Review ·

Hidden under a cliché Southern-looking cover and slipped into stores with the trademark anti-promotion that Rap-A-Lot is known for, Z-Ro's Let the Truth Be Told was basically ignored by the music press. So, six months after it was released, let me be one of the first to say that this is one of the best hip-hop records of the year: a bleak, hard-hitting, but ultimately forgiving album that highlights the best social commentary hip-hop can offer. Produced almost completely by Mr. Lee and Mike Dean, every beat is a winner, and together they prove that they - not Slim Thug or Mike Jones - are truly the kings of Houston, providing inventive, molasses-dotted beats that creep over the track and refuse to let go.


But Z-Ro is the true star. Toiling for years now with a number of records under his belt, Z-Ro has the laid-back attitude of his Southern brethren but the gangsta-smooth delivery of Nate Dogg and the social consciousness of fellow former Death Row inmate 2pac. He kicks the record off with a five-minute flow over Coldcut's "Paid in Full (7 Minutes of Madness Remix)" beat. It's a great freestyle performance, one that's even good enough to forgive him for replacing Rakim. And his voice is currently one of the best around. He can switch from hook to verse in an instant, and he knows just when to nail an inflection to perk up a couplet. His skills range from "The Mule," a typical Devin the Dude-type sex-filled track, to the street-ready "I'm a Soldier" and on to "Auntie and Grandma," the ode to the family members that raised him, all without missing a step.


Often maligned for being too depressing (something he apologizes for at the beginning of "Another Song"), Z-Ro is a Southern rapper that evolved from Southern music, the kind of regional gem David Banner wishes he was. It's a shame Z-Ro has to apologize for that, but releasing an album this good with no filler, no skits and no tracks that pander to the clubs is something that should be celebrated. That it hasn't even registered on the mainstream radar is a travesty. You can blame Rap-A-Lot for both the freedom afforded Z-Ro and the obscurity he struggles against. But the artistic accomplishments here rest solely on Z-Ro's shoulders, and they are truly impressive. Don't let this fantastic album pass you by.



Z-Ro on Rap-A-lot's Web site:


Discuss this review at The Prefix Message Board

  • Mo City Don (Freestyle)
  • The Mule Feat. Devin the Dude & Juvenile
  • Don't Wanna Hurt Nobody Feat. Trae & Lil' Boss of ABN
  • Platinum
  • It Won't Stop
  • I'm A Soldier
  • 1 Night Feat. Trae of ABN
  • Help Me Please
  • Another Song
  • Everyday, Samethang
  • The Same One
  • 1st Time Again Feat. Ashanti
  • From The South Feat. Paul Wall & Lil' Flip
  • Respect My Mind
  • Ride 2 Night
  • Auntie & Grandma
  • It's A Shame
Death from Above 1979 - Romance Bloody Romance The Beautiful New Born Children Hey People!

whats up baby?
nothing here just chillin on the computer but anyways i just wanted to drop u a couple of lines 2 let u know that u r the greatest rapper alive. i really love your music cuz from what i can see u talk about real nigga stuff like what you been though in your life and man somtimes i just be on some mo stuff so much stuff go on in my life wit family,friends and other stuff til i just lock myself up somewhere and just cut tha music on and just let your music and my mind just run wild cuz its like the stuff u already been through im going through it now and that messed up cuz im 21 i should be doing sum mo stuff wit me life in stead of stressing myself but anyways enough about my problems i just wanted 2 let u no that becuz of your music im still here cuz u some days i justv be thinking about offing me a nigga. well im giong end this and hope 1 day that i will be able 2 catch 1 of yo shows r somthing.
love always
candy minden lousiana


I like dat message! dats whats up u do keep it real n let me get n a zone wit u.... Nuttin but love for ya!!! da calabo's go hard because of talented artists like you wreckin n tellin your story. Thanks for sharin it. MUCH LOVE!

Ashley~Atown! Texas

z ro is the best rapper alive he speak the truth z ro talk about the stuff he did an his life and i like that about him and thats why he my fav raper


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