The most important thing to know about Chicago's Zero Fatigue crew is that they have a living, breathing sound. Helmed by 20-year-old producer Monte Booker—an avowed aesthetic disciple of Flying Lotus and Timbaland—it's a spontaneous style shaped by the fusion of disparate trend lines, united by a generation raised to never see geography as a career obstacle. Not that their locale is meaningless: Chicago is a city of studios, and the collaborations between Booker, rapper Smino, and vocalist Ravyn Lenae came together thanks to Chris "Classick" Inumerable, a recording engineer who created his first studio when he was only 20 himself. "He always had the doors open and never charged me a penny for anything," Smino says of Inumerable. “He gives us this environment so we can inspire each other, and that's how we became a family.” Classick Studios, located on the western edge of Chicago's Ukrainian Village neighborhood, is where Zero Fatigue first bonded last year, and it’s where we meet one evening in December. [Pitchfork]

Chicago rapper Smino headlined the Zero Fatigue Showcase at Empire Control Room during SXSW 2017. Some photos above. Some videos below:

-
photos by Amanda Hatfield