Today in Hip Hop History: September 18, 1974
Alvin Nathaniel Joiner, aka Xzibit, was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1974. Xzibit is an MC, actor, producer and television host. Although hailing from the midwest, Xzibit garnered fame in the West Coast hip hop scene after moving to California with his sister. Xzibit debuted his rap career on The Alkahilik‘s Coast II Coast song “Hit and Run,” under the pseudonym Exhibit A. After touring the same year, he signed to Loud Records and began working on his debut release.
His first solo album, At the Speed of Life, reached #74 on the Billboard Hot 200 and produced his breakthrough single, “Paparazzi,” which saw success not only in the U.S. but also in Germany. After more touring and underground success, Xzibit released his sophomore effort, 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz, which built more buzz for the rapper. Eventually he caught the attention of Dr. Dre and earned features on the songs “Bitch Please,” “Lolo,” “Some L.A. Niggaz,” and “What’s the Difference.”
Xzibit’s third album, Restless, might be seen as his magnum opus with its RIAA Certified Double Platinum status, hit singles and several renowned features. Other endeavours of his at the time included being a playable character in Madden NFL 2001, acting in The Wash, 8 Mile, The Breaks and The Country Bears.
Despite such success in the film and music industry, what Xzibit is probably most known for is his hosting of the MTV show, Pimp My Ride. He would surprise people with shitty cars and bring them to West Coast Customs, where they would fix up the car and usually add some ridiculous features. It got to the point where people started making fun of him with a meme, due to some of the crazy additions that they would add to cars in the show.
Despite such success throughout entertainment, Xzibit fell into the trap of spending too much money and avoiding taxes. In 2010 he was cited for the latter and forced to unsuccessfully declare bankruptcy twice. Regardless, Xzibit has one of the most well known rap voices in the West Coast hip hop and will definitely be remembered for a while.