DVD: Restless Xposed DVD
Label: Fortress Entertainment
Rating: 9 / 10
Reviewer: A to the L
Xzibit has gone from being one of the underground’s most respected, but best kept secrets, to one of the premier artists to gain entrance into Dr Dre’s house of hits. Its a fairly safe bet that when he was plain old Xzibit rhyming with the Liks and King Tee, that a lot of, shall we say “commercial”, heads had barely heard him. But with his appearance on Snoop’s ‘Bitch Please’, and Dr Dre’s subsequent work on his “Restless” album, Mr X to the Z suddenly became high profile.
As with other DVDs from the popular Fortress Productions, this one aims to let the viewer go behind the scenes and let him or her see the real Xzibit – Xzibit at work, Xzibit at play, Xzibit on tour, in the studio, or just plain lounging with his homies. It all appears here – all uncensored, all no-holds barred.
As a peek into the lifestyles of your favourite rappers it certainly makes interesting viewing – the glamour, the fame, the money is all offset with hard work on stage, the pain-in-the-ass of constant mic checks, and the frequent and often overlooked amount of travelling that these guys do. Many would argue, and quite rightly, that the positives far outweigh the negatives… but its still an eyeopener to see the amount of hard travel and work that these cats have to do to get to your local arena and rip shit up.
And what of Mr X to the Z himself? Well lets just say that his serious and aggressive style on the mic are all a big ole front. Xzibit is the class clown, the comedian of the pack, and his warmth and sense of humour instantly transmit from the screen to the viewer. Whether its busting out the Running Man dance to Color Me Badd’s ‘I Wanna Sex You Up’, cracking up over the mechanical antics of a battery operated gopher on the tour bus, getting his ass kicked on Sega, or laying the smackdown on Eminem and his D-12 comrades in their own NWFR (Niggas Wrestling For Real) wrestling federation, X does it all with that lopsided grin spread all over his grill. Its plain to see that his hanging out with the crazy ass Likwit crew, has infected him with the same laugh-a-minute behaviour that J-Ro, Tash and E-Swift have become famous for.
With the majority of the flick being shot during the Anger Managment tour in the US, and the Eminem / Outkast tour of Europe, its obvious that concert footage is going to be a main part of the show. Fortress have pulled it off perfectly – the sound is remarkably clear, and the pictures are crisp – great detail down to the pimples on the nipples of the ladies in the front row! We’re treated to X performing several cuts from his three albums, to the delight of the crowds. The atmosphere throughout is electrifying, and again its a credit to the guys at Fortress who have managed to capture the energy, cram it all onto one little silver cd, and still make you feel that you’re almost part of the concert.
Interspersed throughout the documentary are several of Xzibit’s music videos. The newer vids like ‘Y2K’ and ‘X’ share space with older classics such as ‘Foundation’ and ‘What U See Is What U Get’. The highlight though is the seamless segue from live performance to video, of the haunting ‘Paparazzi’. Hats off to the editor for some nice work.
Behind the scenes its possible to see how these people have established firm and lasting friendships simply through their love of music. Eminem is relaxed around Dre, who cracks jokes with Xzibit and Tash, while Defari and J-Ro chill in the background with D-12 – the whole thing just comes off as a family affair. Its also cool to see how much respect Xzibit gets from other emcees – DJ Quik, Master P, and Busta Rhymes amongst others all roll through to spread some love.
This is dope. Watch this and you’ll come out with a new respect for Mr X to the Z. He’s got a wicked sense of humour, he’s a dope emcee, and he can hold his drink like an Irishman. Props to Fortress on coming out with something so nice – pick this up.