The first words on Z-Ro‘s brand new (and hella timely EP) aren’t even from Z-Ro. Matter of fact, the first two people who even say anything on Quarantine: Social Distancing aren’t Ro.
Instead, it’s Slim Thug explaining that Ro is a natural germaphobe and Beyoncé, on a sliced up but highly potent sample of she and Destiny’s Child “Soldier” record from 2004. Once you get to the velvet baroque of Rotha Vandross, you get the urgency of somebody who has already seen hell, came back to Earth, noticed the way the world looks right now and said without a pause, “this is some bullsh*t.”
“Coronavirus vaccine, I’m tryna order the sh*t, how the hell they gon’ tell me I can’t come outside, 40 something years old, I got my gun outside. They fighting over toilet paper and the hand sanitizer, everyone ready to murder everyone outside,” he dops rather effortlessly on “Follow” about the lack of leadership in the midst of chaos. The interesting twist on it? Ro picks up a Jamaican accent to use as a filter for his frustration alongside Lanlawd.
With Trakksounds handling the bulk of production and layering in an ample amount of earworm ready tracks, Quarantine: Social Distancing invites the long lost voice of one of Houston’s foremost scions in Wicket Cricket to offer life lessons. “Your number one goal should be to stack, stack stack. A black man’s bible is a stack of dead presidents. Keep it playa!” If you thought Ro wasn’t going to honor time old SUC tradition by flipping R&B classics into hymnals about his daily life, you’re waiting for the wrong tape. On back-to-back tracks, “N*ggas Is H*oes” and “Shife,” Ro channels Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watchin’ Me” and “K-Ci & JoJo’s “Life”. His mind may be slipping away from him in the midst of chaos, but Z-R The Crooked can still deliver and that’s with Boosie Badazz available for the tape closer, “Life Of The Party” telling folks there’s only an 8-person maximum in his house these days.
Stream Ro’s latest EP, Quarantine: Social Distancing below.