Z-Ro’s 2010 release Heroin was a jacking. Continuing with his arbitrarily drug titled album series, he -or most likely Rap-A-Lot records- decided to give its consumers a handful of recycled choruses, rhymes, and ludicrously a SONG FROM THE LAST RECORD! It was a ridiculous affair that only further cemented that Rap-A-Lot had decided on a less than ethical business model (Read: the posthumous releases of Pimp C’s material.) Now as Z-Ro is prepping his newest album Meth, his newest mixtape 5200 does a decent job of advertising its release.
As an MC, Z-Ro takes no chances on 5200, and that’s fine with me. Z-Ro’s smooth sing- song flow is one of the most consistently great things in Hip Hop, and I hope that never changes. His content is what you would expect: He drinks cough syrup, he shoots you in the liver, and he rides in his whip. Still, the lack of substance, doesn’t mean his punchlines aren’t still bafflingly hilarious. He drops self comparisons to “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star, Larry David, and a constipated parrot while gleefully comparing his alleged foes to Everlast bags.
Excepting a freestyle over a Lex Lugar’s “Oh Let’s Do It” beat, most of the beats are original. The production is interesting, a Houston parallel to DJ Quik’s most recent album Book of David. Its space aged G-funk, clearly influenced by the slowed down dusty beats of the Screwed Up Click and Scarface, but combined with Techno decorations.
As an appertif, 5200 is extremely effective. It shows Z-Ro not as a tired and cynical product pusher, but a confident entity in Rap. Most of the cuts on 5200 are short, lasting only a couple of minutes, but if the more complete tracks on the tape show up on the new album, it could yield some fantastic results. 5200 showcases a beloved regional artist who has figured out that, like DJ Quik, he can do whatever he wants to do. If this tape is any indication, Meth, anticipated as a bland retread, could actually end up being one of Z-Ro’s most provocative releases.
You can Download Z-Ro’s 5200 at the link below.