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 Americaﾒs 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.
ﾓI come from nothing,ﾔ says Z-RO. ﾓDidnﾒt have nothing and couldnﾒt 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 donﾒt go back that way.ﾔ
And the place where Z-RO came from was nowhere near nice. Born Joseph Wayne McVey in Houstonﾒs rough and tumble South Park area. The 28 year old rap sensation was shuttled from household to household, in search of stability. But that stability would be even harder to find when at age six Z-ROﾒs mother died, forcing him to come to grips with pain at an early age. Once again Z-RO was forced to move to the east side of town, where things started to get kind of hectic for him. ﾓThatﾒs when shit started to get real,ﾔ recalls Z-RO. ﾓA nigga started experiencing gun shots, stab wounds and all that other type of shitﾅ.all the shit that comes with being grown.ﾔ
By the time Z-RO had reached his late teens he had fallen victim to many of the traps that the system had set for young Black males, seeking a decent life with no jobs or opportunity available. He hit the block hustling.
Ironically, it was while he was hustling that he discovered rap music. According to Z-RO listening to the music of Tupac, The Geto Boys, Street Military, K-Reno and Klondike Kat inspired him to hustle harder so he could one day get himself out of the trap for good. It wasnﾒt long before Z-RO went from listening to rap music to kicking his own little freestyles over instrumentals that he heard on the radio and deciding that he was good enough to get into the rap game.
After going through a couple of studios recording demo after demo he finally caught a big break when he was hanging out in a studio and the CEO of a local rap label heard him free styling and signed him. In 1996 Z-RO Dropped his underground debut entitled ﾓLook What You Done to Me.ﾔ The record created a huge buzz for Z-RO who quickly followed that up with Z-RO Vs the World and King of the Ghetto as well as a record by his group the Guerilla Maab. In addition to this Z-RO also joined the late great DJ Screwﾒs legendary Screwed Up Click and started spitting fire on the pioneering DJ slowed down tapes. All of these things helped to escalate Z-ROﾒs buzz throughout the South and by 2002 his talent and hard work caught the attention of Rap-a-Lotﾒs founder and CEO James Prince, who offered him a deal.
In 2004, Z-RO released his critically acclaimed Rap-a-Lot debut called The Life and Times of Joseph McVeigh. The record was a huge success and helped expand Z-Roﾒs massive fan base beyond the Deep South. Now with his latest album Let the Truth be Told Z-RO is poised to take the world by storm, while starting a firestorm of controversy in the process. By sticking to what he calls ﾓthe G-Codeﾔ Z-RO is telling it like it really is on the streets and letting the chips fall where they may.
Produced by a slew of the Southﾒs 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-ROﾒs 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 ﾓThis Dick is for Youﾔ jam. ﾓFor those that donﾒt know hitting them with the mule means fucking the dog shit outta somebodyﾒs daughter,ﾔ explains Z-RO. Another standout track is the heartfelt song ﾓIﾒm Going Platinum,ﾔ 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.
ﾓIﾒm gonna let the truth be told on faggot-ass police. Iﾒm 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, Iﾒm letting the truth be told on these rappers ﾖthatﾒs one thing about me is I tell like it is. You can call me a label muthafucka because I put labels on muthafuckas. Itﾒs a lotta muthafuckas rapping from the 3rd person man. They just there to talk about shit in general. Me, Iﾒm gonna talk about some particular shit or some particular muthafuckas. If I feel like a muthafuckaﾒs being less than a G then Iﾒm gonna say it on my shit. Thatﾒs why I called it Let The Truth be Told.ﾔ
Mo City Don (Freestyle)
Don’t Wanna Hurt Nodoby feat. Trae & Lilﾒ Boss of ABN
It Don’t Stop
I’m A Soldier
1 Night feat. Trae of ABN
Help Me Please
The Same One
1st Time Again feat. Ashanti
From The South feat. Paul Wall & Lilﾒ Flip
Respect My Mind
Ride 2 Night
Auntie & Grandma
It’s A Shame