Arif Zahir

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Arif Zahir Lopés-Thrower[1] (born April 15, 1994[2]) is an American actor, rapper, singer, songwriter, voice impressionist, and Internet personality also known by his online alias Azerrz and his stage name 4rif.[3][4] His channel features voice impressions of a plethora of celebrities and cartoon characters and he has 6+ million subscribers.[5][6][7] He is most notable for voicing Cleveland Brown on Family Guy after Mike Henry (voice actor).[8][9][10][11]

Arif Zahir
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Born (1994-04-15) April 15, 1994 (age 27)
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Alma materHussian School of Art
Occupation
  • Actor
  • rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • voice impressionist
  • internet personality
Years active2007–present
Musical career
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Genres
  • Hip hop music
Instruments
  • Vocals
YouTube information
Channels
Years active2007–present
Genre
  • Gaming
  • sketch comedy
  • comedy music
Subscribers
  • 6.51 million (Azerrz)
  • 169K (4rif)
Total views
  • 679.5 million (Azerrz)
  • 5.8 million (4rif)
Updated December 15, 2020

Early life and education

Zahir is an African-American of Cape Verdean descent and was born on April 15, 1994 in Berkeley, California. He was partially raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts where he attended Nativity Preparatory School and Keith Middle School before moving back to California in 2007.[12] He was raised by his mother alongside his older sister, Aaliyah.

Zahir began doing voice impressions in middle school to impress his classmates. He originally made a YouTube channel in 2007 which focused on performing magic tricks.[13] Zahir was urged to make a YouTube channel focused on voice impressions by his friends and family.[14] After doing so and finding success he started attending Hussian School of Art campus in Los Angeles. He later dropped out to spend more time focusing on his YouTube career.[15]

Career

Zahir created his YouTube channel in 2012 but posted his first video in 2013.[3] He started out by posting comedic sketches, gaming videos, and videos of himself performing voice impressions of both cartoon characters and real celebrities.[8][16][17] Zahir garnered initial success through his voice impressions which he started doing in 2011.[18][19][20] One of the first voices Zahir did was of Cleveland Brown who he would go on to voice several years later.[21][22][23]

Zahir landed his first acting role playing a character named Arif in the short film No One But Lydia.[24] Starting in 2018 he became a recurring cast member on How It Should Have Ended voicing Black Panther (character) / T'Challa.[25] Through community challenges and his first viral hit with "Ted Plays Call of Duty" (which has over 20M+ views), Arif quickly grew his channel to over 6.5+ million subscribers and 650+ million views.[26]

He is also a rapper and singer and releases music under the moniker 4rif.[27][4] He released his debut album At Last Sight on August 30, 2019.[28] He followed it up with an Extended play Go Gadget/Blues Clues which was released on April 29, 2020 in collaboration with rapper DLNQNT.[29]

On June 26, 2020, Mike Henry (voice actor), who had voiced Cleveland Brown since 1999, announced he was stepping down and believed a person of color should voice the role.[30][31][32] On September 25, 2020 it was announced that Zahir would be voicing Cleveland starting in Family Guy (season 19).[33][34][35][36]

Filmography

Film roles

Year Title Role Notes
2014 No One But Lydia[24] Arif Short film; credited as Arif Lopes
2016 Eraser[37] Death Short film; credited as Arif Lopes
The Invisible Shadow[38] The Bagged Man Short film; credited as Arif Lopes
2017 Everyone But Me[39] Andre[40] Short film
Hues and Hidden Kings[41] A Hidden King Short film
2019 The Golden Realm: An American Larping Experience[42] Peter, Kalthor Short film

Television roles

Year Title Role Notes
2016 Cliffhanger[43] Ted 3 episodes
2018 G.P.A.[44] Xander Holland[45] 4 episodes[46][47][48][49]
2018-present How It Should Have Ended[50] Black Panther / T'Challa 3 episodes; voice role[51][52][53][54]
2019 Internet Rich[55] Himself[56] 1 episode
2020-present Party Chat[57] Arif[58] Web series; also producer[59]
2020 VENN: Arcade Live[60] Himself Episode "Voice Impressions with Azerrz + WWE Superstar Zelina Vega Throw Down"[61]
2020–present Family Guy[62][63][64] Cleveland Brown[65][66][67] Replaced Mike Henry (voice actor) after he stepped down[9][8][68]
2021 Rocky[69] Clubber[70] Upcoming; voice role
Robot Chicken TBA Upcoming

Video game roles

Year Title Role Notes
2018[71] No Way Out - A Dead Realm Tale[72] Edgar, William Huxley, Librarian, Clown Voice roles

Music video roles

Year Song Artist Role Director
2018 Down the Line[73] Lokl Yokl The Bartender Ryan Rosenblum
Drunk With You[74] Joe Thomas Carter featuring 4rif Himself Zane Morrow
2019 August[75] 4rif Fowluh
Gimme Ya Lovin'[76] Joe Thomas Carter featuring 4rif Christina Xing
2020 At Last Sight/Kids[28] 4rif[77]
The Window[78] Ryan Rosenblum

Discography

Albums

List of albums
Title Details
At Last Sight
  • Released: August 30, 2019[28]
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
TBA
  • Releasing: 2021[79]
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming

Extended plays

List of extended plays
Title EP details
Go Gadget/Blues Clues (with DLNQNT)
  • Released: April 29, 2020[80][81]
  • Format: Digital download, streaming

Singles

As lead artist

List of singles as lead artist

Title Year Album
“August”[75] 2018 At Last Sight
“Summers End”[82] 2019 non-album single
“Wonderful Miracles”[83] At Last Sight
“Channel Lovely”[84]
“Go Gadget” (with DLNQNT)[85] 2020 Go Gadget/Blues Clues[86]
“Blues Clues” (with DLNQNT)[87]
“Favorite Girl”[88] TBA
“Ignore Me”[89] TBA

As featured artist

List of singles as featured artist

Title Year Album
"Hope County" (NerdOut featuring 4rif and Legiqn)[90] 2018 Year 3
"Drunk With You" (Joe Thomas Carter featuring 4rif)[74] non-album single
"Gimme Ya Lovin'" (Joe Thomas Carter featuring 4rif)[76] 2019 non-album single
"G League" (DLNQNT featuring 4rif)[91] DZJNTD Vol. 1 – DNT PLY

References

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  2. Zahir, Arif (April 15, 2020). "Happy birthday babyyyy @Azerrz". Twitter. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Azerrz's YouTube Stats (Summary Profile) – Social Blade Stats". socialblade.com. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "4rif's YouTube Stats (Summary Profile) – Social Blade Stats". socialblade.com. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  5. Schneider, Michael (2020-09-25). "'Family Guy' Casts YouTube Star Arif Zahir as the New Voice of Cleveland Brown". Variety. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  6. Moore, Camille (2020-10-02). "10 Things You Didn't Know about Arif Zahir". TVOvermind. Retrieved 2020-12-20.
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  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Schneider, Michael; Schneider, Michael (2020-09-25). "'Family Guy' Casts YouTube Star Arif Zahir as the New Voice of Cleveland Brown". Variety. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  9. 9.0 9.1 CNN, Leah Asmelash. "'Family Guy' finds new voice for Cleveland Brown". CNN. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  10. "'Family Guy' casts YouTube star Arif Zahir as Cleveland Brown". NBC News. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  11. "YouTuber Arif Zahir Cast as Cleveland's New Voice on 'Family Guy'". TMZ. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  12. October 28, Phil PaleologosPublished; 2020. "New Bedford Native the New Voice of Cleveland Brown [PHIL-OSOPHY]". 1420 WBSM. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
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