August 20, 2023

Cilvaringz - I (2007)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: RPEG001

© 2007 Ringz & Partners Entertainment Group 
It took six years for Wu-Tang Killa Bee Cilvaringz to put together his first album, titled, appropriately, I, and as it stands, it was worth the wait. The record is an intense, political, reflective 21-track set that touches upon Jewish-Arabic relations, the United States' political agenda, war, love, terrorism, and hip-hop itself. With verses from the RZAGhostfaceGZARaekwonMethod Man, and Masta Killa, among others, Cilvaringz puts enough talent and credibility behind him that even if his rhymes can't hold, his guests' can. Fortunately, this is hardly the case. Ringz is a confident, skilled rapper with a strong, old-school-flavored flow that rests somewhere between Ghostface's and Brother Ali's. He's aggressive, pulling his lines along instead of letting them chase him. "King Kong bullets and ping pong, with buffering/Shook ones that t-t-t-t-t-took to stuttering," he spits in "Dart Tournament," while in "'Death to America'" (note the extra set of quotation marks) he takes things slower, more like spoken word than anything else, angrily spitting out the crimes, both historical and contemporary, of the U.S. and Britain. It's provocative, and Cilvaringz knows it, and because of it, he's careful to state that the "death to America" message is only what he "hear[s] everyday" in the Moroccan streets as well as to put a disclaimer in the liner notes regarding the album's participants' lack of awareness of his anti-Western message. Musically, though, this is definitely a Wu-Tang-affiliated and -inspired record, with the RZA's stamp all over it, even in the songs he wasn't directly connected to (he has clearly influenced Cilvaringz's approach to production, for instance), with the typical skits and violins and film samples. The rapper makes it his own, however, by using Arabic prayer and poetry, also getting dark, melodic beats from MathematicsFourth DiscipleBronze Nazareth, and True Master, as well as from the RZA himself, of course. All together, it's effective, and powerful, and gives I a weight and importance that not a lot of other rap albums can truly claim. [The deluxe edition of I also comes with a bonus DVD, which contains interviews with both Cilvaringz and the RZA, concert footage, behind-the-scenes footage, and a photo gallery, among other things.]

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tags: cilvaringz, i, 1, 2007, flac,