Review The Artist (32)
According to the dictionary the word zero is a numerical symbol that represents the absolute absence of any quantity or magnitude. It is the lowest possible point or degree, nothing, zilch, nada, nil. Over the years the word zero has come to represent the average brother struggling to survive in the wake of devastating poverty and institutional racism that has regulate young Black men to the bottom of Americas socio-economic latter; hence the reason why Houston native and Rap-A-Lot latest rap sensation Z-RO chose the numerical symbol for his stage moniker. I come from nothing, says Z-RO. Didnt have nothing and couldnt see nothing up ahead. Everything was just nothing. So I told myself a long time ago that I am going to adopt the name of nothing and make something with it. I took that name to keep me grounded and to remind me of where I came from and to respect my blessings right now so I dont go back that way.
It was through hip-hop that Z-Ro found a channel for his experiences. While playing basketball at Willow Ridge High, he was also getting good grades. "I mean, I was doin' it right," he says. Then, another setback. He got shot, and couldn't pass the physical to play ball. To this day, Z-Ro carries the shell casing in his body. "I was like 'I can't play ball no more, I don't want to be robbin' and shit, let me give this rap shit a try,'" he says.
Z-Ro, born Born Joseph Wayne McVey in Houston's South Park area, (Also home to Scarface) states "It was the regular lil' ghetto life, ya know?" says the rapper of his formative years. "I wasn't born into no ghetto, my people had money so I was goin' to a good elementary school. But then tragedy strikes - my momma die. I'm livin' house to house now, 'cos don't nobody want an extra mouth to feed." Times were hard, and with no fatherly guidance, a young Z-Ro had to fend for himself. It wasn't until Z-Ro grew older, that the trauma of his mother's death hit him. She died from cancer, and at 20 years old, Z-Ro still very much remembers. "I was six-years-old, I seen my momma when the paramedics came in, took her up off the bed, with a sheet over her face," he recalls. "I ain't know what that meant at six-years-old. I thought 'damn, why y'all messin' with my momma, she asleep'. When I got into my first apartment at 15, then it hit me for real, 'cos I was payin' all the bills. It tore me up. By this time he had moved to Missouri City (a Houston suburb known to locals as Mo' City')"I was on my own pretty much 'til 13," he continues. "I got 13 and I moved back with my grandmother. From then on, it was crazy. Thats when shit started to get real, recalls Z-Ro. A nigga started experiencing muthafuckers gettin' shot, killin' themselves, drugs, stab wounds and all that other type of shit. That shit hit me like a storm. I got caught up in the underflow. I became a product of that for real, I became a muthafuckin' threat.
A veteran of 16 albums at the age of 28 and an acclaimed member of Houston's Screwed Up Click, Z-Ro is much more complex than his surface or the simple intro of THE LIFE OF JOSEPH W. MCVEY may imply. Started making music with befriended local rap group, Street Military, who were signed to EMI-. "I'd go over they house, we playin' ball, smokin' weed, and around 8 o'clock, Lil' Flea used to come downstairs and be like 'look, we gonna start recording. Everybody that ain't recording, get the fuck out! If you ain't here to work, leave'," recollects Z-Ro. "So I stayed, just to peep out the process. They was writin', bobbin' they head, smokin' weed, singin' and shit. I fell in love with that and it seemed like overnight it came to me, ya know? I had always been in singing groups and church choirs, my old man played music, my momma used to sing. It was in my genes already, I just had to tap into it". Now a member of Street Military's Killa Klan collective, with his rap skills being honed, Z-Ro found himself inducted into DJ Screw's infamous Screwed-Up Click in 1997 his fiery, toe-taggin body-baggin & braggin style contrasted with the slowed-down crew. But Screw wasn't the only one to pick up on Z-Ro's talent, and what followed over the next five years were a string of independent albums, considered by fans around the world to be Down South classics.
His first major appearance on Houstons rap scene came with his unforgettable freestyle cameo on Wreckshop Records Ghetto Dreams back in 1998. From there, Z-Ro made a name for himself on the production/ghostwriting tip, penning lyrics and making beats for everybody from Big T to Big Moe. His own hardcore but heartful lyrics garnered him so much underground fame as a member of Guerrilla Maab that is caused a series of break-ups and make-ups within the group. In 1998, Z-Ro released his first album Look What U Did To Me, 1999 saw the release of the equally lauded Rise by the Guerilla Maab, a group Z-Ro formed with his cousin Trae, and brother Dougie-D, followed up two years later in 2000 with his second solo album, the acclaimed Z-Ro Vs. The World. Z-Ro continued to impress his underground following with his third album released King Of The Ghetto 2001. Songs like "World Wide" and "Still My Life" combined strong subject matter with commercial and club appeal, and with Z-Ro's numerous guest appearances on releases from the likes of Big Moe, DJ Screw and ESG, the rapper enjoyed a growing following of loyal fans. "Each album was like a stepping stone to now," adds Z-Ro. "On my first album I did free shows, my second album I did $500 shows, and so on. The more money starts building up in my pocket, okay, now the more dope I am, ya know what I'm sayin'?" As such, Z-Ro shows are guaranteed roadblocks throughout the South. Prolific output isn't the only thing he has in common with hardcore legends such as Too Short and Rap-A-Lot icon Scarface; Z-Ro also cuts his hard-edged street delivery with a haunting, almost hypnotic, introspection. Z-Ro released three albums the next year, releasing two albums on KMJ and one on Presidential. In 2004, Z-Ro released an album on Rap-A-Lot, but was sent to jail soon afterward for drug charges. His old label, KMJ released another album soon after even though he was no longer on the label. In 2005, Z-Ro teamed up with fellow S.U.C. member Lil' Flip for his latest album, 'Kings Of the South'. Months later he released his tenth album titled, 'Let the Truth Be Told', on Asylum. Produced by a slew of the Souths hottest producers lead by the legendary Mike Dean Let the Truth Be Told stands as one of the best records that the label has released in a while. True to Rap-a-Lot and Z-ROs tradition of keeping their music real street is the lead single entitled The Mule featuring label-mate Devin the Dude & Juvenile, a slow and nasty song that harks back to the randy tradition of the Geto Boys This Dick is for You jam. For those that dont know hitting them with the mule means fucking the dog shit outta somebodys daughter, explains Z-Ro. Another standout track is the heartfelt song Im Going Platinum, a song that displays Z-RO positive outlook on his career. While these songs help to give the album a variety it is the hardcore, take-no-prisoners attitude of songs like the title page that make Let the Truth be Told so irresistible. With appearances in XXL, The Source, and Murder Dog in 2003, the world is beginning to embrace a new superstar in our midst. But don't judge Z-Ro on the fact that he dissed the so-called biggest rap star in the world, on the aforementioned "Bitch Nigga". There's so much more to him than that. He truly is the 'Mo City Don'.
Im gonna let the truth be told on faggot-ass police. Im let the truth be told on these faggot-ass CEOs of these record labels, I let the truth be told on these faggot-ass niggas in the street, Im letting the truth be told on these rappers thats one thing about me is I tell like it is. You can call me a label muthafucka because I put labels on muthafuckas. Its a lotta muthafuckas rapping from the 3rd person man. They just there to talk about shit in general. Me, Im gonna talk about some particular shit or some particular muthafuckas. If I feel like a muthafuckas being less than a G then Im gonna say it on my shit. Thats why I called it Let The Truth be Told.
And to All my real niggas and my real bitches, and my real women, grown-ass men, ya know responsible baby daddies, responsible baby mama-type people, keep supportin Z-Ro and keep buyin that Guerilla Maab and be on the lookout for Traes new shit, Dougie Ds new shit, keep buying S.L.A.B. keep supportin that, and keep supportin Gangstafied and support Houston music we in this, gon be the muthafuckin force to be reckoned with. You know Imma keep puttin out that gutter shit, but at the same time that real shit. Its gonna be full of some gangsta shit, full of some shit to make you cry, full of some shit to make you smile, full of some shit to make you wanna beat a muthafucka up. Its gon be the same shit on every release so I need my same fans and hopefully I can get a few new ones along the way. And last but not least, these mothafuckas might think you last in the race but when the smoke clears, were gonna see whose the last mothafuckin man standin.
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Inspiration | Reviewer: Full_time.player | 1/19/13
"I keep on screaming Im not a role model, but children still wanna be like me, and C like me, I hope they never get to see the penitentiary like me, cuzz it aint nothin else to be like free..."
Mayne...this the same shit I be tryna tell my lil cuzzins. They grew up watching me run the streets and now they all wanna be like me. I done changed my ways and became a working, productive member of society and now I be tryna tell them that the life I used to life aint the life they wanna life, but they aint tryna hear that shit. That's why I'm glad the rap game still got real niggas like Z-RO so I can have somebody to vouch for me when I be tryna talk to these lil niggas. Thanks for being so real RO...U keep music relevant in my life.
"Fill up churches Sunday morning like clubs Saturday night,
and have a good worship service just like we have a good fight..."
s.u.c. fuc hataz | Reviewer: wyte mike | 12/4/12
Z-ro trae street military s.u.c. spm ugk j-dawg all day in c.c. TX. Say ro I relate.1 I found me.no help.hate u bich. But.respect.look wat u did.tha police. Hataz . slap dat nicca. Friends. Waitin on still is wat it is.abn g-maab slab. All day.fuc all wac radio rappaz
Look What This World Did Us. | Reviewer: melissa | 11/14/12
Zro? You inspired me. On some real shit! Im a female mexican,I melissagrew up in southeast Telephone road;Houston,Texas. Lived in 5th ward for a few years im 17 now . In a rehab at the moment readin your autobiography on a role model tryna get these credits up you feel me? Hard timess...I feel that but im make it through .
Faviorate song ? Gotta say Its look what you did to me and the whole relvis presley album. You doin good zro keep y ahead up.
Time To Let The Truth Be Told!! | Reviewer: Jorge Christian Charles | 10/22/12
By saying "To let the truth be told" i am saying that your music inspires me in every way and I would love to meet you one day and tell you about my "Hard Times" and how I am growing up already. I am only 15 years old but I Bang To Your music every time I am Cruisin, Your songs are all I listen to when I'm down on my NORTH-SIDE Reppin the Blue flag and every new song I hear from you, my eyes open up wider and realize that i have similar feelings and singing along to your song is how "I" express myself!! Thanks a lot JOSEPH Wayne McVey for letting me express myself the way you do!!
legondary status | Reviewer: Gerald Snyder | 9/22/12
With so many People tryint to know what tha south is really like all they gotta do is listen to Z-RO on of tha realest to to this rap shit I thik better yet I know z-ro is one of tha greatest rappers alive u can go tom my Home Town of Pine Bluff Arkansas an tha whole city be mobbin to That boi Z-RO
as a matter of fact I moved to Kansas City MO. an all I jam is Scarface an Z-RO THA REALEST NIGGAS OUT CHEA`
hood life | Reviewer: dominique Jr | 9/14/12
Aye mayne Zro I started listenin to yu since I was bout 5 mayne and errthang yu said is true in yo music dawg I mean I ben thru a lot frum gangbangin to weed meth herion it all but I always wanted a betta like mayne nd you kno wat all yo music inspired me as well as thousands soo wen tha world come at me sideways I blast yo music cuh all yo shyt is real homie and if I knew you. Then mayne I wuld hav ben paid yo bail bond mayne soo we culd kick it nd share prollums hopefully yu get out and we could still do dis hope you see this add my facebook name gizzy dizzy domo and real shyt mayne ill help you just soo you can put out moe music and put a life out der for yo kids man
Life | Reviewer: Christina | 8/9/12
Z-Ro.....by far you are the greatest rapper alive! First time I heard you was in 2000 my freshman yr I was 14, I was introduced by my older sister who by far I swear is your biggest fan. By the time I was 15 I got in the wrong crowd and ended up on meth and spent my 16th birthday in rehab. Your music inspired me to get back up and keep pushing forward. I graduated in 2005 and was so proud till I found myself pregnant. Had my dau and she was sick in the hosp and passed at 5 months after that I felt my life spiraling down but ur music always made me feel better. Life goes on, shit happens to you it's how u get up that determines you. Coming from nothing Nd making it into something by sharing ur experiences and facing life is real music to me. It's poetry....I have so much respect for you and hope to meet you one day!
Da Trap Shit Ya Helped Me Through | Reviewer: Why do it matter? | 6/18/12
Man, real talk ZRO is the realest dawg! Man I'm from Austin, Texas reppin 45 if ya from down here den you know what I mean!! I'm white okay, I came up in the hood and was just all in with that gutta shit at first! I idolized selling crack from all the under ground Texas rappers and didn't get it that it wasn't necessary. I was growing up in that shit and grew up with my twin friends and and they really drew me into ZRO and UGK and I only got respect from them. No one took me seriously cuz I was white and after awhile I just slipped whooped this persons ass for dissin me cuz I was hood and white. Years later after I got my respect I ran into him and his blood click and I got jumped and stabbed to near death on my street and it wasn't till someone came out and busted a round to scare the bloods away that they stopped, they wanted death cuz of my past beef. I dropped outta school and started slangin roks for money. One day I was on my parents front porch grinding and I see someone creeping candy red on swangas and I saw the blood that I had beef with in the car with a gun. I ran inside and grabbed my 45 and busted at them but didn't kill no one and got locked up. I was hangin with the black crowd in da pen and one day got asked to snitch and I refused but the pigs said I would only be with the blacks if I wanted to snitch them out to get out, I didn't fold. When I came out of the pen I finally got da respected I earned and ZRO's earlier music like look at what you did to me influenced me to get back in school cuz I'm smart so I can change my ways. I'm writing this to let y'all real hustlas to keep yo head up and if you wanna change you can cuz I got hooked up with a good job at a car repair shop and I'm making more than decent money but still keep it hood. I still smoke and sip and I've got 84z on my lac but I got a real job but I ain't dissin the streets and ain't dissin you if you dealing but keep yo grind on grindas! Holdin it down south side 45!!
z-ro | Reviewer: gonzales | 4/9/12
man, been a die hard fan of z-ro evr since i was lil. i couldn rly understand wat he was sayn bein so young but wen i strtd payn attention it was like...maaaaannnee thts tha shit. i grew up poor n WACO, TEX, tht co-town. i mean aint had 2 hard of a life cuz ima smart nigga but i feel so close 2 hs lyrics its crazy. z-ro if u read this comment just kno i alwayz got ur bak n aint gotta say u doin a gud job r any shit like tht cuz man if u only knew how many fanz u actually got n how many yung ppl luk up 2 u, im sure itd blow ur mind, u could sweep the floor out frm under all these hoe ass half n a quarter ass fake ass big name rapperz out there rite now (young money). we holdn it dwn 4 u out here n waco, got love 4 tha king of tha ghetto
Sad Girll | Reviewer: Sad Girll | 3/28/12
I'm 16 now and when i started jammin to Ro, i was 9 or 10.. at that time i didn't kare much about him, i was more into that tupac shit and spm.. don't get me wrong, i still like them foo's but on everything i love, Z-Ro's the Man. The stuff he speaks in his tracks are realistic, not that fake shit rappers now a days be rappin about. i wake up in the morning and jam to his shit, i come home from skool and jamm to his shit, i go to SLEEP jammin to his shit! me & My 2 brother idolize Ro, and real talk, Z-Ro is the Nigga that made me who i am today, i am now realizing there's other foo's out there going thru what i'm goin thru. & it's a trip khuz my oldest brother has the same birthday as Ro. i love this foo, i hope he never quits, i know he won't..... Z-Ro the Crooked, The Mo City Don, i salute to you ma brotha..
Z'ro | Reviewer: 50 | 3/6/12
I have almost all the Z'ro cd's. I haven't never been disappointed yet. The 3 hardest songs to me is 1) Respect my mind. 2) Help me please and from the guerilla maab cd 3) speak on it. For anyone reading this don't sleep on Z'ro. Not that this matters but I'm a 49 year old white dude and I still jam a Z'ro almost everyday.
As A Z-Ro Fan i Belive He The Best Rapper Alive ! | Reviewer: Marko Cadena | 6/19/11
i started jamming to z-ro because i liked the way his music sound , but never payed attention to the lyrics until one day i was jamming to help me please and i noticed he was actually speaking his life & other peoples lives but in a way making them feel better , since that they i started paying attention to his lyrics & in every lyric their a meaning to me or my niggas that jam with me while we smoke some weed , but i realized that what he says is th actual truth , i had alot of hate in me but i see z-ro went trhu the same shit as me & when i feel his music is like his thier for me as a brother , i love to rap his my inspiration i wish one day z-ro will hit me up & sign me up with him in a record !
but to be honest Z-Ro The King Of The Ghetto Yr The Mofuckin Man The King Of Music Dawg , !
southpark | Reviewer: shay-ro | 5/27/11
listen to him for day next week had all his albums have good days at school when i here your songs seeing what you went through makes my problems seem much easier even got my name change to shay-ro fav rapper just like the father i never had in a song you tell it all ilyy so much
alyssa sosa falfurrias tx | Reviewer: amy regalado | 4/11/11
dude i effin luv your msic z-ro i listen to it everyday even in mi room i have a radio wit speakerss nd wen im depressd or sumthng i turn on my radio full blast nd its all bumpin nd i strt tryng to wrt mi own sng yur lik my idol
Best Rapper Alive | Reviewer: Brina | 3/7/11
In My Book Z-Ro , Is Indeed The Best Rapper Alive. He Speak On Real Life Shid In EVERY Song He Puts Out. And If You Real, You'd Feel A Nigga Who Speak On Real Shid At All Times, We Live In Reality, Not No Dream, LaLa Land. He Not Like Other Rappers, Constantly Talkin Bout Fuckin Hoes & Love & Cars & Clothes And Shid . He Speaks On Real Life Shid And For That , That Nigga Tha Best Rapper Alive... He Actually Lives What He Raps And Not Too Many Rappers Do That...
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