Review Summary: Life is a bitch, and she ain't fuckin for free1 of 1 thought this review was well written
How could the guy from Pimp My Ride and Gridiron Gang be a good rapper? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Xzibit would seem like a total poseur, and looking back on his material seeing what he is doing now, he is, but back in the late 90s and early 00s, he was a lethal MC. That and his affiliation with The Alkaholiks got him signed to a major label, and ultimately got him notice from Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg that fellow Golden State Warrior Ras Kass would be over-looked for. Restless
is the West Coast’s lyrical mastodon’s third album, and mixes his exercises with some funky and trippy production that finally seems fit for him.
Xzibit remains consistent on his major debut in the lyric department, still spitting like it’s the 90s in the 00s. Alvin’s lyrical style revolves around the fact that he’s incredibly well-rounded, being able to tell speedy crime stories, show off flashy punch-lines, and work both of those factors into tracks that function as whole as opposed to just nips and pieces. Not to say there aren’t quotables, Xzibit plays his lyrics in a way that he’s ready for The Source Quotables page, at least before they went wack. He especially brings the heat on the Dr. Dre-featured “U Know” (“Keep my enemies on a first name basis/hate them niggaz like a skin-head racist”, “Stompin hoes through yall turf/I hurt more than actual child birth”), the ominous and depressing “Don’t Approach Me” (“I spit lines of split spines just to get mine/ *** behind bitches sucking dick just to spitshine”, “Sniff lines of coke/that’s the only *** that make you dope”), and the hilarious “***in You Right” (“Monica Beronica/Beronica?/ she played my dick like a harmonica/ how you think i learn how to twist it and turn it back til its broke/ make you feel it in your throat”, “you know that thing with the peanut butter?” is enough for laughs).
Xzibit’s lyrical strength is obviously well-known, but what isn’t well-known on here is the production which is ace as well. Because of Dre’s involvement in the promotion of the album, as opposed to the East Coast-based sampling of Alvin’s last two albums, this album has a notice able Dre bounce throughout. There are songs that have an east coast feel or and even more bizarre feeling like the sprawling poppy synth epic “Get Your Walk On”, the ominous, drab “Don’t Approach Me”, and the jazzy “Sorry I’m Away So Much”, but even these song have a certain bounce that Xzibits last albums didn’t have. It certainly fits the lyricist much better, as his rapping is very lively, bounce-ing, and still feels like radio-play-able.
There are weak songs, usually around the albums middle, like the confusingly bad “D.N.A. (Drugs and Alkahol”, the horrible Prince-aping hook and boring nature of “Rimz & Tirez”, and Eminem’s passive aggressive verses and hooks on “Don’t Approach Me”, but it’s mostly solidly crafted and well-done. While Restless
does have a great deal of competition from Xzibit’s first two albums, Restless
is Xzibit’s best album, due to its driven lively production. A great release from one of West Coast’s post-Death Row finest.