Click Banner To Return To Homepage

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ear Drums Pop: September 2010...The Z-Ro Edition

If I'm honest with myself and the people who care to read what I post on HITS, I only really started listening to Z-Ro 2-3 years ago.  In that short amount of time he has quickly become my favorite rapper.  To me there isn't another rapper out right now who is more talented or consistent.  Ro has been rapping since the late 90's, averages about an album a year, and rarely releases sub-par material.  I can't think of many rappers who can make the same claim.  In addition to being consistent, he is one of the most versatile artists in the game.  Ro can sing passionately while spitting lyrics with varied flow, intensity, and subject matter.  That's why I'm dedicating the September edition of Ear Drums Pop exclusively to Z-Ro.

"Rain (Original Version)"- ABN (Z-Ro and Trae)

Ro and Trae rhyming over a slowed up New Edition sample is pretty tough to beat.  While I enjoy the album version of "Rain", it can't hold a candle to this. 

"Tired (Original Version)"- Z-Ro

The album version of "Tired" featuring Mya was great.  This version is incredible in its own right and succeeds at evoking a completely different feeling due to its uptempo production.  Z-Ro is at his best here, baring his soul for the world to see while singing some of his most heartfelt lyrics.

"Thatz Who I Am"- Z-Ro

Chill-inducing production from Mr. Lee coupled with vicious lines like, "I put my trust in no man, only my motherfucking glock.  Cuz she ain't never let me down before, fuck a gang, I follow my bitch 'cuz she be busting rounds for Ro" make this one of the best Z-Ro songs ever created.

"Never Take Me Alive"- Z-Ro feat. Trae

I'm very picky when it comes to rappers using well known instrumentals for exclusives, freestyles, and unreleased songs.  I honestly tend to prefer the original versions most of the time.  "Never Take Me Alive" showcases the dynamic duo of Ro and Trae going to town of 2 Pac's notable "So Much Pain" instrumental.  The end result rivals the Pac original.


"The Mo City Don"- Z-Ro 
Although I know reactions to Crack were mixed amongst hardcore Z-Ro fans, I consider it one of his most
consistently produced and fluid efforts.  Mr. Lee (one of the most under appreciated producers of all-time) provides several of the albums standout tracks, including this incredibly somber and reflective effort. 

"Foundren & Main"- Guerilla Maab

Guerilla Maab was a rap group consisting of Dougie D, Trae, and Z-Ro.  Their first album, Rise, also features original member Taz.  Unfortunately, the Maab has been on a long hiatus due to Dougie D and Z-Ro quitting the group at different times and various inner group turmoil.  "Foundren and Main" features one of Z-Ro's best sung chorus's.  

"No Help"- Trae feat. Z-Ro

To understand the lyrics of the song is to understand Trae and Z-Ro.  Simply put, they want everyone to leave them the fuck alone.  This track does a great job of questioning the value of fair weather friends and pointless acquaintances.

"Smoker's Anthem"- Z-Ro

This feel good weed anthem from Z-Ro's early catalog has him adding his own reggae stylee to the beginning of the song.  His first few albums have several stand out tracks that showcase his reggae talents.  It would be nice him bring back the reggae sound on one of his current projects.    

"Let The Top Down"- Z-Ro

Much like the above mentioned version of "Tired", this is another outstanding musical moment intended for Crack that was left on the cutting room floor.  Shout outs to Cocaine Blunts for posting this and "Tired" a while back.   

Who's The Man- ABN

Another song that showcases the undeniable chemistry between Trae and Z-Ro.  Although the It Is What It Is didn't quite meet my lofty expectations, it had several essential Ro moments on it.  This is one of them.