It's Xzibit Vs. Backlash On Man Vs. Machine

New disc will be concept album of sorts about problems faced after finding pop success.

Xzibit says he's still the underground rapper he was on his first two

albums, 1996's At the Speed of Life and 1998's 40 Dayz & 40

Nightz. He just also happens to still be the mainstream powerhouse he

was on 2000's Restless.

The West Coast rhyme slinger vows to bridge the gap between his past

releases with Man vs. Machine, a concept album of sorts about the

backlash a seasoned artist faces after achieving commercial success.

"I've got a lot to prove," X to the Z said backstage at Saturday's taping of

the MTV Movie Awards. "I've made some leaps and bounds as an underground

artist. I got a lot of prejudice. I got a lot of pressure. I got a lot of

stuff built up against me, and I look forward to it. I love a challenge. I'm

one man, and I have definitely pulled this little wagon a long way, and I'm

about to pull it some more."

Helping Xzibit along will be guests Eminem, Snoop Dogg, DJ Premier, M.O.P.

and, of course, Dr. Dre, who is also executive producing the project.

Although Dre said recently he is hardly needed on the album (see "Xzibit Finishing Up New LP With Minimal Help

From Dre"), Xzibit disagreed.

"Dr. Dre definitely gets in there and brings out the best in an artist,"

Xzibit said. "He'll get you in there, and he'll allow you to paint the

picture and then, with all his experience and his knowledge, he'll help you

hang it right and present it correctly. He's not in the studio with some

anal-retentive methods of how to produce music."

Xzibit said Dre's stable of artists, which includes himself, Em and Snoop

along with veteran Rakim and newcomers like Truth Hurts, all have the same

goals with their music, so working together comes naturally.

"We want to come out and change the game," Xzibit explained. "You don't want

to come and be the same cat you were last year. You want to do something

better, push the line with your music. That's how we get it done. As hip-hop

artists, you have to take the music seriously, not just as a way to get


Xzibit and Dre are finishing the final song on Man vs. Machine this

week. The album is due September 3, though the rapper said he hopes to

release it sooner.

In the meantime Xzibit will begin promoting the album when he heads out on

the second Anger Management Tour in late July (see "Eminem, Papa Roach Line Up Anger Management Dates").

"Last year [Anger Management] was an experiment; this year is an event,"

Xzibit said. "The rap and rock fusion seems to work because the crowds are

the same. The same kids listening to Papa Roach will listen to an Xzibit


Xzibit's set will be a bit longer than it was last year. "Going out there

this time, we got four records to pull from," he explained. "We gonna do

some of the classics, we gonna do some of the new stuff and just go out

there and have a good time."