Joseph Wayne McVey (born January 19, 1977), better known by his stage namesZ-Ro and The Mo City Don, is an Americanrapper from Houston, Texas. He was named one of America's most underrated rappers by the New York Times.

Early life and career

Z-Ro was born Joseph Wayne McVey in Houston’s South Park neighbourhood on January 19, 1977. 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. 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, 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 his next album titled Heroin, which was followed by another new 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, entitled Melting the Crown.

Discography

YearTitleChart positions
U.S.U.S. R&B
1998Look What You Did to Me
2000Z-Ro vs. the World90
2001King of da Ghetto
2002Screwed Up Click Representa58
2002Z-Ro
2002Life57
2003Z-Ro Tolerance
2004The Life of Joseph W. McVey17027
2005Let the Truth Be Told6914
2006I'm Still Livin'7514
2007King of tha Ghetto: Power19732
2008Crack4812
2009Cocaine14719
2010Heroin14229
2011Meth9012
2012Angel Dust12017
2014The Crown
2015Melting the Crown16
2016Drankin' & Drivin'997