|Birth name||Joseph Wayne McVey IV|
|Also known as||The Mo City Don|
|Born||January 19, 1977|
Houston, United States
|Origin||Missouri City, Texas, U.S.|
Joseph Wayne McVey IV (born January 19, 1977), better known by his stage names Z-Ro and the Mo City Don, is an American rapper from Houston, Texas. He was named one of America's most underrated rappers by The New York Times in 2007.
Early life and career
Z-Ro was born Joseph Wayne McVey IV in Houston's South Park neighborhood on January 19, 1977. When he was six, his mother died, and he was shuttled from household to household in search of stability, eventually settling in the Ridgemont area, a middle-class neighborhood in Southwest Houston near the suburb of Missouri City. When Z-Ro reached his late teens he was unemployed and resorted to drug dealing and hustling on the streets. According to Z-Ro, listening to the music of 2Pac, Geto Boys, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Street Military, K-Rino and Klondike Kat inspired him to work harder for his goal of leaving the streets. Z-Ro discovered his talent of freestyle rapping and after going through a couple of recording studios to make a demo, the CEO of a local label discovered and signed him.
Z-Ro released his critically acclaimed Rap-a-Lot debut titled The Life of Joseph W. McVey. The record was a huge success and helped expand Z-Ro's fan base beyond the South. In 2005, Z-Ro released Let the Truth Be Told, which was well received. Z-Ro's 2006 album I'm Still Livin' was released while he was imprisoned for drug possession, to positive reviews. It was called "a great album... powerful" but "relentlessly bleak" by The Village Voice and "one of the best rap albums to come out of Houston" by the Houston Chronicle. In 2010 he released the album titled Heroin, which was followed by an album titled Meth in 2011 and then Angel Dust in 2012.
Z-Ro released his first EP under The Mo City Don titled Tripolar on August 25, 2013, via One Deep Ent. Z-Ro then followed up with The Crown in June 2014. In February 2015, Z-Ro released his first proper studio album in three years, titled Melting the Crown.
In 2016, Z-Ro released Drankin & Drivin in August and Legendary in November under his label One Deep Entertainment.
In 2017, Z-Ro announced he was retiring and released No Love Boulevard in June as his final album. He came out of retirement 6 months later and released Codeine in December.
In 2018, Z-Ro released Sadism on November 16 under One Deep Entertainment and was distributed by EMPIRE.
In 2020, Z-Ro released an EP titled Quarantine, The Social Distancing EP with appearances from rapper Boosie Badazz, Slim Thug, Lanlawd and late rapper Wicket Cricket. He then later released an album titled Rohammad Ali on June 26.
In 2021, Z-Ro along with S.U.C. rapper Mike D released a collaboration album titled 2 The Hardway with appearances from Slim Thug, Lil' Keke, Beanz from the production duo, Beanz N Kornbread, Klondike Kat, Grace from Grace Boys, Duke Gutta, Oticia Redmond, C-Note, Big Pokey, and Lil' O.
In 2022, in a statement to XXL, Z-Ro claims Trae Tha Truth asked to talk to him outside a Houston Restaurant before he allegedly sucker punched him. After that, several men jumped in and continued to assault him.
On July 26, 2017, Z-Ro was arrested after his ex-girlfriend, Just Brittany, accused him of beating her three months earlier. Z-Ro told the media that Brittany was using this accusation to get more publicity for herself as she is also appearing in a reality show on television. On October 10, a grand jury dropped the felony charges. The next day, the Harris County, Texas, district attorney filed misdemeanor charges against Z-Ro on the same alleged incident.
+ List of albums, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
|1998||Look What You Did to Me||—||—|
|2000||Z-Ro vs. the World||—||90|
|2001||King of da Ghetto||—||—|
|2002||Screwed Up Click Representa||—||58|
|2004||The Life of Joseph W. McVey||170||27|
|2005||Let the Truth Be Told||69||14|
|2006||I'm Still Livin'||75||14|
|2007||King of tha Ghetto: Power||197||32|
|2015||Melting the Crown||—||16|
|2016||Drankin' & Drivin'||99||5|
|2017||No Love Boulevard||135||46|
- ^ a b "Texas Birth Index, 1903–1997". FamilySearch.
- ^ a b Amazon.com: Tripolar: The Mo City Don: MP3 Downloads. Amazon.com. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- ^ Z-Ro Biography Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Rapartists.com (January 19, 1976). Retrieved June 21, 2011.
- ^ Sanneh, Kelefa. (May 27, 2007) "A Hip-Hop Hurricane and Other Phenomena" Archived August 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine The New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
- ^ a b c d e f g h "Z-Ro Biography". Artist Direct. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
- ^ "Z-Ro – Biography & History". AllMusic. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- ^ a b Breihan, Tom (December 7, 2006). "Project Pat and Z-Ro: The Unsung Heroes of Southern Rap". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on September 22, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2008.
- ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (May 27, 2007). "A Hip-Hop Hurricane and Other Phenomena". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 14, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2008.
- ^ Peralita, Eyder (November 6, 2006). "Z-Ro breaks ground, visits the past on new CD". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on September 25, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2008.
- ^ a b "The Crown – Z-Ro – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Archived from the original on September 13, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- ^ "Various Artists: Gqom Oh! x Crudo Volta Mixtape Album Review – Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- ^ Caldwell, Brandon (July 7, 2017). "Z-Ro Is Done With Rap; We're Not Better Off For It". Houston Press. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- ^ "Review: Z-Ro's "Sadism" Speaks To Day 1 Houston Fans". HipHopDX. December 10, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- ^ "New Album: Z-Ro 'Rohammad Ali'". Rap Radar. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- ^ 2 The Hardway, retrieved May 10, 2021
- ^ Fitzgerald, Trent. "Z-Ro Claims Trae Tha Truth Asked to Talk and Then Sucker Punched Him". XXL Mag. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
- ^ "Rapper Z-Ro Claims Arrest Was a Publicity Stunt, Won't Address Recording". tmz.com. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- ^ "Rapper Z-RO Dodges Indictment in Just Brittany Beating Case". tmz.com. Archived from the original on February 19, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- ^ "Rapper Z-RO Charged by D.A. in Just Brittany Beating Case After Grand Jury Passes". tmz.com. Archived from the original on February 20, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- ^ allmusic ((( Z-Ro > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))
- ^ "Let the Truth Be Told – Z-Ro – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Archived from the original on September 12, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- ^ "Cocaine – Z-Ro – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Archived from the original on September 12, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- ^ "Angel Dust – Z-Ro – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Archived from the original on August 14, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- 1977 births
- African-American male rappers
- Southern hip hop musicians
- Living people
- Musicians from Houston
- Rappers from Houston
- Screwed Up Click members
- Underground rappers
- Rap-A-Lot Records artists
- Gangsta rappers
- 21st-century American rappers
- 21st-century American male musicians
- People from Missouri City, Texas
- 20th-century African-American people
- 21st-century African-American musicians