Alvin Nathaniel Joiner, better known as the rapper Xzibit, and superproducer Dr. Dre recently wrapped up a legal win against three individuals who sued the West Coast icons over their Brass Knuckles cannabis brand. But Mr. X-to-the-Z sounds ready to take one of the largest entertainment companies around, Viacom, to court because they allegedly held back his money from the popular MTV show Pimp My Ride.
“While I’m at it, hey @viacom_intl, why is it you’ve made millions off the show #PimpMyRide I carried on my back and found ways to cut me out?” he posted on Instagram two days ago. Xzibit also uploaded images of what appears to be the financials of his contract with MTV, which Viacom owned until 2019. “Like saying I would get percentages of all merch sold, let alone streaming(which wasn’t even in the contract) and putting in the fine print ‘with my name and likeness’ then proceed to take my ‘name and likeness’ off of ALL the merchandise including DVD sales after season 1? To top that, you guys went back and EDITED all of my music out of ALL entire seasons in order to avoid paying me for my publishing.”
Pimp My Ride was one of MTV’s most popular shows during the early 2000s, and Xzibit hosted the U.S. version of the series for all six of its seasons. He was one of the biggest faces of car modding culture during that time, so much that he even appeared in other fictional programs as himself, like The Boondocks, where Riley Freeman tries to get Xzibit to “pimp” Granddad Riley’s car, too.
Joiner also sat with “TMZ Hip Hop” to break down his side of the argument in further detail.
“They didn’t pay me a lot to host the show. I didn’t own the [intellectual property], but they did build the show off my back. People, when they talk about Pimp My Ride, they associate it with me,” he revealed. “So it was in the contract, what I thought was ironclad, that as the show grew and progressed, the money they weren’t paying me for actually being on the program… the compromise [from Viacom] was, ‘We’re gonna use your music in every episode, we’re going to give you a percentage of everything going forward… and then, after Season 1, the fine print read, ‘with my name and likeness.’”
“If you look at the first season of Pimp My Ride, on the DVDs, it has my face on the cover,” Xzibit continued. “But then, everything [from] Season 2 forward, they just have a car.”
But Xzibit hinted at possibly mending fences with Viacom and moving forward with them again. “We’ve had a great relationship in the past. I mean, who knows what the future brings,” he shared with TMZ.
“But this particular situation was a big one, and it was a big part of my life. Pimp My Ride changed my life,” he continued. Xzibit also added that “it’s also a sore spot because I know I was systematically cut out of things that should’ve been rightfully mine.”
But as of right now, Viacom has given no official response to his claims.