In a recent appearance on The Adam Corolla Show, Xzibit opened up about his early encounters and collaboration journey with Eminem.
Xzibit delved into the battle rap scene on the West Coast, emphasizing its tight-knit community and limited outlets for emerging artists. He reminisced about the days when artists would participate in battles or appear on shows like The Wake Up Show with Tech and Sway, underscoring the absence of internet platforms at the time.
“I come from battle rap scene. When I first started on the West Coast it was very small clicks of emcees and we all used to go and do these battles. Or we would go to The Wake Up Show with Tech and Sway. These were the only outlets. There was no internet. In New York, they had different things, Lyricist Lounge, they had mixtapes, they had vibrant scene.” said Xzibit.
Reflecting on Eminem's early fame as a formidable battle rapper, Xzibit highlighted the uniqueness of Eminem's talent, especially given his status as a white artist in a predominantly African-American scene. The first meeting was not a prelude to collaboration; instead, it was rooted in a shared journey of self-improvement and skill development.
“So, Eminem was very famous for going and being a battle rapper. Even when he spelled his name M&M like candy, he was so talented back then and he was grooming himself. So, everybody was doing the same thing, grooming themselves and you heard of him because he was a white guy with that much skill, coming to the scene was pretty amazing. When you met him, his reputation preceded him. I met him through that first. It was not like ‘oh we gonna work together and do all this stuff later’, nah. We both came from same kinda place. Once he came for Rap Olympics, he was ready to throw a towel at that time, but he was giving out tapes and one of the tapes from that battle got to Dre and Jimmy. And then they called him and the rest is history.”
Xzibit recalled encountering Eminem during the Rap Olympics, where Eminem's reputation preceded him. Despite considering leaving the competition, Eminem's tapes from the battle made their way to Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, marking the beginning of his storied career.
“From there, I got to Dre through different way. But we all ended up in the same camp. It was all for the same kinda push because we were a certain talents that we brought to the table with our rhymes. So, that’s kinda how we got together and moved on. But he had a crazy story as well so I’m glad I was in ‘8 Mile’. I’m glad I was able to work with him in the capacity that I have. Nothing but respect for the Marshall and the rest of the team.” Xzibit added.
While Xzibit reached Dre through a different path, they all found themselves in the same creative space, driven by their unique talents in the realm of rhymes. Their collaboration was a natural progression, united by a common goal and the distinct skills they brought to the table.
Xzibit expressed gratitude for his involvement in "8 Mile" and the opportunity to collaborate with Eminem. He conveyed deep respect for Eminem, also known as Marshall, and the entire team involved in their creative journey.