Chicago is filled with a group of musicians who are cut from the same cloth as one another, but I’d say it’s a different cloth than the rest of the world. There is just something in the air here in the Windy City that has given us some of the most talented artists with so many unique sounds, but I think the conversation about individuality amongst these talents can start and end with Valee. The South Side spitter first came across my radar about 5 or so years ago, and the instant I heard his one-of-a-kind flow, I knew that I was going to become obsessed with his music.

The thing is, he began with a very inimitable flow that others attempted to copy with no success, and while he delivered this cadence over minimalistic, pounding instrumentals, there was something so mesmerizing about the simplicity he brought to life within his music. Since then, he has remained one of my favorite local emcees, and he has used his unmatched imagination to ideate an entire arsenal of one-off, incomparable cadences that never fail to blow me away. In the same breath, Valee isn’t a very flashy person by any sense of the meaning, so he can just casually drop anything like his brand-new project VACABULAREE whenever he wants, however he pleases, and I know it’s going to fly under the radar much more than it deserves to.

Regardless, I know the kind of talent that Valee possesses, and I knew that this one was going to be one of the most creative pieces of music that we have heard all year. With 15 songs lasting around 35 minutes long, it’s definitely a bit lengthier when compared to some of his other efforts, but it just provides even more of Valee’s distinctive innovations, which is something I’ll never take for granted. The instrumentals are certainly par for the course in terms of their originality as certain tracks utilize samples in a very off-the-wall fashion, but the way I see it, nothing will ever trump the Chi-Town spitter’s lyrics.

It still amazes me to this day that he is able to pull off such subtle flexes that Valee appears to mention in passing, sharing them with listeners as if he’s tired of talking about these things but does so to continue to appease his fans. This might not sound like I’m giving him credit, but I just think it’s the complete opposite of the way other musicians discuss these items because while they scream and shout about jewelry, designers, and luxuries, Valee comparatively whispers them.

At the same time, these whispers shine much brighter and seem to highlight his bars in a much more special and exclusive light than anyone else could ever pull off. VACABULAREE, like many of Valee’s other releases, seems like it’s just another day at the office for him, but longtime fans know that this casual aesthetic is what makes him one of the most atypically gifted, irreplaceable, and unparalleled talents in the industry, and I can’t wait to dive right back into this project as soon as I can!