Review: Xzibit's "Napalm"

Review: Xzibit's "Napalm"

Xzibit’s latest release, "Napalm, is a balanced project with a west coast influence and strong production as well as tenacious lyrics.

News flash, Xzibit doesn’t just pimp rides. Every now and then when X wants to he has proven he can spit, and this was very apparent at this years BET Awards show. His verse at the BET Cypher this year was nothing short of memorable, and his album follows suit.

Napalm is X’s first commercial attempt since his last studio album Full Circle, which was released in 2006. This time around he proves that he can adjust to the times, but while still maintaining his hard-hitting, street style rhyme schemes. This project was renamed to its current title after the success of his collaboration "Napalm" with Travis Barker for his mixtape Let the Drummer Get Wicked.

The album starts off with “State of Hip Hop vs. Xzibit,” which is one of the stand out concept tracks on the project. X comes right in spitting over a very potent beat that is sure to catch the listener's ear, and continues to keep their attention with a hook that paints a scene at the courtroom. It’s the State of Hip Hop vs. Xzibit, and he lets everyone know loud and clear who they should have their money on.

Xzibit proved on this album time and time again that he is capable to appealing to all types of crowds. Songs like “Gangsta Gangsta”show that he hasn't forgot where he came from, as he gives fans that classic West Coast sound over a symphonic, yet aggressive beat that is sure to have fans head-bopping from the minute it drops. Cuts such as “Meaning of Life,” are examples of X’s versatility, as well he paints a thought-provoking portrait through his vicious wordplay.

One of the unexpected collaborations on this album has to be the cut entitled “Forever a G,” which features Taylor Gang’s own, Wiz Khalifa. Surprisingly, their chemistry on this song is as if they have been making music together their whole career. Xzibit spits about his disdain with rappers who try to portray themselves as something they aren’t, but he will always remain a “G.” The laid-back beat is perfect for Wiz to harmonize over the hook, and X’s aggressive style is the ideal compliment that provides the balance that is needed to complete this new sound. Wiz & X prove that their chemistry is no fluke as they hook up for another joint on the album called “Enjoy the Night,” which features David Banner and Brevi. The David Banner produced cut serves as a feel good joint that glorifies going out and having fun. 

X took time to speak about personal issues on this project as well. Songs like “1983,” which features Trena Joiner and “Stand Tall,” which features Slim The Mobster, tell a little bit more about his story while also uncovering his struggles throughout life. He speaks directly to the listeners on “1983” with lyrics like, “My younger sister Erica just adopted a child/my older brother served 15 he made it out.”

One of the stand out songs one the album is “Louis XIII,” which was produced by the legendary Dr. Dre. This song is sure to make fans feel as if they are driving through California in 2001 while Dre proves that he hasn’t lost a step. The back and forth concept is sure to be a crowd pleaser as X, King T & Tha Alkaholics prove they aren’t lacking in the lyrics department.

Xzibit has had a lot of time to sit on this project, and it shows. He took his time to map out certain tracks and make sure the entire LP was cohesive. Some may say that he had too many features this time around, but after listening to each track critics will see that each collaboration was the perfect compliment for the sound he was trying to convey. X also proved that he could hold his own on numerous cuts, which was evident on songs like “Everything,” “I Came to Kill,” and “Napalm.” His ear for beats was on point as well as the album flowed in one organized unit. X fans will not be disappointed with this effort, and should appreciate this long awaited album.

You can get Napalm on iTunes now

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