There’s not much I remember about my past, but December 12, 2000 will forever be locked in my memory. I had just turned 16 the month prior and was whipping around a Chevy Beretta that I filled with house speakers (don’t act like you never did this haha). That morning, I hit up the local Wherehouse, put my $20 on the counter and left with Xzibit’s new album, Restless.
I remember ripping through the packaging, popping the disc in the CD player and diving into the liner notes. Two minutes later, I’m twenty feet from my car and in a state of shock. You see, as soon as the intro wrapped up and “Front 2 Back” kicked in? BOOM! Every single speaker in this elaborate “sound system” I had rigged offered their last vibration and exploded in unison. It felt like the whole back half of the car blew off.
Driving to school the following week before holiday break? Complete silence—thanks, Rockwilder!
With two critically acclaimed albums under his belt, it wasn’t until Xzibit appeared on Dr. Dre’s 2001 and destroyed the stage on The Up In Smoke Tour—the cause of my first high on August 11, 2000 in Vegas, haha—that he caught the mainstream’s attention and capitalized with the release of Restless.
That was 15 years ago today, and I just wanted to salute X-Z. At the Speed of Life still gets an occasional spin, 40 Days & 40 Nightz is obviously phenomenal, but I’ll always have that personal connection with his third album.
Restless birthed three singles (“Front 2 Back, “X,” and “Get Your Walk On”) and was driven by loud and thunderous production from Dre, Nottz, Battlecat, Mel-Man, Scott Storch, Erick Sermon, DJ Quik, Rockwilder (damn you), Rick Rock, and Soopafly.
At 16 tracks, the album included features from Snoop, Nate Dogg, Tha Alkaholiks, Erick Sermon, DJ Quik, KRS-One, members of the Likwit Crew, and a welcomed reunion with Eminem.
After explaining the difference between them and the rest of the peons that walk the Earth on Dr. Dre’s 2001, X and Em reconnected on “Don’t Approach Me”—an aural disclaimer which finds the Detroit natives warning listeners that, despite their fame, they won’t hesitate to bust someone in the lip if they overstepped their boundaries.