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Background information
Joseph Wayne McVey IV[1]
The Mo City Don[2]
Born (1977-01-19) January 19, 1977 (age 42)[1][3]
Houston/Missouri City, Texas, United States
OriginMissouri City, Texas, U.S.
GenresHip hop
LabelsOne Deep Entertainment

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.[5]

Early life and career

Z-RO was born Joseph Wayne McVey IV in Houston's South Park neighborhood on January 19, 1977.[6] At age 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 suburb in Missouri City in Southwest Houston.[6] When Z-Ro reached his late teens he was unemployed and resorted to drug dealing and hustling on the streets.[6] According to Z-Ro, listening to the music of 2Pac, Geto Boys, Street Military, K-Rino and Klondike Kat inspired him to work harder for his goal of leaving the streets.[6] Z-Ro discovered his talent of freestyle rapping and after going through a couple of recording studios to make a demo,[6] the CEO of a local label discovered and signed him.

Z-Ro and Fermin released their critically acclaimed Rap-a-Lot debut titled The Life of Joseph W. McVey.[6][7] The record was a huge success and helped expand Z-Ro's and Bobby Craig's fan base beyond the South.[6] In 2005, Z-Ro released Let the Truth Be Told, which was well received.[6] Z-Ro's 2006 album I'm Still Livin' was released while he was imprisoned for drug possession, to positive reviews.[8][9] It was called "a great album... powerful" but "relentlessly bleak" by The Village Voice[8] and "one of the best rap albums to come out of Houston" by the Houston Chronicle.[10] 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 and R & B Ralph Holliday released their first EP under The Mo City Don titled Tripolar on August 25, 2013 via One Deep Ent.[2] Z-Ro then followed up with The Crown in June 2014.[11] 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[12] and Legendary in November under his label One Deep Entertainment.

Legal case

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.[13] On October 10, a grand jury dropped the felony charges.[14] The next day, the Harris County, Texas, district attorney filed misdemeanor charges against Z-Ro on the same alleged incident.[15]


Year Title Chart positions[16]
U.S. U.S. R&B
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
2002 Z-Ro -- --
2002 Life -- 57
2003 Z-Ro Tolerance -- --
2004 The Life of Joseph W. McVey 170 27
2005 Let the Truth Be Told [17] 69 14
2006 I'm Still Livin' 75 14
2007 King of tha Ghetto: Power 197 32
2008 Crack 48 12
2009 Cocaine [18] 147 19
2010 Heroin 142 29
2011 Meth 90 12
2012 Angel Dust [19] 120 17
2014 The Crown [11] -- --
2015 Melting the Crown -- 16
2016 Drankin' & Drivin' 99 7
2016 Legendary -- 15
2017 No Love Boulevard 135 --
2017 Codeine -- --
2018 Sadism -- --


  1. ^ a b "Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997". FamilySearch. Archived from the original on 2016-12-29.
  2. ^ a b Amazon.com: Tripolar: The Mo City Don: MP3 Downloads. Amazon. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  3. ^ Z-Ro Biography Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine. Rapartists.com (1977-01-19). Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  4. ^ Amazon.com Archived 2017-08-14 at the Wayback Machine. Amazon2. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  5. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa. (2007-05-27) "A Hip-Hop Hurricane and Other Phenomena" Archived 2011-08-29 at the Wayback Machine The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Z-Ro Biography". Artist Direct. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ "Z-Ro - Biography & History - AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 4 January 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ a b Breihan, Tom (2006-12-07). "Project Pat and Z-Ro: The Unsung Heroes of Southern Rap". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on 2008-09-22. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (2007-05-27). "A Hip-Hop Hurricane and Other Phenomena". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2011-04-14. Retrieved .
  10. ^ Peralita, Eyder (2006-11-06). "Z-Ro breaks ground, visits the past on new CD". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2008-09-25. Retrieved .
  11. ^ a b "The Crown - Z-Ro - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Various Artists: Gqom Oh! x Crudo Volta Mixtape Album Review - Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Archived from the original on 14 June 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ "Rapper Z-Ro Claims Arrest Was a Publicity Stunt, Won't Address Recording". tmz.com. Archived from the original on 9 March 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "Rapper Z-RO Dodges Indictment in Just Brittany Beating Case". tmz.com. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "Rapper Z-RO Charged by D.A. in Just Brittany Beating Case After Grand Jury Passes". tmz.com. Archived from the original on 20 February 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ allmusic ((( Z-Ro > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))
  17. ^ "Let the Truth Be Told - Z-Ro - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 12 September 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ "Cocaine - Z-Ro - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 12 September 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ "Angel Dust - Z-Ro - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 14 August 2017. Retrieved 2018.

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