“Miami,” the first proper song on what-we’re-I-guess-calling-an-EP, GOOD Job, You Found Me, features Valee finally employing his soft-spoken, rise-and-fall flow popularized by hit single “Womp Womp.” Unfortunately, the memory of “Womp Womp” is all one can really gain from such a personality-void of a track — a song that also features Pusha T struggling harder to fit in with kids-these-days than Ricky Rosé on Lil Pump’s 2017 mixtape closer, “Pinky Ring.” While fellow GOOD Music freshmen 070 Shake and Sheck Wes spent 2018 dropping top tier work, Valee takes the opposite track, projecting a starkly ‘dontgiveafuck’ approach. The beat of opener “Juice and Gin”— already tired before you hear a note, just from the meme of a title — sounds like it’s off a low-quality YouTube video, and Valee doesn’t build much of any energy on the second track, “I Got Whatever,” on which the title phrase is repeated over and over.
By track four (of six), “Vlone,” one might almost come to respect how little Valee cares to show up on his own project. But consider that this is a rapper who’s been outclassed by a 13-year old (Matt Ox) and completely defined by an R&B singer’s (Jeremih) take on his flow, which Valee spent the latter months of the summer accusing others of biting. That just seem to be the mentality of someone with little to offer — and while Smokepurpp and the aforementioned Pump’s theft on the single “Nephew” was particularly egregious, it’s hard to side with Valee after hearing him yell at you about how much money he has stuffed in his pants on “Skinnys.” If anything, the self-produced finale “Shell” gives a faint glimmer of hope, with the silly, more expanded hook (“Dirty ass ginger ale / comin’ thru the mail”) showing an awareness sorely missing from the rest of the project.
Published as part of What Meek Didn’t Do | The Rap Releases We Missed in 2018.