Z-Ro
Cocaine


4.5
superb

Review

by Ian USER (108 Reviews)
April 18th, 2013 | 24 replies | 1,592 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An un-kept secret of Hip-Hop is that Joseph Wayne McVey is one of Americas' more underrated rappers.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Since the summer of 1998 Z-Ro released thirteen solo albums, starting with 'Look What You Did To Me' and the latest being 'Cocaine'*. After starting his relationship with the dastardly Rap-A-Lot Records**, the Houston star was able to garner a little acclaim with songs such as "THUG (True Hero Under God)" and "I Hate You Bitch", the former coming off of 'The Life of Joseph W. McVey'. People found there were many things to get out of Z-Ro's music. Most importantly it is 2009's 'Cocaine' that shows a culmination of growth where he flawlessly used many talents to their greatest strengths.

Hard to come across in Hip-Hop/Rap is an emcee who can back up their well executed rhymes with equally well performed singing hooks and Z-Ro just happens to contain a distinctly soulful voice. With this he can lay down a chorus for himself quite easily, thus eliminating any potential need to smother the album with guest appearances. The track-list could seem daunting, but Z-Ro makes sure to put all seventeen tracks to their proper use. He produces eleven of the songs as well as creating the beats himself. A portion of the exquisite sample selection includes Maze, Anita Ward, Jodeci, The Crusaders, and Air Supply.

This melodic South side record features exceptionally laid back beats and vocals with enough tough guy songs to keep the album excitingly fresh. Plenty of fast paced gangsta segments back it up, but these songs aren't club bangers because they're simply a more intimate affair. Z-Ro usually keeps a conscious mind-state, offering a lyrical repertoire in which he uses both free-style and written verses. The man isn't afraid to show his opinion of the world and what goes on in it. He can also take a look at the effects of his life choices and other circumstances, making it a big part of his style. He can branch out even further if he wants to, which can effectively cause some tracks to become much bleaker.

"They say my music won't make it cause I don't rap cars or dancin
I rap pain, poverty and fraud romance.
Who gona represent for tha brother on death row
And let him know whether he did it or not God had his back from the get go?
A lil mama that's hustlin riskin her freedom, house full of kids.
None of the baby daddy's around
And she just tryin to feed 'em
Even if she's layin on her back for bread
Instead of talkin about her
Show her how to earn it without opening legs
Why my people rather point fingers and turn up they noses?
Showin love then strikin a match
Yeah ain't that so explosive?
And I'm guilty just like everybody else
Cause when I'm talkin to ya'll I'm talkin to self."
-'I Don't Give A Damn'

Compared to ninety-percent of more prominent rappers Z-Ro could've had a much better influence on younger listeners, but his popularity never fully took off. The beginning of 'Cocaine' immediately covers some of Z-Ro's outtake on his life, what he advises. He stands out easily from others spitting what could be something miniscule only an imprisoned man would think of, or what a person influenced racially may feel about him, or what he believes religiously. As said, Z-Ro usually keeps a conscious mind-state in his lyrics and this certainly stays prominent throughout the course of 'Cocaine'. He clearly displays the fact that he is empathic of others and can view situations which haven't directly affected himself, but also that he is human just like everyone else.

I suppose spinning this record on a long drive with some kind of Mary Jane would go by quite smoothly, especially if you have a doobie to smoke too, but there are also lessons found throughout 'Cocaine'. Ultimately, in order to advanced beyond an ignorant lifestyle, we must begin by not judging things or people by their cover. Yes, people have bad stigmas attached to their lifestyle, sometimes in plain sight, but we are all capable of being better people, so judge not lest ye be judged. That's what I get most out of 'Cocaine'.



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user ratings (17)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Storm In A Teacup
April 18th 2013



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

*Heroin was released after Cocaine, but I do not view it as an official release, because nor does Z-Ro

**Even though Rap-A-Lot portrayed Heroin as a new album, they actually use a lot of Cocaine material and other demos etc Z-Ro had worked on and just patched it all together. I don't like them for it.


But anyway, YOU CAN BRING MY MAIIIIIII AIIILLLLLLL BRING MY MAIL MY MAIL my mail

slipnslide
April 18th 2013



2640 Comments


real trap

Storm In A Teacup
April 18th 2013



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh yeah.

I just spent three fucking hours on this non-stop. That is rediculous.

slipnslide
April 18th 2013



2640 Comments


real trap shit posd

Storm In A Teacup
April 18th 2013



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks
--------~

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 18th 2013



4940 Comments


zro rules

Storm In A Teacup
April 18th 2013



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah every era of his career was solid.

Storm In A Teacup
April 18th 2013



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just glad this has a review now

Hep Kat
April 18th 2013



15066 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

he;s released meth and angel dust post-this NEG

Digging: Sir Michael Rocks - Banco

Hep Kat
April 18th 2013



15066 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

unless he dont count those neitha shit idk

Storm In A Teacup
April 18th 2013



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Trust me he didn't want those last two coming out. Rap A Lot's screwy they don't promote well if at all. After this album came out he apparently tried asking Rap a lot head J. Prince out of his contract and let's just say lights were turned off in the back room of the bosses strip club and Z-Ro was "forcefully" told he's not getting released yet...

He's finally free from them as of half a year ago and is just big chillin on his own label now King-of-the-Ghetto-ent bout to finally do the Rother Vandross album

NeoSpaz
April 18th 2013



4517 Comments


Nice review Storm. This time I will pos you before I post a comment saying that I pos'd

Hep Kat
April 18th 2013



15066 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea i had heard about some label controversy concerning him, thanks for clearing it up

Storm In A Teacup
April 18th 2013



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lol Thanks Neo yerr welc Hep

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 18th 2013



5194 Comments


yeah this dude rules

Digging: FKA twigs - LP1

PumpBoffBag
April 18th 2013



327 Comments


good review, never heard of this guy. Will definitely check out now though

Inveigh
April 18th 2013



24820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listening to this now, so fucking good

I've only heard TLaToJWM and LtTBT but they're both awesome. going to have to get the rest of his (extensive) discog

Inveigh
April 18th 2013



24820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

on the "double disc" version of this, are the extra songs from Heroin and/or Codeine?

Storm In A Teacup
April 18th 2013



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think it's codeine

Storm In A Teacup
June 27th 2013



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

uhhh niggas I found The Rain album ohhhh shit! I'm gonna have to review it



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