BY MATT RAEBURN
For the Daily
Published April 15, 2001
A new European hip-hop artist is about to become a star. Emerging out of Holland he is presently recording his debut album. Cilvaringz is a Dutch rapper who with persistence and perseverance found an ear to listen to his demo. His story begins as most do with a dream of making it big doing something you love.
Cilvaringz was born Tarik Azzougarh in 1979 in Dordrecht Holland. His career began at the ripe age of five when he learned to break dance. He first decided to pursue a career in rapping in 1991-1992 when Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg released new albums. In 1993 Wu-Tang released their debut album and his attraction to them was "love at first sight." Later that year he met rapper Moongod Allah and they formed Pat-T-Rex. They gained local fame but Cilvaringz dreamed of more. He collected everything Wu-Tang released and tried to contact them several times to no avail. Somewhere along the way Tarik became Cilvaringz in honor of Wu-Tang clan"s resident producer, RZA"s five rings.
Years went by and Cilvaringz continued to perform on stage and make a name for himself in Europe. His breakthrough came in "97 when Wu was scheduled to take the stage at the Melkweg in Amsterdam. At one point in the show RZA invited emcees from the crowd to come up and freestyle. Cilvaringz pushed his way to the front and grabbed the mic from Method Man"s hand. After twenty-four bars he left the entire stage speechless. To his amazement, RZA asked him to hang around so they could talk after the show. But it was not to be when a security guard threw him off the stage and back into his old life.
The setback did not deter Cilvaringz from continuing his dream of joining Wu-Tang. He traveled to New York to find RZA but had no success. He could only leave his demo for him at Wu-Wear. Although on that same trip he met the key to his future, RZA"s sister Sophia Diggs. Cilvaringz kept in contact with Sophia and in February "99 he flew back to New York for one last chance at Wu stardom. He stood outside RZA"s office for six hours waiting for him to leave. Sophia just happened to walk by and recognized her long distance friend. She asked him upstairs to her office and they listened to Cilvaringz"s demo tape. The tape was such a hit in the office, Sophia telephoned incarcerated Ghostface Killah to hear and she also called her brother RZA in to listen. Two hours later, Cilvaringz signed with Wu-Tang international.
Now Cilvaringz is living his dream of being a recording artist under Wu-Tang. He is currently recording in both New York and Paris. Unlike most rap artists, he prefers to perform with a live band. Personally he works on a piano producing many of his own songs. He was some experience on the bass-guitar and wants to learn the violin and harp.
The public"s first taste of Cilvaringz will be in May when French rapper Doc Gyneco releases his new album. Cilvaringz appears as a guest artist on the song "Cousins" with RZA. He can also be heard on the upcoming album from RZA titled, Bobby"s Digital II in July. Cilvaringz will also appear on Wu"s new album The Flood and accompany them on their promotional European tour in September.
His debut album, tentatively titled Killa B-Ching, is set to come out this fall. Cilvaringz says his main goal for this album is to appeal to the die-hard fans "because a lot of Wu-fans feel abandoned." The album is divided into two specific parts. The first called the "Shaolin School," means the art of dart throwing. The second is titled the "Allah School," meaning wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Each name has special meaning for him. Cilvaringz said it was hard to pick which track was his favorite. The song about his struggle to make it into Wu after five years as a European artist has a special place in his heart. He listens to that track titled, "The Epic of Bitter Triumph" everyday. Another reason why he loves this song is because 4th Disciple produced it. He also says that "The Saga Begins" goes back to the "old gritty Wu-Tang music," and that is the essence of his style. Highlights of the album will be the strong baseline rhythms and the jamming instrumental solos that complement the messages of each track well. Blue Raspberry also adds some sweet backup vocals to various songs. Other featured guests on the album so far will be RZA, Beretta 9, Shabazz the Disciple and 60 Second Assassin from Sunz of Man.
A special track that has more depth in meaning is "War & Peace." This one features Remedy. The significance lies in the fact that Cilvaringz is of Arab descent and Remedy is Jewish. The two rap about the situation in Jerusalem and appeal to both sides of the issue to make peace not war. They would like to have an impact and show that both Arabs and Jews can live together peacefully.
Surprisingly Cilvaringz does not listen to an intense amount of hip-hop. His eclectic collection includes Hindi music, Irish folklore, Marilyn Manson and Madonna. One of his favorite artists is Detroit"s own Eminem. He says that, "people have to learn how to appreciate his wordplay. They way he plays with words and talks about different topics is miraculous."
If Cilvaringz had to pick just one favorite he would have to choose Shabazz The Disciple and was so psyched about having him appear on a few tracks.
As for other upcoming projects, Cilvaringz is just concentrating on releasing his album. He did offer up other artists he would enjoy collaborating with including Rockbitch, Dr. Dre, The Prodigy (techno group from England), Aaliyah and Michael Jackson. Jackson may seem a stretch right now but Cilvaringz keeps him on the list because he"s "the man that made me appreciate music."
Right now the future looks bright for this rising star. This fall Killa B-Ching will hit the charts and make Cilvaringz the next superstar of Wu-Tang. Whether in Europe or the United States this newcomer to will bring back Wu"s roots and help lead the way down roads yet to be discovered in the world of hip-hop.