Quarantine Party (Curtis Waters Remix) – [JAY2THEKIM]

While coronavirus and the resulting quarantine certainly aren’t ideal by any means, one refreshing aspect of this entire situation has been the influx of creativity to come from such limiting times. Can’t leave the house for a show? Throw an IG live concert, DJ set, party, etc. Bummed about being stuck on lockdown? Why not make an anthem about it, and one that might just brighten the day of others trying to get through the quarantine, as well? Responding to the latter, JAY2THEKIM did just that with his fantastic new Curtis Waters remix, “Quarantine Party.” Under two minutes in length, “Quarantine Party” is a brief, homegrown release centered around stream-of-consciousness lyrics that I’m sure we can all find comforting and/or relatable in such unsure times. From the endlessly catchy chorus about the logistics of throwing a quarantine party to quotable lines about the government, anime, texting, hand-washing, and so much more, JAY2THEKIM’s character is infectious in this one, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a backdrop of Curtis Waters’ stellar production. If you’re feeling down about everything going on, or even just looking for a YouTube video to throw on repeat and pass some time, JAY2THEKIM’s latest is a …

Pineapple Express – [prodxvzn] x [Jay2]

Hip-hop producer Vzn’s signature sound can best be described as atmospheric, bouncy, and hard-hitting. His talents are already evident in his numerous notable appearances behind the boards, including his work on Smino’s latest song “Tempo”. Now, VZN’s been putting his own name into the spotlight a bit more with a series of his own releases, and he teams back up with frequent collaborator Jay2 for their new track titled “Pineapple Express”. Vzn has worked extensively with the Chicago-native artist in the past, and the two no doubt have a natural sonic chemistry whenever they link up. On “Pineapple Express”, this chemistry manifests as a bright, mesmerizing track that brings both artists’ individual strengths to the table. VZN’s unmatched ear for alien-like synths combined with vibrant and booming drums make it feel like an unconventional beat to flow over, but Jay2 proves to be more than up for the challenge as he quickly finds melodic cadences that feel tailor-made to the instrumental. Listen to “Pineapple Express” below:

Neva Look Back – [Bari]

St. Louis/Chicago artist Bari really took zero breaks this year, dropping his standout ‘MSTRGLSS’ project back in February and a slew of memorable singles that sustained his momentum throughout the rest of the year. A look at his 2019 repertoire shows an artist in the midst of mastering his own style, and as a result, today Bari has delivered his most concentrated body of work so far in the form of ‘Neva Look Back’. This 11-track mixtape offers a comprehensive look at Bari on his own terms, channeling his signature mellow melodic-rap style while homing in on the aspects of his music that separate him from the pack. His natural inclination toward head-scratching wordplay and unpredictable flows seize the spotlight on ‘Neva Look Back’, accented by a balance of energy and finesse. The unique qualities that Bari brings to the table reflect brightly on the mixtape’s strongest moments; he sounds like he could keep flowing for days over the distorted synths and bouncy percussion of “Iite Shawty”, and the usual raunchiness of his lyrics comes off as especially effortless on the Jay2-assisted “Frosty”. The mixtape ends on another high note with “Make Em Sick”, serving as yet another testament to …

Are You Ok? – [Jay2]

Chicago’s own Jay2 made his return this past summer with the release of his ‘4 Tha Wait’ EP. The project teased the next chapter for the artist who’s been steadily honing his craft through years in Chicago’s underground scene and notable collaborations with longtime friend Smino and Monte Booker. In time for his birthday, Jay2 released the official video for the opening track on ‘4 Tha Wait’, titled “Are You Ok?”. Playing off of the 8-bit synths and video game-like production supplied by Monte Booker, Jay2 and studio M9visuals bring the song to life on the streets of Los Angeles. The song itself shows off some of Jay2’s most polished work so far, embodying an evolution in terms of his incorporation of melody into his sound in a way that still preserves his ability to go bar-for-bar with an effortless sense of finesse. His style clicks with Monte’s animated production, making for a track that serves as the perfect introduction to the next chapter of Jay2’s career. Watch the music video for “Are You Ok?” below:

Q&A: Jay2’s Energy Brightens Zero Fatigue’s Roster

After taking a break from releasing new music, Chicago rapper Jay2 returned last month with a new EP aptly titled ‘4 Tha Wait’. The 7-song project features some of Jay2’s most energetic music yet, taking the same fast-paced flows and animated wordplay that’s remained consistent throughout his work and packaging it in a more melodic way–a natural progression for his already lively, lighthearted style. Jay2’s evolution as an artist has been an ongoing process, beginning when he first started working with engineer Chris Classick. Through Classick, he met Smino and Bari in 2012, and started working with Monte Booker not too long after that. Coming up with a tight circle of collaborators and friends, which later led to the formation of Zero Fatigue, has allowed Jay2 to hone his craft over the years. Now, the 24-year-old artist is gearing up for a headlining show at Schubas this Friday. Read about the upcoming show, his favorite Lil Wayne mixtapes, and his forthcoming album in our latest interview: — MDR: How/when did you get into music? Jay2: When I was maybe 15. I always liked it, and I used to do little freestyles when I was younger on a voice recorder. Then …

4 Tha Wait – [Jay2]

After an over yearlong hiatus, Chicago rapper Jay2 is ready to come back in full effect with the release of his debut album. While the final LP nears completion, though, Jay2 has decided to tease his comeback with an EP titled ‘4 Tha Wait’ to catch listeners up with what he’s been working on. The 7-song project introduces (or reintroduces) listeners to Jay2’s strongest assets as an artist, meshing a trained ear for melodic rap with fast, aggressive flows. On ‘4 Tha Wait’, he keeps his circle tight working with frequent collaborator Monte Booker for the majority of the EP and prodxvzn for the song “Cheese”. Jay2 also recruits longtime friend Smino to add some star power on the bouncy summertime banger “Dork”. The two artists’ styles complement each other with Jay2’s energetic delivery being tempered by Smino’s signature laidback demeanor. Jay2’s comeback has been prosperous so far, with this promising EP and an upcoming headlining show at Schubas on August 31. Listen to ‘4 Tha Wait’ below and stay tuned for our Q&A with Jay2 himself coming soon.


Jay2 is back with yet another new single, less than two weeks after dropping the Monte Booker-produced “Dedication.” This week, he and PRODXVSN link up on a record called “King Louis”, and this one sounds like it’s coming straight out of the Zero Fatigue playbook: skittering hi hats and a warm melody lay a bouncy foundation for Jay2 to flow so naturally that it sounds like the syllables are falling naturally off his tongue. There’s a moment during the song when he flows eerily similar to label mate Smino, with what sounds like a St. Louis drawl (though Jay2 is from Chicago), and the switch up serves as a nice difference in tone before his typical warm vocal tone returns for the refrain: “She want me” is an ear worm that won’t be easily escapable this summer. This isn’t the end for Jay2 this summer either: he’s dropping an EP called “4 Tha Wait” on 7/24, and he describes the EP as a “prelude before the album.” Needless to say, he’s not slowing down. Words by Barry R Tweets by Jay2AintShit

Dedication – [Jay2]

One of the best ways to be notified about new music from some of your favorite up-and-coming artists is subscribing to email newsletters. I woke up this morning to a scorching hot email in my inbox from the Zero Fatigue collective about the latest release from their arguably quietest member, Jay2. Packed with hard-hitting production and lyrical gymnastics, Jay2 makes his return all about “Dedication.” The Monte Booker produced single carries that electric bounce the Zero Fatigue collective has grown to surround themselves with and let me tell you, it hits as hard as ever. Jay2 opens the record with his signature crooning before jumping right into the thicket of the multi-layered Monte production. Sharing the ability to navigate through a minefield of drums and electric hums like his fellow collective members, Jay2 shows exactly why he is where he is. Boasting his elite level rapping, future aspirations, disregard for “stress and problems” and seamless comparisons to the likes of Eddy Guerrero, Samuel Jackson and Bobby Flay makes the latest record a name-drop affair. Jay2 places himself in lofty company and we couldn’t see him anywhere else. This is the young fresh prince of the “zero zero zero” collective’s first …

Z4L – [Smino] ft. [Bari] [Jay2]

While Smino’s latest project, NOIR, held a plethora of unforgettable moments, sounds, and styles, perhaps one of the more slept-on elements of the project was the slew of features, all of which kept it close to home for Smino as he picked the perfect cast of characters possible. Today, we see this idea come to life as the new visuals for “Z4L” arrive alongside two of my favorite featured talents on NOIR, Bari and Jay2. First off, “Z4L” is one the best songs on NOIR simply thanks to its lush, electrifying energy as well as the clear chemistry between all three artists. It sounds less like a Smino song with two feature verses and more like a family gathering of sorts, as everyone involved shares the spotlight and contributes to a meaningful, captivating final product. Beyond this, the replay value on this one is extraordinary, making it the perfect song to receive an accompanying set of visuals. That said, along with some cameos from artists including Cousin Stizz and Buddy, this music video illustrates both the feeling and literal storyline of “Z4L” with seamless precision. Especially as we head into the warmer months of the spring, the splashes of color and mesmerizing effects are …

Nympho – [Sean Deaux] Ft. [Jay 2]

St. Louis native Sean Deaux has made an appearance or two on our pages before with features he has done for others & his work with THEMpeople, but tonight he his making his Lyrical Lemonade debut with his own song titled “Nympho” featuring Jay2. It doesn’t take much thought to find out what this one is all about, but the guys put together a record for the ladies in the most sonically pleasing way. This single is a result of a late night studio session with rising producer Monte Booker, Sean said it best by adding: “Yea Monte made the beat in front of me. The session was engineered by L-Boogie of Thempeople. We road to Kennedy’s on 72nd after we made it at like 2 AM. Monte played that bitch in the whip like 30 times. I was like this shit kinda raw, he was like ” Kinda?? This shit smoke!” I asked who would make a dope feature and he instantly said Jay2. He literally made like 5 beats, I was like chill Bruh I’m tryna write lol”. Both Sean and Jay2 complimented the wavy Monte Booker production perfectly, making for an all around good listen & one of the …