To every music fan, especially those from the 90s, Alvin Nathaniel Joiner, popularly known as
Xzibit, the rapper, born September 18, 1974, is pretty much a household name. His chart-topping albums put him on the map, and his subsequent work in films and television took his popularity to another stratosphere. He’s most known for his singles ‘Paparazzi,’ ‘X,’ and ‘Bitch Please,’ along with his hosting gig on “Pimp My Ride.” He continued to perform in films and television productions, most recently joining the cast of the drama series “Empire.”
One of the West Coast’s most illustrious rappers, Xzibit began his career as a promising underground rapper with a West Coast hip hop collective, the Likwit Crew. Collaborating, touring, and contributing to this group, Xzibit soon joined them, inking a record deal and putting out his first album in 1996. His start was promising, and it showed in his next album. “40 Dayz & 40 Nightz” was a huge success, coming in at #58 on the Billboard Top 100.
The inspiration for his music stems from his hard-knock childhood, which began in post-civil war Detroit. His mother passed away when he was nine, and he moved in with his father and stepmother. But because he was a problematic child, Xzibit was already in state custody by the age of 14, and he wasn’t released until he was 17— a full three years later. By this time, he was already expressing his feelings through song lyrics and decided to use his talent. He migrated to Los Angeles to make it big in the music business and after a series of fits and false starts, managed to connect with members of Tha Alkaholiks, a West Coast rap group. Xzibit collaborated and contributed to the group’s album under the moniker ‘Exhibit A,’ eventually signing as a solo artist with record company Loud Records in 1996. Two years later, “40 Dayz & 40 Nightz” was charting, and Xzibit’s star saw a meteoric rise. Dr. Dre, famous for sponsoring upcoming talent in the rap world, took Xzibit under his wing and introduced him to other legends in the rap world. Xzibit followed up his past success with several high-profile collaborations and appearances in fellow rap legends’ music, including ‘What’s the Difference’ with Eminem.
He continued to release music while making debuts in movies, including “The Wash” (2001) and “8 Mile” (2002). Then, in 2004, he began hosting MTV’s reality show, “Pimp My Ride,” which quickly became popular, lasting several seasons and spawning spin-offs and remakes in different countries. Xzibit also became an independent artist during this time, putting out albums that might not have had the glitzy popularity a big label commanded but were still music gems. The cancellation of “Pimp My Ride” and reduced revenue from lower album sales led to Xzibit filing for bankruptcy in 2009 and 2010. He has since released more albums, launched a world tour, and starred in various movies and television shows, even becoming a cast member of the hit drama series “Empire.”
Xzibit appears on the song ‘Hit and Run,’ part of The Alkaholik's “Coast II Coast” album.
At #74 on the Billboard 200, "At the Speed of Life" becomes a hit, enabling Xzibit to sign a recording deal with Long Records later that year.
“40 Dayz & 40 Nightz” is a huge hit and even spawns a Top 50 single, ‘What U See Is What U Get.’
Xzibit makes his acting debut in the comedy "The Breaks," and he later appears in films like "8 Mile" and "Full Clip."
Xzibit becomes the host of M.T.V.’s “Pimp My Ride,” and it gains him more attention than ever before.
Xzibit plays Shyne in the American drama series “Empire.”
Why We Love Xzibit
He was a rebel from the beginning
With lyrics penned by Xzibit and raw emotion in every song, the rapper was different from contemporary artists of his time. His ability to portray emotion earned him many accolades throughout his career.
He’s the real deal
Not only are his tracks authentic, but he is often referred to as one of the 90s' “OG” rappers. He has also been able to go from rapper to rapper and actor with success, and he doesn't appear to be slowing down.
His rhymes come from the heart
Everyone can relate to Xzibit's music since it is heartfelt. Every verse is about the person rather than his hip-hop character, which is something that both Xzibit's supporters and detractors find to be highly moving.
5 Surprising Facts About Xzibit
He started writing lyrics at 10
A 10-year-old Xzibit, devastated by the death of his mother, started writing song lyrics to deal with his feelings.
He credits his mom for his success
According to the rapper, Mama Joiner was a writer and was the source of Xzibit's creativity.
He competed in the ‘Gumball 3000’ rally
In 2007, 2010, and 2013, Xzibit participated in the renowned ‘Gumball 3000,’ an annual 3,000-mile worldwide celebrity automobile rally hosted by several businesses.
He is a sci-fi fan
His skepticism of the existence of anything otherworldly has stopped him from enjoying science fiction in all forms.
He prefers to write his music
As opposed to other rappers who like freestyling, Xzibit prefers to pen his lyrics down beforehand.
What happened to Xzibit?
Xzibit took a small hiatus from music to focus on his onscreen roles, and as of 2022, he intends to release more music.
Did Xzibit pass away?
Xzibit is most definitely still alive and making music too.
How did Xzibit go broke?
Xzibit stated very clearly that the cancellation of the M.T.V. show and the foreclosure of his home in Woodland Hills, California, are the primary causes of his financial decline. He may even be right, as his yearly income plummeted from $497,175 in 2007 to a meager $67,510 one year later, once “Pimp My Ride” was off the air.
Xzibit’s birthday dates