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A Decade Later, Xzibit Makes 'A' List

Los Angeles – Nearly 10 years into his career, Xzibit is on a roll. Now in the second season of hosting the popular MTV series “Pimp My Ride,” the West Coast rapper is busy promoting his fifth album, “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” which Columbia will release Dec. 14.

His acting chops are also getting a workout. His cameo in Eminem’s “8 Mile” has segued into a role alongside Ice Cube in the upcoming “XXX” sequel, “XXX State of the Union.” Xzibit also has a part in the forthcoming Jennifer Aniston/Clive Owen suspense thriller, “Derailed.”

While he enjoys the wider audience afforded by “Pimp My Ride,” Xzibit (born Alvin Joyner) says the exposure hasn’t altered his rap perspective.

“I’ve been making records for my soul since 1996. This (album) is about what’s raw: where I am as a man, a father and a citizen. I will never change the way or reason why I make music. If it was about dollars and cents, I would have quit a long time ago. I believe in something more than the dollar.”

Xzibit’s album run dates back to his 1996 Loud/RCA debut, “At the Speed of Life.” That was followed by “40 Dayz & 40 Nights” (1998), “Restless” (2000) and “Man Vs. Machine” (2002). Besides his cameo with Nate Dogg on Snoop Dogg’s top 30 R&B hit “Bitch Please” in 1999, Xzibit’s biggest R&B single is 2000’s “X,” which reached No. 32.

The Los Angeles-based rapper enlisted a cadre of talent for “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Producers include Ric Rok, Rockwilder, Hi-Tek, Battlecat and Sir Jinx. Busta Rhymes, MC Lyte and Strong Arm Steady round out the guest list. Among the noteworthy tracks are “Scent of a Woman” and “Cold World.” First single is “Hey Now.”

Having wrapped a two-month promo tour that included Europe, where he hosted MTV’s Europe Music Awards in Rome, Xzibit is looking forward to a third season of “Pimp My Ride.” Of his acting career, which includes a recent guest spot on TV series “CSI: Miami,” Xzibit says, “I’m not ready to jump into a lead role yet. I’m just getting my feet wet.”

When asked about the possibility of endorsements or a clothing line, he laughs and says he doesn’t want to “pimp the system. This (recognition) was a long time coming and has prepared me to be level-headed.”

Still, Xzibit notes that “underestimation has been the biggest aspect of my career, which has worked to my advantage. So keep on ignoring me. I’ll be great.”

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