BEVERLY HILLS, California — After 10 years, nine films, five albums and one "Pimp"-ed out TV show, Xzibit has finally come Full Circle.
The 32-year-old rapper, who first blasted onto the scene with his lyrically charged Speed of Light in 1996, is about to drop his sixth studio album this summer.
"I've been making records [for so long], so to be able to do what I love and do it well, I gotta take it back to what I love to do," X said recently of his upcoming, aptly titled LP, Full Circle.
"My perspective has definitely changed [over the years]," he added. "The things I used to say when I was 18, 19 or 20 aren't the things I'm feeling now, you know? I've definitely grown a lot as an individual, as a man, and as a father, and that perspective needs to be shared and put out there.
"I think having powerful music that says something is a must for me [now]," explained X, who first tackled political issues on 2004's Weapons of Mass Destruction (see "Xzibit Joins The Anti-Bush Fray With New LP, Compares Iraq To Detroit"). "So that's what I plan to do with this record: shed some light on the growth that I've had so hopefully someone can relate and feel me."
X still won't divulge too many details about the disc — like which producers he's working with or who he might be teaming with in the recording booth — but he said there'll be 17 tracks on it when it drops in August (see "Xzibit Far From Done With Music").
As for his first single — well, let's just say you probably won't catch it on iTunes anytime soon. "Watch the mixtape circuit," X said. "There's so many ways for music to get out nowadays that the traditional way of just dropping a single before the record is out is obsolete."
The hardcore-MC-turned-actor was among a handful of performers, including Tyrese, Macy Gray and Lauryn Hill, honored earlier this month at the Tinseltown to Gotham event in Beverly Hills for accomplishing what few of their contemporaries could: successfully crossing over into a mix of entertainment genres, including film, television and music.
"It feels good to be able to go from music to film and have a good transition and be given the opportunities I've been given," Xzibit said backstage, donning a slick black tuxedo for the ceremony. "The roles I've had have worked out great for me, and tonight is just another stepping stone in the right direction."
Of course, X attributes much of his breakout success and crossover appeal to his tricked-out MTV show, "Pimp My Ride," which has been able to show a different, more personable side of him.
"That show really exposed a side of my personality you don't get to see on rap videos or read [about] in magazines," explained X, who helps kids transform their sad, weak wheels into pimped-out masterpieces on the show, now wrapping up its fifth season.
"There were decision-makers that watched that show, and the personality was there for them," he said. "They gave me different chances and it just worked."