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Z-Ro, Meth

For the last decade-plus, Houston-bred Z-Ro has exemplified the work ethic and musical output that has become synonymous with a certain class of Southern spitters. Since the turn of the century, the tune-carrying rapper has released more than a dozen albums and a similar number of mixtapes, cementing himself as a stalwart in H-Town music but rarely transcending the oft-self-contained city’s scene to earn national recognition. Now, a little more than a year after dropping his last album, the Rap-a-Lot representer returns with Meth.

The fourth in a series of drug-titled albums (following Crack, Cocaine and Heroin the last three years), Meth is an addictive dose of Z-Ro’s diverse skill-set. Kicking off wth the album’s opener, “Real or Fake,” he effortlessly flips the switch from rapping to singing and back on a dime—and both the rhymes and harmonies prove essential. To compliment this, Ro’s voice is gloomy but his raps not particularly melancholy, creating a distinct contrast.

Offering a tray of tracks on an array of topics, Z-Ro hits on hometown love (“H-Town Kinda”), individualistic resolve (“Happy Alone”), female excursions (“Pig Feet”), and street life (“Ro and Bun”). The Houston mold is advanced though unbroken, still ripe with references to corner hustles and Purple Sprite. A few friends are in tow, as well, including Bun B, Slim Thug and Yo Gotti, each supporting with stellar showings.

With Meth, Z-Ro again proves his status under the radar is undeserved, as he serves up a high that should last a while. —Adam Fleischer

  • Stuckfresh

    Z-ro the hardest nigga in the game!!

  • aj22

    @Stuckfresh hell yuh, just picked up meth….that shit bangin

  • zach

    im hooked on meth!

  • Pugz

    why is this guy to underrated? best houston rapper of all time.

    • troy

      he a gangsta rapper and he don’t pop music for the major label most houston rapper are underrated

    • cluthcityrepresenta

      No. That would be Willie D.

  • Ruben

    FUCK U XXL!! THIS THE HOTTEST NIGGA OUTTRIGHT NOW!!

  • Rick Rude

    Ro has been holdin it down for over 10 years the mainstream cant handle a realist like him. Ima Meth head!!!

  • Tommy MAyo

    Alright, we’ve been waiting on this for a year and a half… and Ro didn’t disappoint one bit! From “No Reason” to “Real or Fake” or “H-Town Kinda Day” To “Never Had Love”, Ro shows why he is STILL The K.I.N.G. Of The G.H.E. Double T. O. Whether you want something to swang to, or something to bang to, there is something for everyone. And TRUE Hip-Hop fans will agree. His lyricism take no loss as he breezes thought this whole album flippin’ flows between the crooning Rother Vandross and Ro-hammed Ali with his hard hitting punch lines. Definitely an album (like “Crack”, “Cocaine”, and “Heroin” before it) I can throw in the deck and not have to worry about changing the track. If you’ve never heard of Ro, o have been a fan for years, pick this album up… you’ll be feenin’ like Jodeci for more by the end of the album.

  • Chris P

    I think there is something to be said about Z-Ro’s status with Rap-A-Lot, and is this a true Z-Ro album of yet another J. Prince compilation? The album is alright, it’s not what Crack was, but it was cool. I just don’t know, for XXL to be rating possible throw away tracks, not that there aren’t some good songs, as the real Z-Ro, troubles me. And for the record, I am a loyal Z-Ro fan since 1999. Also, The first verse of the album is a splicing of several verses from other songs, one of which was a recent Lil’ O collabo with leads me to believe that is a J. Prince “I own your masters” album. Z-Ro and Rap-A-Lot have some troubles between them, and it’s usually not a good idea to have troubles with J.Prince. So with that said, Mr. Fleischer, to call him a Rap-A-Lot representer is incorrect. He is credited with executive producer credit along side of J.Prince, which is intriguing though. Also to say “after dropping his last album” also appears uninformed. Herion WAS a J. prince compilation. But I understand that XXL is not focused on underground Texas, so some things may not come out as they would from someone that is in TX, but I do appreciate the fact your publication was willing to even review Z-Ro. He is a great artist and deserves to shine.

  • KP

    i think you’re right.Ro was on 97.9 and said that he hasn’t heard all the songs yet. J-Prince stay doin ho shit like this. Why would anyody sign to Rap a lot?

  • chris weis

    this article is garbage. zro has been the hardest thing out. that dude is the king of houston for a reason. lyrics get a three huh? HA i bet drakes ole scarry ass got higher. what a waste of my time this was.

  • ray flo

    z-ro goes harder than any other out there . noone can compare to his real as fuck music.

  • dre fire

    Magazines like this done really understand texas music. Zro raps about a lifestyle different than typical rap. No swag music or dancing tracks. He raps about about hard life. Struggling. Pain. Then comes back with raps about swangas. He is the best southern rapper of all time

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