DELIRIOUS – [Bari] prod. [Blake Wright]

Getting to the point where you can define and distinguish yourself is something all artists strive for, and there are few artists in hip-hop right now that have reached this level as clearly as St. Louis rapper Bari. With a string of solid mixtapes over the past couple of years, now seems to be the time for the melodic and eccentric lyricist to really take off. Foretelling his own rise to prominence is the release of one of Bari’s most impressive songs so far, “DELIRIOUS”. As an artist with no shortage of surprises in his arsenal, Bari refreshes his energy once again for this song as he has on his last few releases. His ability to blend his menacing, villainous nature with soft, soothing melodies is a balance that Bari handles with finesse, and this quality resonates especially true on “DELIRIOUS”. His auto-tuned and layered vocals cut through the track as if they’re calling out from the void, casting his voice in a futuristic and alien-like sheen that accentuates his animated flows. Producer Blake Wright’s instrumentation also brings out the more experimental side of Bari in a way that feels true-to-form, as he fires off rounds of 808s and the …

Smino: Still Building

Photo by Pooneh Ghana / Red Bull Content Pool On November 23rd, coordinated by Red Bull Music Festival, Smino played for a sold-out crowd at Thalia Hall in Chicago. A few days prior, he was nominated for his first Grammy Award in light of his contributions to the renowned Revenge of the Dreamers III. A few months before that, Smino offered a standout performance on Chance The Rapper’s highly-anticipated album, The Big Day. And before that, the St. Louis mainstay embarked on the 33-stop Hoopti Tour, directly after releasing his critically-acclaimed album, NOIR.  2019 has been busy for Smino. And tiring, probably. But on November 23rd, the wear and tear of a restless year, bounded by success, refused to be seen. Entering the stage with the same effortless cool that swept across his introductory album, blkswn, Smino won the night before it even started. The show was just a victory lap. You see, at one point in his life, Smino moved from St. Louis to Chicago without a dime. He slept on the floor of a cramped recording booth, convinced that at some point or another, Plan A would pay off. In front of an exhilarated Thalia Hall, I was …

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 …

At The Crib – [Monte Booker]

Monte Booker is one of the best producers that I have heard over the past five years, watching his rise up to this point has been thrilling to see as a fan, and a few days back the Zero Fatigue affiliate dropped a brand new release titled “At The Crib”. I often times find myself listening to several instrumentals throughout the day, both old and new, but today man this one has been on repeat for me for hours now, it’s easily the best beat I have heard this week! Monte Booker is in a class of his own though so this came as no surprise to me, everything he touches turns to gold & this release is just another example of that, check it out for yourself below!


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 …

Klink – [Smino]

Smino’s NOIR felt like a full-circle moment in which the St. Louis native’s endless energy was truly brought forth, in all of its entirety and eccentricity, to the world. In my eyes, not one song off of the project has aged a day, and honestly, in today’s world where the shelf life of an album has become a maximum of a few weeks, NOIR is not just an outlier, but a project that we’ll be talking about for years to come. Today, Smino continues to push the excellence of the album with a brand new music video for “Klink.” Produced by none other than Monte Booker, the excitement behind “Klink” is unmatched, calling for a music video of equal or greater energy. Of course, Smino obliged with this one, painting an aesthetically-pleasing picture of the luxuries that he’s been able to enjoy thanks to his success in music. With this, at its core, “Klink” is a well-deserved moment of appreciation for success and yes, a chance to flex on everybody, making this video a fantastic follow-up to a fantastic song. Smino has done it again, so be sure to check out the new video below and let us know what you think …

Comicon – [Bari]

Zero Fatigue member, Bari has released a new single titled, “Comicon.” The distorted bass-rattling banger is just a looise before release from his upcoming project, MSTRGLSS, set to drop tomorrow, Friday February 1st. Staying true to the song’s title and single artwork, Bari raps at light-speed throughout the record making quick references to Dragon Ball Z, the need for a mink coat and a McLaren. Bari showcases his elite level rapping ability, over the prodxvzn produced track that rightfully highlights Bari’s uncanny ability to find a pocket, a trait shared between him and fellow Zero Fatigue members. This is the first time Bari has surfaced since releasing his EP, The Prefix, in early September of last year. We could not be more thankful to have new Bari on the way. Listen to his new song, “Comicon” below and make sure to show some love to the emcee on Twitter and Instagram.

Watch Smino’s Fire Freestyle with The L.A. Leakers

St. Louis native and masterful wordsmith, Smino stopped by the famous Power 106 to deliver an icy freestyle over Missy Elliott’s “One Minute Man” instrumental. Alternating between various speeding cadences the gifted MC delivers a freestyle that touches on everything; his infatuation with women, vices, family, lyrical dominance and his growing collective, Zero Fatigue. Smino recently released his sophomore debut, NOIR, in early November that has already received high praise. It’s clear from the freestyle Smino has no shortage of bars as he quickly is able to find his rhythm during the freestyle on the challenging Missy Elliot instrumental. You’re going to need to run this freestyle back a couple times to catch the subtle lines in each verse as well as his vocal infliction. Watch Smino’s new freestyle below and tell us how you rate the bars in the comment section!

Skinny (Valee Remix) – [Jean Deaux]

One of my favorite artists coming out of Chicago right now is none-other than zero fatigue member, Jean Deaux. The multitalented rapper/singer has been a personal favorite of mine since first listening to her atmospheric features back in 2014 on Isaiah Rashad’s, Cilvia Demo and Mick Jenkins’, The Water[s]. Recently, Jean Deaux has been releasing a string of singles that highlight her natural ability as a lyricist but went on Twitter last night to share her Valee inspired freestyle that took aim at all her doubters. Adopting the coveted Valee flow, Jean Deaux skates through distorted bass thumping production to deliver boisterous bars, reminding everyone that she’s been rapping a lot longer than she’s been singing. Keep an eye on Jean Deaux as she continues to drop new songs and freestyles in preparation for her upcoming album. Listen to Jean Deaux’s freestyle below and let us know what you think in the comments!