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Listen Now: Zhero - Anxiety (Freestyle) [prod. Austin McGrady]

Since the first time Zhero’s music – and his accompanying story – was put in front of me, I was hooked. It’s been a painfully honest and upfront purge of the deepest and darkest part of himself and, from the start, Zhero has never shied away from baring his soul for any and all who take the time to press play. At times, listening to Zhero has the potential to become uncomfortable because he makes the hurt, pain, confusion and inner turmoil sound so damn good. His vocals are raw and his flow is wildly smooth – when he balances the two, the resulting product is an engaging manifestation of sonic stylings from a young man who is lost, broken and struggling.

I don’t want to enjoy the music – I want to make sure the human being behind the music is OK. But he makes such beautiful music that it’s impossible not to enjoy. And, through all the darkness, there is always a faint glimmer of light – shining simply because he has not given up. At the end of the day, I think that is what makes his music so appealing. I mean, it’s appealing on quite a few levels for a variety of reasons – it’s unique, it’s pure, it’s authentic, it’s sonically pleasing. But the fact he’s making it serves as a sign he’s hanging on, white knuckled as he grips to the ledge, refusing to surrender to the demons that surround him.

“Anxiety (Freestyle),” the latest from Zhero, features enigmatic and bopping production that comes courtesy of Austin McGrady. The musical backdrop is a stark contrast to the depressed prose, creating a juxtaposing array of energy and vibes throughout the song. His emotive crooning gives way to a sharp, cold flow, showcasing the range of talent possessed within the confines of his tattered and torn head and heart. It’s not a fun song to listen to because you can feel his pain…but it’s one hell of an exhibition of where he’s at, how he’s feeling, and what he’s capable of.

In time, based solely on my personal and biased beliefs, I have full faith Zhero is going to heal, blossom and grow even more into himself and his artistry. In doing so, he’ll touch the lives of so many individuals who feel what he’s feeling – young people who are searching for a light, someone to help guide them out of their own darkness. Zhero has all the potential in the world to become that lighthouse.

Press play on “Anxiety (Freestyle)” below and then check out the recent “HELLP” visual Zhero dropped. Like his music, the video does a wondrous job blending Zhero’s pain with an undeniable creative expression.

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