Yo Dawg, I Heard You Like Infected Swarm
Baseball bats and breaks upside of your head
Homey STILL gettin swoll off water and bread
I got this, retaliation, for any situation I’m facin
and leave the stage with a standin ovation, it’s like
Back before he was pimping cars and breaking Dutch speed limits, Xzibit was the hardest rapper from the West Coast. Spitting bars and bumping whips, X broke into the LA scene with 1996’s At the Speed of Life. It wasn’t until 2000’s Restless that Xzibit really hit his stride, though, landing at number 14 on the Billboard 200 and eventually going certified platinum. His smooth flow and street-born bravado made him an easy sell as a larger-than-life rap personality, eventually leading to the MTV gig and worldwide recognition.
It’s been four years since Xzibit’s last record, and many, many more since he shed that West Coast machismo that made him so famous, but Russia’s Infected Swarm never forgot about Dre and still remember X as the streetwise gangster threatening to pistol-whip snitches that made such a splash in the late 90s. As a tribute to Xzibit, they decided to pay homage in the only way they know how: brutal, straight ignant slams.
What’s most impressive about Infected Swarm’s cover of “Best of Things,” one of the choicest cuts from X’s Restless, is how closely it matches the spirit of the original. The Russian slammers made the wise choice to keep that Dr. Dre produced crunchy backbeat, merely exchanging those little string accents and headbanging bass with some tasty approximated leads and low string chugs and 808 bass drops. The end result is a back-alley banger that interchanges Xzibit’s smooth flow and Dre’s compelling rhythm for pig squeals and pinch harmonics. For comparison, here’s the original.
See how smoothly the original and cover flow together? Yeah, that’s the stuff.
As it turns out, X’s absurd take on “And We Run” with Within Temptation wasn’t a fluke. The biggest man in LA truly is a perfect match for ignorant music for white people. I know what I’ll be bumping in my Nissan Sentra when I want to wear chinos and oxfords and still feel like doing hoodrat things.