Most people will recognise Xzibit from many Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Eminem tracks, however, Xzibit has been hitting us with some phat west coast raps for a few years now. His track ‘Paparazzi’ from the ‘At The Speed Of Life’ is probably one of the most respected tracks ever produced from the west coast and is a benchmark for any melodic, instrumental rap. However, is he able to topple the standards set by his debut album with his latest offering? 1996 – Xzibit releases his first album’At The Speed Of Life’ and straight away it is a huge hit. Mainly due to his most well known track ‘Paparazzi.’
Once you have heard Xzibit, you will always instantly be able to recognise his style. His vocals make him come across as a cliched east coast rapper, however once mixed with the exceptionally good instrumentals and beats which accompany him (Courtesy of Dre) you’ll realise one thing…”West coast all the way!” The first thing you notice from looking at the track list is the sheer amount of support that Xzibit has recieved with the large majority of his raps. With most of the old Death Row family on here (Dr Dre, Snoop and Nate Dog) the quality was always going to be top notch however, some of the more unkown artists featured also do the job especially well (Tha Liks, Cassidy Defari & King T). Eminem features on ‘Dont Approach Me’, where X and Em rap about the stereotype of rappers and how people act around them, the main focus being on Eminem’s current law suite about him ‘pistol whipping’ some guy flirting with Kim. X combined with Snoop makes ‘D.N.A’ an instantly popular track with the contrasting two style’s producing a phat song. ‘Best Of Things’ and ‘Front 2 Back’ are two other outstanding tracks both of which are solely performed by Xzibit, and show off his style and sheer brilliance. However probably the no 1 track from the album is the hugely addictive ‘X’ which to me shows Xzibit at the pinnacle of his career and it certainly shows. 1998 – X to the Z, releases ’40 Days, 40 Nightz. It came and wasn’t as widely accepted as his debut album, but still was damn good.
Overall this is a brilliant album and definitely keeps west coast hip-hop at the top of its league. The only downside I have with the album is that I feel there are to many appearances by other artists. Dont get me wrong, the mix does produce great tracks. However, with only 6 out of the 16 tracks individually performed by X, I feel ever so slightly cheated because Xzibit has proved that he definitely has the ability to produce just as good tracks without any need for support (one reason why I loved ‘At The Speed Of Life’ so much!) and yet he continues to mix sounds with other rappers that he simply doesn’t need. Other then that, faultless! Finally in 2000, he gives us one of the better albums from the millenium…’Restless.’
Reviewed By Hip Hop Network for HipHopHotSpot.Com