Volume 94, Issue 59

Tuesday, January 9, 2001


Tinseltown's holiday season wrap-up

Xzibit A: Restless

Xzibit A: Restless

Loud Records

Xzibit, one of the most respected MC's around, is known for two things: An East Coast flavoured style despite residing in the Golden State, and remaining lyrically fit, despite industry pressures to soften his approach.

With Restless, Xzibit hopes to finally cash in on the commercial success someone of his talent deserves.

Although he's never been mainstream enough to reach platinum status, he's also never been blessed with consistent, quality production. So what better remedy for those two afflictions than the good doctor himself, Dr. Dre? Not only did Dre put his skills on the boards for three album cuts, he oversaw the whole project as executive producer.

No doubt there are some songs that are simply hot. "U Know" is a perfectly executed song. Xzibit and Dre's delivery over a riding West Coast beat induces continuous and emphatic head nodding. Add tightly woven lyrics and you know you've got something special.

"D.N.A" is another keeper and proves Snoop Dogg still has it, while the producer Rockwilder cooks up an off the hook beat on "Front 2 Back".

So what's the problem? Xzibit's rhymes have become eerily similar to what we hear from dime-a-dozen mainstream artists. On Restless , it's all about bitches, drugs, guns and rims – themes he has largely avoided in the past.

Much of the production leaves something to be desired. For example, the dragged out beat on "Been A Long Time" or the weak, Eminem-produced, "Don't Approach Me," which sounds remarkably similar to "The Real Slim Shady," get really boring, really fast.

It's foolish to expect Xzibit to perform like he always has just to appease his core fans, but this album is too far a departure from what he does best.

– Joel Brown

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