Xzibit has always seemed like a nice guy. Iíve seen him on television countless times and I always see a huge grin on his face weather he is pimping someoneís ride, or just chatting with some fine ladies. However when it comes to rapping Xzibit is a bad ass gangster and that grin quickly disappears from his face. Yes ladies and gentlemen, Alvin Nathaniel Joiner (also known as Xzibit) is the host of the television show ďPimp my Ride" and he really knows how to rap it, or at least thinks he does. To be completely honest I have always liked Xzibit and I donít really know why. Maybe Iíve always liked him because he was fun to watch on tv, or maybe I just liked him because he played the roll of a gangster thug and for some reason always seemed like a happy guy.
While I think that Xzibit is one cool cat, itís defiantly not because of his rapping skills. In fact, I can hardly stand his rapping on Man vs Machine
but before I start getting to out of control let me explain why. First things first Iíll analyze Xzibs rapping skills and technique. Alvin has a fairly deep pitched voice and he spits out words at a fairly quick pace. His voice sounds very rebellious, and thatís what kills the album for me. While Alvin is supposed to be a rebellious rapper I think he tries to hard to sound like a thug and his voice and rapping is extremely corny and stale. While Man vs. Machine
is supposed to have a ghetto and sort of gangster rap vibe Xzibit turns it into to a complete mess of upbeat rhythms and beats while his rapping indicates that he is a hardcore gangster. Itís also hard to believe that the man rapping it up is the same joyful goofball that hosts Pimp my Ride.
There are sixteen songs featured on Man vs. Machine
and I have yet to find one that is tightly composed or well structured. Most of these songs consist of a simple beat and some various electronic noises thrown in the background to make the music feel more authentic and glossy. Sometimes Alvin invites some of his fine lady friends to sing along with him, and they actually do a fairly good job at singing a few words or so as backing vocalists. The worst part of all of this is that Xzib creates a soothing, mostly upbeat atmosphere and he still tryís to act like a thug with his harsh and thug rapping voice. This formula wears thin quickly and the repetitive beats and rhythms will have you yawning after the first track or so.
Iíll describe some songs off of the album, but keep in mind that Xzibit recycles beats like old soda cans. The first song that stood out was the second track, titled Symphony in X Major
. Itís just a heavy beat and Alvin rappiní it up, he also throws in some dinky electronic effects giving the song an opera and more professional feel. The most interesting part would be the chorus when some of his lady friends imitate opera singing and I suppose this is why the song is supposedly a symphony. If there is a highlight to the album, this would be it just because of the entertaining ďopera" like chorus. Heart of Man
is also a more light and relaxing track. Alvin still raps the versus in a rebellious tone along with some twinkly xylophone sounding effects. The light and heartwarming chorus is delivered by Nate Dogg, singing in a fairly high pitched and soft tone. Lazery effects also make their way into the music and I think that Alvin tryís to fit in to many glossy sounds at once giving the music an overly cheesy sound. Xzibit even brings in Eminem on My Name
and still can not shake off the repetitive beats and special effects. Alvin raps between beats and while he is rapping another keyboard sounding effect is right their with him. This is also another snoozer because Alvin refuses to mix up his formula consisting of the same beat repeated throughout the whole song, and some special effects thrown in. Another track with potential that just doesnít work is Right On
. This is the quickest song off the album, and Alvin sounds tense and angry. Once again Xzibit raps between beats and some timpani percussion type sounds play in the background. While the beat is repetitive and soothing the thing that kills the song is Alvinís bad ass rapping style. I mean the song has a smooth beat but Xzibit completely ruins the flow with his loud and harsh voice.
The rest of the album sounds like it was put together in about an hour or so. When you listen to Man vs. Machine
you feel like youíre listening to the exact same songs over and over again. Occasionally there will be a soul influenced chorus, or a guest rapper but thatís really about it. What really makes me upset is that some of these songs show potential, but just donít work out because we have already heard it before. The thing is that Alvin is extremely uncreative with his beats, rhythms, and electronic sounding effects. It really sounds like he came up with a beat in about two minutes or so, and randomly assigned each song with a certain electronic effect.
While Iíve always enjoyed the television program Pimp my Ride and even liked Xzibits hot single Mothaf*****
I canít bring myself to give this album a rating higher then one star. I donít think that I need to drag this review on any longer, Iíve stated why this album is so atrocious and while I still enjoy seeing Alvin as a tv actor he is defiantly not a rapper. Or at least he doesnít prove it on Man vs. Machine