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Valee Proves Himself As a “Virtuoso” on Harry Fraud-Produced Full-Length Debut (Album Review)

Valee is a 34 year old rapper from Chicago, Illinois making waves by releasing 3 mixtapes & a couple EPs from the span of 2015-2018 until one of my top 10 producers of all-time Kanye West signed him to a joint deal with G.O.O.D. Music & Def Jam Recordings. The next 2 EPs G.O.O.D. Job, You Found Me & Runnin’ Rich helped spread plugg music to a mainstream audience despite both receiving mixed reception to the point where he would go his own way from Thersday onward. It should also be noted that Valee additionally has 2 EPs with AYOCHILLMANN as the duo The TrAppiEst as well as 2 more with ChaseTheMoney as the duo VTM & 1 with Stan Lane as the duo Vlane. But coming off the Vacabularee mixtape this past winter, Harry Fraud’s now being brought in to produce Valee’s official full-length debut from top to bottom & it actually had me looking forward to it. On top of that: His manager is now Andrew Barber of Fake Shore Drive, who has one of the most resourceful Twitter pages ever.

“Sea Bass” is a cloudy trap opener to the album talking about the lifestyle that he lives whereas “About That” featuring 03 Greedo goes into even spacier territory sampling Geno Smith’s iconic line they wrote me off but I ain’t write back though” asking how they supposed to feel about bullshit. “Yea But Um” brings in some wavy synthesizers & hi-hats admitting he forgets the brands when he walks in the store, but then “Vibrant” featuring Action Bronson is a more soulful cut showing off the fresh outfits they walked out with.

Meanwhile, the Z Money feature on “Uppity” is one of his best verses post-1017 Worldwide as he & Valee jump on top of a piano trap instrumental describing their bitches as exactly that leading into “Dutty Laundry” giving off a more psychedelic edge boasting that he’s in Gucci like a mixtape, humorously referencing Gucci Mane’s historically endless mixtape catalog. The woodwinds & synths blended throughout “Not Right Now” work so pleasantly targeting it towards his lover on top of RXKNephew’s invigorating guest appearance truthfully making me a fan of his leading into the quirkily-produced “WTF” featuring Twista talking about their bitches once more & it makes sense considering Kanye had a hand in 2 of the Tung Twista’s biggest hits “Slow Jamz” alongside “Overnight Celebrity”.

The song “Washington Wizard” dives into trillwave turf once more telling his girl he needs space with these luscious synthesizer patterns while the penultimate track/final single “Watermelon Automobile” was actually what prompted me into wanting to reviewing this album especially since MAVI & Saba both appear together for the first time I believe over some keys & hi-hats flexing that they switched the paint. To wrap things up here, “Ufillme” sees the former G.O.O.D. Music artist sets to find out if any of us can feel him on everything that says accompanied by an intoxicating beat.

G.O.O.D. Job, You Found Me was an incredibly underwhelming for a lot of people including myself & here we are 5 years later with Harry Fraud behind the boards for his full-length debut album that completely surpassed all expectations I had going into it. Easily the most well-crafted body of work in Valee’s discography. He has some dope lines, but I can understand that his LUCKI-inspired delivery/flow isn’t for everyone & the vibes from the production are mostly similar to that of one of my favorite Playboi Carti cuts “Location”.

Score: 8/10

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