BY WALTER OPINDE
On this day, 16th June, 1969, the famous African-American rapper from Compton, California, and the founder of record label Villain Entertainment was born: Happy Birthday MC Ren.
Lorenzo Jerald Patterson, famously known by his stage name “MC Ren,” is an American rapper from Compton, California. He is the founder and owner of his own record label Villain Entertainment. His moniker is derived from the middle letters in his first name (Lorenzo). MC Ren began his career signed as a solo artist to Eazy E’s Ruthless Records in early 1987, while still attending high school. By the end of 1987, after writing almost half of Eazy E’s debut album Eazy-Duz-It, he was included in the influential gangsta rap group N.W.A with Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and DJ Yella, which popularized the use of explicit lyrics in rap to detail the violence of street life. After the disbandment of the group in 1991, Ren stayed with Ruthless, putting out several platinum and gold selling albums, before leaving the label in 1999.
Lorenzo Patterson was born in Compton, California and grew up with his parents, two brothers and a sister. His father worked as a government civil servant until he later opened up his own barber shop.
Growing up in Compton, Patterson joined the street gang called the Kelly Park Compton Crips. He would later quit gang-banging as he wasn’t making any money, therefore crossed over to direct selling of drugs. In 1983, Patterson began attending Dominguez High School, where he met his future collaborator DJ Train. At this time, Patterson developed an interest in hip-hop music and began writing raps with his childhood friend MC Chip. Together they formed the group “Awesome Crew 2” and performed at parties and night clubs. Before graduating high school, MC Ren decided to join the U.S. Army with a friend. He would change his mind about joining the military after watching Full Metal Jacket. He later met with Eazy-E and resumed his career in rap.
MC Ren was at the beginning signed as a solo artist to Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records, while still attending high school in 1987. However, when Ice Cube went to study for a year, Ren was asked to write songs for Eazy-E’s debut album Eazy-Duz-It. After having written almost half of the album, MC Ren was added to the group, and they immediately started on the N.W.A album Straight Outta Compton.
In only four weeks and a budget of $ 8,000 USD, the album was finished and released in the summer of 1988. Propelled by the hit “Fuck tha Police”, the album became a major success, despite an almost complete absence of radio airplay or major concert tours. The Federal Bureau of Investigation sent Ruthless Records a warning letter in response to the song’s content.
One month after the Straight Outta Compton, Eazy-E’s solo debut Eazy-Duz-It was released. Eazy’s persona dominated the album—MC Ren was the only guest rapper, but behind the scenes, it was a group effort. Music was handled by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella; the lyrics were largely written by MC Ren, with contributions from Ice Cube and The D.O.C. The group’s second full-length album Niggaz4Life was released the next year. Selling 954,000 copies in the first week, it became the first rap album to enter number one on the Billboard Charts. This album would become the group’s final, seeing that Dr. Dre left the group over money disputes with the manager Jerry Heller.
MC Ren is noted as a proficient lyricist and storyteller and is regarded as a brutally honest rapper. His lyrics are often political or socio-political, as well as violent and aggressive, and he is considered one of the founding artists in gangsta rap. Most of his lyrics focus on controversial issues in global politics. The views expressed in his lyrics are largely commentary. They include issues such as class struggle, socialism, poverty, religion, government, imperialism and institutional racism.
MC Ren is also regarded as one of the top-rated rappers of all times.
Read more of the story via: www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mc-ren-straight-outta-compton-815837