Valee - Vacabularee Music Album Reviews

Valee - Vacabularee Music Album Reviews
The Chicago rapper’s new album contains a few flashes of brilliance, but the aloof flows that set him apart now feel a little too familiar.

Name a U.S. city and you can pretty much guarantee it’s home to a new wave of rappers boasting emotionless, too-cool-to-care flows. Among the strongest from the past few years are late Cali storytellers Drakeo the Ruler and Bris, who coldly broke down street politics with a shrug. On 2019’s Days B4 III, Chicago’s Lucki used his inexpressiveness to convey heartbreak and the pain of addiction; meanwhile, the casual deadpans of Detroit spitters like World Tour Mafia, Baby Smoove, and Veeze are designed to make the good life sound routine. With that in mind, Valee’s zen, sleepwalking delivery is not quite the anomaly it was nearly five years ago when he was actively rewiring rap flows with the tumbling nonchalance of “Two 16s.” But his voice still doesn’t sound like anyone else’s: There are layers, switch-ups, and clever intricacies that have kept the Chi-Town native fresh. Detached flows may have become increasingly popular, but Vacabularee is a reminder of Valee’s singularity, even if he’s settled into his comfort zone. 

The rapping is skillful here, but it doesn’t feel engineered to blow you away–though it occasionally will. Valee just finds the coolest form in which to rap a verse, a line, or a particular phrase. On “Alpina Beama,” the words themselves aren’t that compelling, but it’s covered up with a flow that works like a continuous stream, making it difficult to tell where bars begin and end. The rhymes are a bit more playful and colorful on “LaFlare;” Valee slows things down, so you can’t miss his punchline about doing donuts in the parking lot of a PetSmart, or misunderstand his slick yet simple wordplay. If some of these bars were said by anyone else, they might feel mailed-in, but Valee’s distinctive vocal wrinkles make them highlights. When he raps, “And I got her right down in Chanel, parentheses” on “Eye Get Money,” the fairly ordinary punchline becomes anthemic as he holds the purr syllable of “parentheses.” It’s like watching the Denzel Washington monologue at the end of Training Day–it would be dumb if he didn’t make it feel so bracing. 

Sometimes, though, when Valee isn’t pushing himself, the relative predictability can feel boring. On “Jumpman,” Valee joins ZelooperZ, a like-minded oddball who shares a penchant for flows that are always ahead of the curve. But the possibilities they had for a joint track are a lot wilder in theory, and the straightforwardness is a letdown. The technical rapping is sharp on “Free Willy,” but the murmuring direction makes it feel incomplete. A handful of the blown-out bass beats (see: “Woozi” and “Bell Biv Devoe”) are characteristic for Valee, but they also feel dated, diverting attention from the actual rapping. These moments make you wish that he was chasing brilliance more often, instead of being content with stumbling into it. 

It’s hard to harp on this point, considering that Valee is still an exciting rapper without that level of ambition. His array of flows is the draw, but his funny everyman raps are just as good because of how specific they are: Over the spacey groove of “Koala,” he brags about the wall art he purchased on Etsy; he runs up a $900 bill at Costco on “Eye Get Money;” and on “Double Dutch,” he shouts out the most random late era Bruce Willis movie. The only reasonable explanation is that he must’ve been flipping through the deep corners of his cable package directly before entering the booth. It’s something only Valee would do. 
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Valee - Vacabularee Music Album Reviews Valee - Vacabularee Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 21, 2022 Rating: 5


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