Joseph Wayne McVey (born January 19, 1977),[3][4] 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.[5]

Early life and career

Z-Ro was born Joseph Wayne McVey in Houston’s notorious 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 of 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 released his critically acclaimed Rap-a-Lot debut titled The Life of Joseph W. McVey.[6] The record was a huge success and helped expand Z-Ro’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.[7][8] It was called "a great album... powerful" but "relentlessly bleak" by The Village Voice[7] and "one of the best rap albums to come out of Houston" by the Houston Chronicle.[9] 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.[2] Z-Ro then followed up with The Crown in June 2014.[10] In February 2015, Z-Ro released his first proper studio album in three years, entitled Melting the Crown.


YearTitleChart positions[11]
U.S.U.S. R&B
1998Look What You Did to Me--
2000Z-Ro vs. the World-90
2001King of da Ghetto--
2002Screwed Up Click Representa-58
2003Z-Ro Tolerance--
2004The Life of Joseph W. McVey17027
2005Let the Truth Be Told6914
2006I'm Still Livin'7514
2007King of tha Ghetto: Power19732
2012Angel Dust12017
2014The Crown--
2015Melting the Crown-16
2016Drankin' & Drivin'[12]--