Don’t sweat it if you’re unfamiliar with Chicago southside rapper, Valee’.
Though he’s five projects in, owns his own distinguishable sound, and has an organically grown fanbase, the 30-year-old rapper has only been making music seriously for three years.
Much like his arrival on the music scene, Valee’s journey to becoming an artist sort of came out of nowhere.
In an interview with Noisey last summer, he spoke on how he found music and how it’s become an obsession since.
“I’m in the house, bored, one day about four years ago, and I’m like, ‘I think I’m going to go and get a game system.’ But on the way to get to the game system, I make a detour and go to Guitar Center.”
Soon after his life was never the same. Valee’ continued,
“I began just staying in the house, tucked away with my head down making music while going to nightclubs, the out south strip clubs and spent my time getting to know the security, DJs. That became like a full-time job, and it paid off.”
With a home studio and the all the time in the world, Valee’ has been able to shape, reshape, and grow his sound at his own pace. With production coming from either himself or St. Louis producer ChaseTheMoney, Valee’ has found the recipe.
For example, how he was able to repurpose and repackage his first mixtape 12:12 by coming out with 12:12 Again a short year later. Between those two projects he dropped two more, 1:11 and 2:22, further mastering his craft.
Valee’ cites Project Pat, Three Six Mafia, and Kanye West as musical influences but he definitely has his own sound despite the influence of those aforementioned artists. His raspy, low-tone voice is more 21 Savage-esque and the simplistic melodies of both his beats and hooks take after a Chief Keef or even Gucci Mane.
His most successful song, “Shell”, encapsulates Valee’s lethargic approach in a nutshell. When you first hear the self-produced track you’re welcomed by trap drums, light chimes, and an infectious hook you just want to nod your head to. It’s Valee’ through and through.
What you’ll gather upon coming across Valee’ is that he’s not chasing fame, clout or notoriety. The attention he’s amassed comes from little to no public appearances despite being in a city known for its open mics and a strong performance scene.
He’s not worried about being seen; only heard — and it’s paid off.
Valee’ and ChaseTheMoney dropped a joint album titled VTM this past September, continuing the chemistry they’ve built together from 12:12.
Given the rapper’s work ethic — he’s averaging two projects a year — it’s safe to he’s one to look out for in 2018.
In the meanwhile, peep Valee’s body of work thus far. Don’t say we didn’t put you on first.