Lorenzo Jerald Patterson (born June 14, 1969 in Compton, California), better known by his stage name MC Ren, is a rapper who formed part of the group N.W.A.
Born and raised in Compton, he joined the gangsta rap group N.W.A after finishing his senior year at Dominguez High School. In 1987 he was notably featured on the debut album by friend Eazy-E. Following the success of that album, Ren contributed vocals on the Straight Outta Compton (1988) album as well writing several tracks after Ice Cube left the group in 1989. As part of N.W.A, Ren wrote and performed three solo recordings, two of which - 'Just Don't Bite It' (from the 100 Miles And Runnin' E.P.) and the follow up album track 'She Swallowed It' (Efil4Zaggin) cemented MC Ren's status as a songwriter.
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. Group member Eazy-E, along with the group's manager, was accused of skimming money. Dr. Dre left to form Death Row Records. MC Ren subsequently released his debut album with the help of Eazy-E in 1992, entitled Kizz My Black Azz. Surprisingly enough, with little commercial promotion, the album went platinum. MC Ren's next album, Life Sentence, was scrapped while he converted to the Nation of Islam Capital Punishment Organization. Shock of the Hour in 1993 was released the next year. It also features the single "Mayday on the Frontline" which appeared in the film CB4. Following this, there was the release 'Forget What Ya Heard'. Two years followed before an E.P. sampler for the 'Villain In Black' album hit the streets. This particular 12" is considered a collectors' item. Incidentally, during the 1992-94 period, Ren along with the likes of Dre, Warren G (Dre's half brother) Eazy-E and Snoop Dog Dogg were instrumental in pioneering what would become known as 'G Funk' - a direct evolution from the N.W.A. sound. This sound can actually be traced back as far as the 1987 N.W.A release 'Dopeman'. However it wasn't until the N.W.A group split that the likes of Ren, Dre and Eazy developed their own brand of G Funk. MC Ren's "Same Old Shit" and "Fuck What Ya Heard" being good examples of his own style.
Soon after, MC Ren soon fell on hard times when DJ Train died in a house fire 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 worthy comeback, briefly selling well. He appeared on the posse cut "Some L.A. Niggaz" from Dr. Dre's 2001 album, but only took part in the intro, speaking.
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.
In addition, MC Ren released the straight-to-DVD movie entitled 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 (2006). Paris did state, however, in a recent 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 is supposed to be in work with Long Beach based rapper, RBX alongside Big Rocc. The group is called Concrete Criminals and have been promising a 2008 release date for a debut album.