm Moore and made two guest-appearances in the animated sitcom The Boondocks. The year also saw the release of his sixth studio album Full Circle released independently on Koch Records. The album charted at position 50 but was a commercial flop, selling merely 120,000 copies in the U.S.. None of the three singles were able to chart, although "Concentrate" climbed at number 68 in Germany. The album featured Kurupt, T-Pain and The Game, whom he assisted on his album Doctor's Advocate, where he rapped on the track “California Vacation”. He also worked on two video games that year, Def Jam Fight for NY: The Takeover and Pimp My Ride. The year 2007 saw him hosting the final season of Pimp My Ride only, although he competed in the Gumball 3000 2007 rally, where he lost his driver’s license, due to a speed limit violation.
2008–present: Musical hiatus, focus on acting and Napalm
After the cancellation of Pimp My Ride in 2007, 2008 was the first year where Xzibit did not release an album in his former two year cycle. Though starring in two movies The X-Files: I Want to Believe as Mosley Drummy and American Violet as Darrell Hughes, this year marked a significant financial downstep for him, earning merely $70,000, opposed by almost $500,000 one year prior. He was also featured on The Alkaholiks Tha Alkaholiks: Live from Rehab concert film that year. In 2009, he played the mob leader Big Fate in the acclaimed The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and reprised his role as Abbott in the enhanced remake of 2004's The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, while Sony released his first greatest hits album, entitled The Greatest Hits. Even though his financial troubles were increased even further, as he had to file for bankruptcy in July 2009 and January 2010, although both attempts were dismissed and his houses and belongings liened.
In 2010 he had a guest-spot in the crime series Detroit 1-8-7, in the episode Royal Bubbles / Needle Drop. He also had the role of the Jabberwock in Malice n Wonderland, a short film based on the novel Alice in Wonderland, included on the re-release of the eponymous Snoop Dogg album, entitled More Malice. After having guest-starred three times in the previous season, he was added to the permanent cast of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, where he is a part of the design team. After a four year hiatus, he planned to release his seventh studio album MMX in 2010, but due to label issues the album was not released by the end of year. In March 2011, he teamed up with Extreme Music, to release a new compilation of material titled Urban Ammo 2. Xzibit produced, composed and performed all 40 tracks on the compilation album, created primarily for professional music users and music supervisors in need of material for their movie/television productions. Xzibit enlisted veteran director Matt Alonzo to shoot the videos for the two singles, which are titled “Man on the Moon” and “What It Is”, both featuring Young De.
In April 2011 he teamed up with Pakistani rapper Adil Omar for a single off his debut album The Mushroom Cloud Effect titled “Off The Handle” which is produced by longtime collaborator Fredwreck, and was released on May 24, 2011, also with a video by Matt Alonzo.
On May 29, 2011, Xzibit announced via Twitter that the new album was to be renamed, quote from his Twitter: “MMX (2010) was the tend. title of the new album. Of course that wont work now, so I decided the body of work has earned the title: RESTLESS2”
On October 19, 2011 it was announced that the title of the album has been changed to Napalm. Xzibit said that the album is 75 percent done and that it should be released by the beginning of next year.
On October 9, 2012, Napalm was released and Xzibit made an appearance on the BET Cypher in the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards.
On October 29, 2012, Xzibit announced the Collateral Damage tour with the first 16 shows in Canada starting in early November. The Xbox 360 sponsored tour eventually grew to 18 shows and Xzibit announced this was the first leg on a global tour that would continue into 2013.
On November 19, 2012, Xzibit was announced as a partner in The Bonita Spirits Company's ultra-premium tequila Bonita Platinum. The company claims Bonita Platinum is the world's only five-times distilled tequila.
On November 8th, 2013, Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation revealed the title, artwork and track listing of their upcoming sixth studio album, Hydra. Xzibit features as a guest vocalist on the third track entitled "And We Run".Birchmeier, Jason. "Xzibit". Allmusic. Before this he toured with the Wu-Tang Clan, but left due to artistic differences. Retrieved on February 1, 2009. Allmusic. Xzibit charts. Retrieved November 24, 2007. "Xzibit Biography". Xzibitcentral.com. 1974-09-18. Retrieved 2012-07-01. Xzibit Gearing Up For Golden State Project, Manhunt, February 5, 2001. Retrieved September 16, 2006. Weapons of Mass Destruction. RIAA. Retrieved November 24, 2007. "Xzibit no longer enjoying a pimped lifestyle". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2011-01-06. "Prikbordfoto's". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-03-22. Posted 29 May 2011 by Billooh (2011-05-29). "New Name For The New Xzibit Album: RESTLESS 2". XzibitCentral.com. Retrieved 2012-03-22. Kuperstein, Slava (2011-10-19). "Xzibit Talks New Album "Napalm," First Time Meeting Dr. Dre And Snoop Dogg | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2012-03-22. Posted 29 October 2012 by XzibitCentral.com (2012-10-29). "Xzibit Announces 16 Show Canada Collateral Damage Tour on the Napalm World Tour". XzibitCentral.com. Retrieved 2012-10-29. Posted 19 November 2012 by XzibitCentral.com (2012-11-19). "Xzibit adds 2 more Shows to the Canada Collateral Damage Tour on the Napalm World Tour". XzibitCentral.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19. Posted 26 November 2012 by XzibitCentral.com (2012-11-12). "Recording Artist Xzibit to Showcase His New Ultra-Premium Tequila, Bonita Platinum, at Phoenix Tequila Fest". XzibitCentral.com. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
ContentsControversy1.1 Rove McManus1.2 Gumball 30001.3 Tax evasion
In June 2007, Xzibit left the Rove Live studios in Australia before a scheduled appearance. Media outlets reported that it was due to Xzibit not being given stand-alone billing on the program, even though he had not even been booked in advance. According to Xzibit, he walked off the set after taking offence to comments made by a Rove staffer, who after informing Xzibit that his performance time would be shorter than the rapper might have liked, allegedly said: “You know, we came a long way just having you on the program.” Xzibit took this as a racist remark, although the staffer claimed that they were merely referring to his status as a late booking.
In the Gumball 3000 2007 rally, Xzibit drove a black Jaguar XJ220. During the first day of the rally, Dutch police seized his driver's licence for doing 160 km/h in a 100 km/h zone. After the penalty, his co-driver, producer Fredwreck Nassar took over the wheel and they were allowed to continue. In an interview with Dutch radio personality Reinout "Q-Bah" van Gendt, Xzibit says that he mistook the kilometers for miles (100 mph = 160 km/h). Ultimately, he never got his license back from the Dutch police and had to apply for a new one in the United States. Xzibit competed again in both the 2013 and 2014 Gumball 3000.
According to public records, as of late 2010 Xzibit owed more than $959,523 in delinquent federal taxes. He also tried to file for bankruptcy twice, in July 2009 and January 2010, but both times his bankruptcy filings were dismissed due to various reasons. The problems started after Pimp My Ride was cancelled: in 2007 he earned $497,175, and after the cancellation his 2008 income was reported as $67,510.Mark Schliebs (June 25, 2007). "Rapper calls Rove Live 'racist'". PerthNow. Xzibit loses drivers license in Holland, www.eminem.net, accessed on May 2, 2008 "YouTube – FunX interview Xzibit". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-07-01. Rally. Gumball3000. Retrieved on 2013-08-25. Cite error: The named reference The_Detroit_News was invoked but never defined (see the help page).