Joseph Wayne McVey IV (born January 19, 1977), better known by his stage names Z-Ro and The Mo City Don, is an American rapper, songwriter and record producer from Houston, Texas. He was named one of America's most underrated rappers by The New York Times in 2007.
Z-RO was born Joseph Wayne McVey IV in Houston's South Park neighborhood 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 and Bobby Craig'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 the album titled Heroin, which was followed by an 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, titled Melting the Crown.
In 2016, Z-Ro released Drankin & Drivin in August and Legendary in November under his label One Deep Entertainment.