Days before Z-Ro turned himself in to serve a brief prison term, Z-Ro recorded Power his home, producing it entirely himself and featuring only a small inner circle of Houston vets. It’s a blessing and a curse. For Z-Ro, who has always been an intensely personal rapper, the creative freedom to spill anything he wants out of himself is almost always successful here. Unfortunately, without better production from the local heavyweights he can often get (and deserves) on “official” records, the album cannot hope to live up to his previous two albums, the excellent one-two punch of Let the Truth Be Told (2005) and last year’s I’m Still Livin’. Still, there’s more than enough here for even the most casual Z-Ro fan to like, including “Going Down in the South” and opener “Bud Sack.” Z-Ro does come through on production a few times, most notably the shimmering minimalist “Lovely Day.”
Released at the same time, Z-Ro Vision is a prototypical underground DVD: poorly recorded with hilarious graphics and mixed sound. This is a document strictly for the hardcore fans. For them, there’s some worthwhile live footage and some behind-the-scenes access. But it’s hardly enough to recommend to anyone who doesn’t already own it by now.