Short, Sweet and Millions of Streams.

This Chicago rapper is changing the game with his blunt lyrics, gritty beats and Gucci slides.

Listen to Valee

WHEN DID YOU GET STARTED?

When I was 14, I lived off 92nd street. My neighbor, Chase, was a FL Studio genius who looked up to Kanye West. He taught me about all the old groups of music, The Spinners, The Four Tops… everybody. He’d sample music, chop it up, and put beats to it – That’s how I learned.

In high school I was in a rap group with three other people. I’d make the beats and record us on Acid Pro and Sonic Foundry.

When I was 23 and started living on my own, that’s when something triggered me to stop into guitar center and pick up equipment. I’d always wanted to make beats, better than what I heard on the radio and all the mix tape websites.

I just buried my head and worked hard, and it worked.

HOW DID YOU GET DISCOVERED?

It was a mix of Andrew Barber, John Monopoly and a few others.

A year ago, we were flown out to meet an A&R at Interscope. Andrew Barber and John Monopoly got me in the door. The whole Good Music camp, except for a few of them were there, they knew about my music already, so when I went in with Andrew and Monopoly, everything just worked.

They chose “Shell” “I Got Whatever” and “Miami”.

WHY ARE YOUR SONGS UNDER 3 MINUTES?

I’d have friends come over to help motivate me and make music. We would go on WorldStar, no matter what we’re talking about, if it’s on WorldStar everybody’s paying attention to the track. By the time the second verse comes on they’d go back to their conversation because they get the point of the song.

I thought, why the hell am I sitting up here working so hard, putting in another hour and a half for another verse and apparently everyone’s going to talk through the second verse because songs just don’t hold their attention that long.

So, I said, I’ll just do a hook a verse a hook and bounce it out.

People say, "oh man why your songs so short I had to play that a thousand times!" I just say thanks, keep runnin’ it back, ‘cuz that’s more streams.

WHAT IS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR LYRICS AND STYLE OF LYRICISM?

I think about it like how many words there are and how to expand my vocabulary. Just finding ways to say things in different ways that excite and motivate people. I don’t like that boasting and bragging music. I say it in a way that makes you want to go and get it! I just try to do it in a way that I’m not making people feel bad, but I make people want to go and get everything – in the right way.

WHERE ARE YOU MOST INSPIRED TO CREATE?

The loft I was at for 6 years, off 26th and Dearborn in the old Lyric Opera’s warehouse.

The best looking loft in Chicago, tall ceilings, granite counter tops, and acoustics. It’s what inspired me to make music.

I didn’t even build out a studio. I kept it real simple—not, four things and that’s it.
New speakers / Laptop / Microphone / Mic stand

I recorded a lot, 80% of my music I’ve made myself.
I made Shell in front of my refrigerator and the beat in about 13 minutes.

WHO ARE YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCES?

Two Chainz / 3 6 Mafia / Every cash money song / Bankroll Fresh / Mannie Fresh