Album Review- Xzibit- Napalm

Mr. X to the Z has been mostly MIA for the past few years. For a couple of years, he was all over the place from movies to MTV's Pimp My Ride. He had hooked up with Dre and things were shooting high, then it all crumbled. Actually it is amazing considering he first dropped in like 1996 with his lum At The Speed of Life which featured hits like Papparazzi and The Foundation. He even had Idi Amin throw a little shot at him on "Bomb First" from the Makavelli album. All that is the past though and in 2012 Xzibit is back with his first album in like Five or Six years.

This album starts off with "State of Hip Hop vs Xzibit" which has a typical strong beat for X to spit over but he doesn't really get into any comparisons about hip-hop then and now or what his spot or relevance within rap is so with another and title and hook it would have worked better as a song. "Everything" feels like a mesh with the normal hard drums Xzibit likes to rap over with a simple melody but it seems to clash slightly. Over the beat he raps about what he came from and now the fact he has made it. "Dos Equis" is classic Xzibit. It's a track that isn't going to draw you in so he has to work more to make you want to keep listening as he talks about balling with the idea being that he is like 'the most interesting man in the world'. RBX gets a verse and The Game holds down the hook.

"Forever A G" is that throwback to the times he was hard type song and why he spits and why his crew of street dudes is more real than all others. The odd part is it also features Wiz Khalifa. "Something More" is a simple track with a bounce to it about Xzibit getting to the point in life he doesn't have to worry about anything. It features Prodigy of Mobb Deep in a throwback to the late 90's. "Gangsta, Gangsta" has a good backdrop but I don't get how Xzibit's verses reflect the idea on the chorus."1983" is X'z attempt to explain his life and the past few years from his MTV deal to Interscope interactions and his relationship with his son's mother. The bare piano riff is perfect for the tale he tells but the album should have had more of this type of explanation of the absence over the past few years.

"Spread it Out" is just an album filler while "Up Out The Way" with E-40 is designed to bang in the clubs. It's not bad but very simple."Stand Tall" with Slim the Mobster is about Xzibit trying to represent for his city and hold things down. Another sort of generic track. "Meaning of Life" with Staff Sergeant Shilo Harris is one of the deeper tracks Xzibit should be making about life in the hood and a more mature point of view when juxtaposed with the Staff Seargeant's story of his injuries in the desert for the country. King T and The Alkaholiks reunite with Xzibit on "Louis XIII" which is for the fans and people who have been waiting for these guys to just get a track and spit.

The title track is "Napalm" and he shot this video in Iraq and it's somewhat political and very rock and roll influenced. David Banner features and makes thew beat on "Enjoy The Night" which features Brevi on the chorus and another appearance by Wiz Khalifa on a light hearted party song. "Movies" is like a West Coast all-star track with The Game, Crooked I, Slim The Mobster, and Demrick all joining Xzibit on a ready made track just for rapping...about nothing though Xzibit uses only movie titles in his verse, which would have been slick ten years ago. "I Came to Kill" and "Killers Remorse" which features B-real, Demrick, and Bishop Lamont are both meh as they come off trying to be too hard. There are also a couple of bonus tracks that are ok.

Look, I have been an Xzibit fan since he first dropped and he always is able to drop two or three tracks that are original and unique. He also has been known to fill his albums with a lot of straight up West Coast underground or hardcore rap tracks which is fine cause thats his market. At his age and length of time in the game, he needed to have more songs with impact, that really talk about something. He hasn't been around for a few years I know he had some things he wanted to say the past few years but instead the album falls a bit flat with too many gangster cliches, that never really fit with the guy X presented himself as.

Rating: 2.5/5


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