Weapons of Mass Destruction have turned up, thanks to Xzibit.
That's the title of X-to-the-Z's forthcoming album, on which the Los Angeles MC rants about the president and the war in Iraq, among other things. "I have always been aware of my surroundings," Xzibit said. "So not putting that in the forefront of my creativity would be a travesty. I had to put it out there."
On the track "State of the Union," X takes direct aim at George W. Bush by turning the president's own words on him and comparing him with the violent terrorists he often rails against. X also comments on the war in Iraq via the sociopolitical track "Cold World," produced by Strong Arm Steady protégé Jelly Roll.
"The last verse is about a young boy in Iraq," the rapper explained. "For us, Iraq is a cut-out replica of what the country looks like ... in actuality, Iraq is just like New York. It's just like Detroit. It's where people live and raise their families. We have all these military actions and people coming with 88,000 tons of missiles and bombs to take out a guy he may have never even heard of. So I'm writing from that perspective. If you never put yourself in the next man's shoes, you'll never know how hard his struggle is."
Weapons of Mass Destruction isn't all about the politics of the day, however. X turns things up on the Timbaland-produced lead single, "Hey Now (Mean Muggin)."
"Timbaland was crazy to work with," he said. "When he stepped in the studio, it was like working with Morpheus from 'The Matrix' — he stepped in with three beats and said, 'Pick one.' They all sounded crazy, but I could only pick one. I picked one and he hooked me up. I never wrote like that before either. He scatted out something for me and then I wrote the lyrics to it."
X also enlisted the production help of Rick Rock, Battlecat, Denaun Porter (a.k.a. Kon Artis) of D12, Hi-Tek and Sir Jinx for the set. Guest appearances include X's Strong Arm Steady clique and R&B newcomer Keri Hilson. Busta Rhymes also turns up on the braggadocio track "Tough Guy."
"Busta Rhymes is my brother from another mother," Xzibit said. "He did his thing. He just signed to Aftermath, so he's working with the circle tightly. Me and Busta Rhymes' vocals together sound like iron and gravel scraping together."
Due December 7, Weapons of Mass Destruction is all about balance for Xzibit.
"The album has a wide variety of music," said X. "It's not just preachy or political. It's a little bit of everything. The fans don't really like to be preached to. They want to get the message, but don't stand on no soapbox, homey. So, it's how you get the message across and how clearly you can articulate it to them without talking down to them. That's what I strived to do on this record."
Track list for Weapons of Mass Destruction, according to Xzibit's publicist:
- "State of the Union"
- "Cold World"
- "Saturday Night Live" (featuring Jelly Roll)
- "Beware of Us" (featuring Strong Arm Steady)
- "Judgement Day"
- "Criminal Set"
- "Hey Now (Mean Muggin)" (featuring Keri Hilson)
- "Ride or Die"
- "Crazy Ho" (featuring Strong Arm Steady)
- "Big Barking"
- "Tough Guy" (featuring Busta Rhymes)
- "Scent of a Woman"
- "Back 2 the Way It Was"