I've been an Xzibit fan since I first heard 'Paparazzi.' His first album is best described as dope, but his second one, I loved even more. I listened to that album an unbelievable amount of times, and I never got sick of it, I just had to review other albums for this site, so I had to put it aside temporarily. But it came out every now and then.
About 8 months ago, word surfaced that none other than the one and only Dr. Dre would be the executive producer of this album. My thoughts immediately jumped to this being a classic album, blowing away his first two. This isn't exactly the case.
Xzibit consistently comes off well. His rhymes usually have decent-very good lyrics with a "break-neck" delivery. This album doesn't contradict what "usually" occurs. 'Restless' didn't receive nearly as much promotion as I would have thought it would, but maybe that was a kind of good thing. You see, Loud only dropped 'X' prior to this album's release. There weren't leaked mixtape joints or anything of that nature, only a heater in the form of that Dre produced cut. So, what happened? Xzibit's fans expectations were heightened considerably.
There are a host of dope joints here. Firstly there's 'D.N.A' (Drugs n' alcohol) featuring Snoop Dogg. Rick Rock laced a nice beat for Xzibit and Snoop to play with, and they did. Bare in mind, the track is a "grower" though. There's also 'Alkaholik,' which features Erick Sermon, Tash and J-Ro. Sermon laced the beat (which those familiar with his material can detect easily). The hook and the verses combine nicely to form a nice ol' joint. Plus, there's 'Rest Of Things' produced by Dre, 'U Know' also produced by Dre, and 'Rimz and Tirez.' 'Rimz and Tirez' is a nice posse cut featuring Kokane, Defari and Goldie Loc and a Soopafly beat. Kokane does his vocal thing, which you either love or hate. I love it, so it worked nicely for me. Defari and Goldie Loc also perform well.
Unfortunately, the album's best track is at such a high level, mainly due to it's guest. 'Don't Approach Me,' featuring Eminem, is a brilliant track. But, Eminem gets more time on the mic, and gets more personal, somewhat taking over the track. The beat was also done by Em. Xzibit drops some nice verses, but Em shines through here.
'Restless' isn't without its problems though. On '40 Dayz & 40 Nightz' there was 'Pu##y Pop.' Here, there's 'Fuckin' You Right.' The lyrics are simplistic, the hook is awful and the beat is tacky as fuck...that's being polite. And there's the severely spoiled 'Sorry I'm Away So Much.' How is it spoiled? Well, Quik's beat makes the entire track feel insincere, the lyrics are nice but the beat really alters the vibe and creates a tacky feel which I do not believe was intended to happen. I'm also not feeling the 'Kenny Parker Show 2001.' The track features Xzibit over a simplistic and fairly average beat, rhyming very simplistically. He may have intended to give it an old school vibe, but it didn't work particularly well. KRS One adds ad-libs but that really doesn't alter the track in any manner. Also, 'Get Your Walk On' should have had another beat instead of the one it has.
When it comes to the crunch, Xzibit's latest release is my least favourite of his three, but with that said, it still has good aspects. It's not a bad album, just not what most Xzibit fans were expecting or hoping for.