Remember back in the mid-nineties when Xzibit was still a hardcore rapper who had respect from fans and critics alike? He used to appear on tracks with King Tee and The Alkaholiks and sometimes as part of the Golden State Warriors with fellow underground MCs Ras Kass and Saafir. Back then he used to rhyme over classical samples with lyrics that commented on the state of commercialized Hip-Hop and how he would never become like them. On his first LP in 1996 on Loud Records he rapped:
“Lyrics must contain more than just clothes, bitches, and weed”
“There was a time when it was about the beats and rhymes, but nowadays the blind just follow the blind”
It seemed back then, Xzibit was somebody who was aware of how the lure of money and fame from the world of celebrity and Pop music was beginning to create rappers who would readily sell out their roots in the working class streets in order to become rich. With lyrics like this we all thought Xzibit would never sell out:
“Never did I thought I’d rock your set and get love and respect without no special effects”
“It’s a shame, niggas in the rap game only for the money and the fame”
But then sometime in the early noughties (2000’s) all this changed. Slowly he began to do more and more songs with Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Snoop, and less and less with The Likwit Crew. At this point he began to wear more and more blue and his lyrics shifted from underground commentator to materialistic and contrived:
“Stackin’ real estate and money…It’s funny how things change overnight”
“Bitches be quick to give me brains while I post the range, going up and down my dick like the stock exchange”
Slowly he crip-walked himself into stardom by cheapening his style and doing the very thing his earlier lyrics warned against. He became the presenter for MTV‘s Pimp My Ride even though he rapped “Love Allah Not New Car” on “Los Angeles Times”. He then became a mediocre actor even though on “Paparazzi” he said;
“I don’t need no lights no camera just action god dammit”
“Either you a soldier from the start or an actor with a record deal trying to play the part”
Ten years later, now that all the TV presenting and bit-part acting has dried up, Xzibit has resorted to rapping badly over fake rock music on his latest track “Nepalm” with his newly found respect for all things white and military, even though back in the day on “Los Angeles Times” he rapped “Take a trip to Washington and burn the constitution”.
Xzibit has now lost almost all of his original fans who bought into his original lyrics. But by contradicting himself he hasn’t garnered any new fans, instead he has only alienated followers of underground Hip-Hop. Pop music is fickle, and anyone who finds rapid success and riches by pandering to this section of music will never find loyalty. Xzibit is now in limbo; stuck between trying his very best to dismiss the years of mediocrity he built up in the last decade and fighting desperately to find new ways to slither back into the industry.
Real fans of both Hip-Hop and the original incarnation of Xzibit are now bored with his lyrical inconsistencies.
X to the Zzzzz.