Pimp My Ride was one of the first motoring makeover shows on TV, and in its heyday, was one of the most popular with viewers, thanks mainly to the outlandish and outrageous custom modifications the cars underwent, but also thanks to the obvious passion and enthusiasm of the main presenter - rapper, actor and motoring enthusiast Xzibit.
The show was first screened on MTV in 2004 and ran for six seasons until 2007. Each episode saw an old beater belonging to a member of the public restored to its former glory and customized, or “pimped,” with some personal touches, such as games consoles, televisions and fridges and even a custom replica painting of the Sistine Chapel on the ceiling of the car!
For the first four seasons, the Pimp My Ride shows were filmed at West Coast Customs, a multimillion-dollar business that has modified cars for stars such as Shaquille O’Neal and Sean Combs. Galpin Auto Sports, based in Van Nuys took over the customization work for the final two seasons of the show.
So what happened to Xzibit when Pimp My Ride was canceled by MTV in 2007? Did he continue with his interest in custom cars, or did he instead return to his first love, rap music? Check out the list below to find out what Xzibit has been up to since the series came to an end.
Although Xzibit continued his interest in motoring and cars in general until long after the show had finished, there was one surprising aspect about the end of his stint on Pimp My Ride.
Despite the close professional relationships he must have formed with the automotive artistic geniuses at West Coast Customs and Galpin Auto Sports, Xzibit didn’t actually get to drive away from the MTV production with his own pimped-up ride. That doesn’t mean that the rapper didn’t enjoy customizing his own supercars; just that he had to pay for the work himself, rather than getting a freebie from his former co-stars.
However, that doesn’t mean that Xzibit didn’t own any customized cars at all. The rap star had a Lamborghini Gallardo with a custom paint job featuring the iconic three stripes from the Adidas design. Black in color, with stripes in golf across the bodywork and windows, with a 500hp engine capable of accelerating from 0 to 60mph in 4.2 seconds and with a top speed of almost 200mph.
Xzibit, who drove the car in the Gumball 3000 rally in 2007, sold the car after the race and donated 10% of the cost to the families of Vladimir and Margarita Chepunjoska.
The Pimp My Ride presenter became something of a regular feature in the Gumball 3000 rally, first taking part in the epic race in 2007, and lending his support to the event over the coming years. The Gumball 3000 is an annual 3,000-mile race which usually takes place in Europe, often starting and finishing.
Unlike many motorsports events, the Gumball 3000 takes place on public roads, which has led to some unfortunate incidents involving members of the public. Xzibit never got to finish the 2007 race as it was eventually called off after a serious accident involving a Gumball 3000 participant and an ordinary couple from Macedonia.
It isn’t just accidents that participants in the Gumball 3000 rally have to take into consideration. This may be a cross-country race, with winners and losers, but it does still take place on public roads, which have strict speed restrictions – unless they happen to be on the German Autobahn, of course.
Several Gumball 3000 rally participants have been pulled over by the cops in the various countries that the race has passed through, and unfortunately for Xzibit, he was one of those caught speeding. He was stopped by police in the Netherlands, and had his license confiscated, bringing his race to a premature end.
Although Xzibit might have seen his race come to an end just one day after it had started, luckily all the people who take part in the event have co-drivers, so that they can share driving duties, and allow one to rest while the other drives.
When Xzibit had his license seized, his co-driver, Fredwreck Nassar, had to take over all the driving duties for the rest of the eventually shortened race. Nassar is himself something of a legend in the hip hop world; a rap musician and producer who has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Eminem.
And Xzibit’s motoring problems weren’t even over when the 2007 race finished. Because of the severity of his speeding citation – driving at 100mph on a stretch of road with a 60mph limit – that he ended up not getting his original license back at all, and had to reapply for a new one when he finally got back to the United States.
He wasn’t the only Gumball 3000 rally driver that had to deal with losing his license; the Dutch police who stopped him also targeted a number of the participants, and 70 drivers were cited for speeding while passing through Germany.
2007 wasn’t the only time that Xzibit took park in the Gumball 3000 rally. In 2010, he drove a customized Porsche Cayenne Turbo, while in 2013 he helped to launch the event, taking part in a concert in Riga to mark the start of the race.
He also returned to the Gumball 3000 in 2014, driving a Bentley Continental GT – although he was again pulled over for speeding, this time by the French cops, who asked Xzibit for a selfie after they issued his ticket! The rapper also made a $1,000 bet with fellow Gumball veteran Jon Olsson, a Swedish skier, over who would finish the race first.
Xzibit has driven some pretty impressive motors in his various Gumball 3000 appearances, but he has also amassed an equally spectacular collection of cars. However, supercars don’t come cheap, and when the rap star started to have money troubles, his car collection was one of the first things that had to go.
His custom Bugatti Veyron Sport, painted in matte white with custom red and white seats, would be the pride and joy of any collection, so it must have been hard to see it go. What probably made it easier was knowing that he was selling it to World Champion boxer Floyd Mayweather.
The Pimp My Ride presenter has not always been keen to talk about the show, as he has moved on to other things since it was canceled over ten years ago. However, he was more than happy to give his opinion on a recently-launched motoring show called Tackle My Ride, which takes cars belonging devoted football fans and gives them custom makeovers in their team’s colors.
When he was asked in 2017 what he thought of the show, which borrows heavily from Pimp My Ride in many ways, Xzibit told a reporter that he didn’t have any time to watch it.
Not only does Xzibit not enjoy talking about his Pimp My Ride days, but he also blames the show for many of his money troubles. In 2010, he owed almost $1 million in Federal taxes.
The rapper, whose real name is Alvin Joiner, said he traced all his money difficulties back to the time when Pimp My Ride was canceled, losing him a lucrative presenting job, while at the same time damaging his chances of making a comeback as a rapper. His tax records also showed that he didn’t own a car while Pimp My Ride was being filmed, but instead leased a Range Rover.
Not everything that Xzibit has done since the end of Pimp My Ride has involved driving or selling super-expensive supercars. When his MTV presenting gig fell through, after all, he had to find another way to earn money, whether that was going back to making music or finding a new career.
When Xzibit was touring in Australia, shortly after the end of Pimp My Ride, he stormed off the set of a local talk show hosted by Rove McManus, when he was asked to rap with crooner Michael Buble instead of performing by himself, accusing the show’s producers of faulty behavior.
Xzibit didn’t just return to his rap roots once his stint on Pimp My Ride was over, however. He also decided to strike out in a very new direction, trying his hand at big-screen acting.
One of his first major acting roles came in 2008 when he had a part in the hotly-anticipated X-Files: I Want To Believe movie. Xzibit was cast as an FBI Agent Mosley Drummy, who works alongside Mulder and Scully when they are brought back on board by the FBI to help with an unusual case involving a missing agent and a psychic priest.
For all that Xzibit was trying his hand at developing new skills and new career opportunities, he never forgot his rap roots.
Having released his first studio album back in 1996, he had recorded plenty of material and enjoyed a number of chart hits by the time his record label, Sony, decided in 2009 that it was time to release Xzibit’s first Greatest Hits album, which featured his most successful solo track, “What U See Is What U Get” as well as tracks that he recorded with Dr. Dre and Eminem. No doubt sales of the record helped to ease some of his financial worries…
Although Xzibit isn’t so keen these days to talk about Pimp My Ride, he obviously enjoyed some aspects of TV presenting, as he was soon back on the small screen, this time working on a successful home makeover show, rather than a car makeover show! After making a couple of guest appearances on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, a show which essentially rebuilds and renovates belonging to a family, he landed a regular spot as a designer, of all things, on Season Seven of the popular show.
Xzibit had been a fan of the show and liked the fact that he was giving families a home, rather than putting crazy modifications into cars.
This was only ever a part-time gig for Xzibit, who was obviously keen to get back into the recording studio to get started on his first new album in six years. Xzibit and his team went back into the studio in 2011 and began work on the album which would be called Napalm, which was eventually released in October 2012.
His seventh studio album featured guest performances from Game, Prodigy, Demrick and Wiz Khalifa, and tracks were produced by hip hop legends Dr. Dre, Rick Rock and Akon. However, the album only sold 16,000 copies, reaching 150 on the Billboard Album Chart in the first week it was released.
Despite the poor sales of what could be considered his comeback album, Xzibit nevertheless decided that it was time to get back on the road, taking Napalm and a compilation album he released in 2011 called Urban Ammo 2, on tour in 2012 and 2013.
The Collateral Damage tour was initially supposed to be just a 16-show tour of Canadian venues, but the rap star soon decided to expand it into a much larger world tour, taking in Norway, Spain, France, and Belgium, and finishing back at home in the United States at the Heat Ultra Lounge in Anaheim, Los Angeles.
All while he was continuing to make new records, including a second compilation album entitled Urban Ammo 3 in 2015, Xzibit was also continuing to explore his second career; acting. Any small screen or big screen work had to be fitted in around his tour shows, which continued around the world until 2016.
He managed to find time to make a guest appearance on the reboot of the classic TV show Hawaii 5-0, in which he played former convict KC Dekker, who was injured while trying to break back into prison and ended up with that classic TV condition, amnesia.
Rappers and hip hop stars are notorious for their collaborations, and sometimes several artists can all end up performing on the one track. Xzibit has worked with some of the biggest names in the rap music industry, but in 2014 he also made a rather more unusual collaboration with a Dutch gothic metal band called Within Temptation.
The group, who are fronted by singer Sharon den Adel, are popular in their home country, and managed to persuade Xzibit to provide some vocals on their single “And We Run” which also appeared on their sixth studio album, Hydra.
By the following year, however, Xzibit was back to performing on collaborations with other rap stars, and indeed with people who had worked on his own tracks in the past. Dr. Dre, who had produced tracks on Xzibit’s studio album Napalm asked the former Pimp My Ride star to provide some guest vocals for his track “Loose Cannons” which featured on the successful 2015 album, Compton.
The album was inspired by the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, and featured other big names in the industry including Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar, selling over half a million copies and reaching number two in the album chart.
As far as the acting career goes, however, Xzibit’s big break came in 2016, when he scored a recurring role on the TV series Empire, which follows the story of Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard, the CEO of a hip hop record label living in New York.
Xzibit was initially cast to play Lyon’s rival Leslie “Shyne” Johnson as a guest star in Season Two, but he was asked to return as a regular in Seasons Three and Four. He was involved in a major story arc throughout the show which ended – spoiler alert – with his character passing at the hands of Lucious.
Sources - Top Speed, Dutch News, TMZ, Auto Revolution, HipHop Dx