Birth name – Lorenzo Jerald Patterson
Also known as – MC Ren, The Ruthless Villain, The Villain In Black
Born June 14, 1969 (age 44)
Origin – Compton, California
Genres – Gangsta rap,Hardcore rap
Occupations – Rapper, songwriter
Instruments – Vocals
Labels – Ruthless, Island Def Jam, Interscope, Universal Motown, Villain Entertainment
Associated actsN.W.A, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre Above the Law, Paris, Public Enemy, The D.O.C., DJ Yella
Lorenzo Jerald Patterson (born June 14, 1969), better known by his stage name MC Ren, is a rapper who formed part of the group N.W.A. His moniker is derived from his first name (Lorenzo).
Patterson was born and raised in Compton, California. He and fellow N.W.A. members Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E and Ice Cube all originated in Compton. Before N.W.A., MC Ren decided to join the army with his friend. But he changed his mind when he saw Full Metal Jacket, and then he met with Eazy-E and started his career.
He contributed vocals on the N.W.A album Straight Outta Compton (1988) as well as co-writing several tracks after Ice Cube left the group in 1989. N.W.A became the first gangsta rap group to gain mainstream success. However, as their album Niggaz4Life reached the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 in 1991, financial conflict between Dr. Dre and Ruthless Records led to the group disbanding. He also personally cited the inevitable tension of a close knit group. Group member Eazy-E was accused of skimming money along with the group’s manager, Jerry Heller. Dr. Dre left to form Death Row Records.
MC Ren subsequently released his debut album Kizz My Black Azz in 1992. It reached platinum. MC Ren’s next album, Life Sentence, was scrapped while he converted to the Nation of Islam (which he has since left and converted to orthodox Islam) with guidance from DJ Train. Shock of the Hour in 1993 was released the next year. It also features the single “Mayday on the Front Line” which appeared in the film CB4. MC Ren soon fell on hard times when DJ Train died in a burning house before the release of The Villain in Black (1996). The album sold relatively well for a brief period. Before leaving Ruthless Records, Ren released Ruthless for Life (1998) which proved a small comeback, selling moderately well. In 2000, he appeared on the song “Hello” which featured Dr. Dre and Ice Cube on Ice Cube’s War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc) album. He joined the Up In Smoke Tour that same year just to rap this verse on this track. He appeared on the posse cut “Some L.A. Niggaz” from Dr. Dre’s 2001 album.
MC Ren released the straight-to-DVD Lost in the Game in 2004. His most recent work has appeared on some more politically oriented projects such as with Public Enemy, specifically Paris’ album Hard Truth Soldiers Vol. 1 as well as on Public Enemy’s album Rebirth of a Nation. Paris stated in an interview with Rapstation.com that “MC Ren is retired and won’t be doing a full-length album as far as I know. I get at him for verses, that’s about it.”
MC Ren appeared on the VH1 Hip Hop Honors talking about Eazy-E in the tribute to him. As of late 2007, Ren was supposed to be in work with Long Beach-based rapper RBX alongside Big Rocc on the group Concrete Criminals and although a debut album was promised, nothing came out of it. In 2009, MC Ren finished his fourth studio album entitled Renincarnated which was released under his own record label Villain Entertainment on October 31, 2009. Renincarnated was only released in the US.
Around 1993, MC Ren converted to the Islamic faith through the Nation of Islam. He converted to Sunni Islam a few years later.
Main article: MC Ren discography
1992: Kizz My Black Azz
1993: Shock of the Hour
1996: The Villain in Black
1998: Ruthless for Life
1988: Straight Outta Compton
1990: 100 Miles and Runnin’
Red Everything Movement