Last Year's Rank: N/A
For someone who is still early in his career, Valee already has people talking about his influence in hip-hop. Fans have believed Valee's flow—a nonchalant delivery of words from someone seemingly unperturbed by anything—is being stolen by other rappers. His label boss Kanye West even claimed that "drill and Valee style is the most popular style in rap."
Valee seems unbothered by it, saying in an interview with Mass Appeal that "they didn't do it right." He has also been teasing new flows, informing swagger jackers there's more for them to bite.
But controversy aside, Valee's allure as a must-listen artist comes from his vivid approach to songwriting. On "Vtl," he spits, "I got three pints of lean, but I ain't check my auntie mail yet/I tried to leave four zips, she said, 'Uh uh, your unc gon' smell that.'" By the end of the song, you feel like you're moving weight with him outside of a Shell gas station. More examples are found on his latest EP, GOOD Job, You Found Me: "Juice & Gin," "Vlone," and "Miami" all give a perfect snapshot of the rapper's rags-to-riches story. With Valee's first single, "Womp Womp," getting early praise from rap tastemakers, the future of 'Ye's label looks bright. —Eric Diep