Lorenzo Jerald Patterson, also known as MC Ren, was born on June 1, 1969 in Compton, California. He and his three siblings grew up in Compton with their parents. Exposed to the street life of Compton at an early age, Lorenzo joined a local street gang called the Kelly Park Compton Crips. Future N.W.A. member Eazy-E was also a member of the Kelly Park Compton Crips. Patterson eventually left the gang due to the lack of money he was making. During high school, Lorenzo developed an interest in music and began writing his own music. Initially Lorenzo planned on joining the army, however he changed his mind after watching the 1987 hit movie “Full Metal Jacket.” Focusing on his musical career, Lorenzo and a friend formed a hip hop group called Awesome Crew 2. The two of them performed at local venues in their neighborhood.