Joseph W. McVey, better known by his stage name Z-Ro, is an American rapper and producer. He has built a reputation as a southern rapper, though this has not developed into widespread popularity outside of the southern United States. The New York Times has called him "one of America's most underrated rappers".
His 2006 album I'm Still Livin' was released while Z-Ro 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.
His follow-up album, King Of Tha Ghetto: Power, received mixed reviews however, with one review calling the release "unwieldy" and "scattershot".
Common themes in Z-Ro's music are crime and poverty, often relating to his personal experience. For example, the music video for Hate You was recorded while he was incarcerated in Harris County jail.