When Mr. X to the Z was in New York on a two day trip I knew I had to get up with him and find out what his next hip hop intentions are. Selflessly enough in between recording as a guest on a track for Rawkus Recording artist Shabam Sahdeeq and doing promo drops for HOT 97ís Marley Marl and Pete Rock Future Flavas radio show we got together at 1 oíclock in the morning, hours before his flight back to California.
The big white stretch pulls up and I get in, with tape recorder in hand and Xzibit by my side weíre off. Our mission together is to do this piece for Insomniac as well as meet up with J.P. a terminally ill 13 year old and fan. J.P. happens to be my god sonís cousin so this is personal and Xzibit is more than willing to be a hip hop hero for an hour. Through the suburbs of Rockland County, NY we arrive at JPs house. As we enter the apartment, J.P. and his family are in the living room and seem to be overwhelmed that I actually got Xzibit from Ďthat action banginí video ("What You See Is What You Get")í to show love at 1 oíclock on a frigid New York morning.
After the pounds, the hugs, and the handshakes Xzibit sits on the couch to speak with J.P. and thanks his family for allowing him into their home. The love is spread and JPs day is made. For the moment his mind is off his illness and on to the fact that his friends will never believe this unless he gets an autograph. For Xzibit it almost seems to small of a request from a kid who deserves much more.
Days after the meeting J.P. called my office to thank me and to let me know that he just received a box from Xzibit full of T-shirts and autographed photos. I know that this is not the much more Xzibit was talking about, but for J.P. it was and that is all that matters.
Do you get requests like that, to meet kids and see how you affect them?
I donít know, because I come from very humble beginnings. When people get hype over me I just take that as like a blessing man. You know I was able to make something of myself that people can respect and not just associate it to only hip hop. Like right there back at the house with J.P., that can keep you grounded as a person.
Listening to your music it is obvious that you have become more grounded and understanding to your role on this earth.
Do you use your music to unleash shit off your chest?
See the first album was a point in my life, the second album was a point in my life and the third we definitely gonna hit a different point. But Iím not going to change up my style or try to be somebody Iím not just for the sake of Soundscan. If we hitíem hard enough whether we jigginí or not, we gonna do our thing. I wouldnít say I stopped putting personal shit into my music cause I havenít, but I feel that I kinda like toned it down a little from now to the first album. The first album was just raw meat, without no condom or nothing; just straight up, giviní it up.
Ahh yeah. But on the second album I wanted to come more conceptual. Thatís where ĎShroomzí came from, thatís where ĎHandle Your Businessí and ĎChamber Musicí came from. You know, but on this third album I want to come more mature. I feel it is time to show a little more growth. You know Iím always going to hitíem hard.
Iím sure being a father has a lot to do with your growth.
With me, Iíve been like that since day one. I got a little boy and he is the center, the nucleus of my life. You know it donít get no better than that. Everything I do revolves around him.
Thatís great because if it was any other way you would be lousy.
Ahh ya know.
Suave (Xzibitsí Manager) told me that you are going to be coming back to New York to work on your new album. I feel that you are already a New Yorker, like through and through. Is that part of your Detroit upbringing, part of the nitty gritty?
I donít know. I just canít leach onto anything else. I done lived out in California since I was 15 you know. I mean, I was born and raised in Detroit and I just keep being who I am. I think whatís keepiní me tight as Xzibit is the fact that I donít change up or sound like anybody from the West you know. I think that if I did I would be cheating myself and a lot of people who enjoy my sound. I think that whatís going on is that we breakiní the stereotype and we not tryiní to sound like the traditional West Coast sound that everybody is used to heariní. So now that we breakiní molds and everything, hopefully we can be put down as West Coast hip hop instead of West Coast rap.
I believe so. What is your relationship with your folks?
My mom is dead. Me and my dad are like this (crosses his fingers).To have a relationship like that with my father is cool. My father appreciates what Iíve done with my life. He appreciated how responsible I am. Heís sees how I am with my son. See I was a real fuck up when I was young.
I can see that.
Ahh you know. I got into a lot of bullsh*t.
Class clown and all that?
Yeah, that was me.