Xzibit is a West Coast legend who has been around since the mid-1990s, and as LA’s answer to 50 Cent, the former Aftermath rapper gained a lot of notoriety on hip-hop when he featured on Dr Dre’s 1999 album, The Chronic: 2001.
With hits such as ‘What U See Is What U Get’ and ‘My Name’ featuring Eminem and Nate Dogg, during the early 2000s, it seemed that the LA emcee was on his way to the top. However, during the middle of the decade, the Aftermath emcee began to stall, and all of a sudden, hip-hop fans were seeing him present MTV’s Pimp My Ride.
During a recent appearance on the Crook’s Corner podcast, Xzibit (real name Alvin Joiner) explained to host KXNG Crooked why he ended up on the TV screen after having made music for over a decade.
Revealing that major labels and music executives are fickle, Joiner unveiled that his career was stagnating when he took on Pimp My Ride, explaining, “I didn’t know what to expect when I started rapping. I knew how that felt…and I knew how it felt when it didn’t seem to be happening for me anymore.”
Joiner detailed how when his musical journey began to slow down, he had to pivot and explore opportunities outside of hip-hop to keep his livelihood intact. He unveiled that he still loved music and wanted to create but needed a steady flow of income, which rap wasn’t providing him with.
After the MTV series came to an end in 2007, Xzibit admitted he wanted to do more in front of the camera, but not on reality TV, stating, “When that was over, I didn’t want to do reality TV anymore…fuck that shit; I wanted to do movies! I immersed myself in being the best actor he could be. Once that happened, I started landing films.”
Joiner landed the role of Shyne on the highly successful TV series Empire in 2016, and things took off from there. However, the actor and rapper told KXNG Crooked that there is no blueprint to success in the music industry and admitted sometimes you have to know when to dip out, professing, “Nobody is going to hand you the secret to success. It doesn’t come in a folder or pamphlet. I had to literally start over.”
You can watch Xzibit speaking on Crook’s Corner in the video below.