Late Monday night, Lil Yachty and Valee dropped off their first collaboration to date, the curiously titled “Wombo,” on SoundCloud. It’s an incongruous pairing. Yachty’s best known for his sheer force of personality and red braids – his technical approach to rapping can generally be described as lackadaisical. Valee, a Chicago rapper who was recently signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music, while by no measure a classicist, provides a clear contrast with Boat’s looseness. He plays with darting flows, rarely hitting an expected pocket but throwing enough weight behind each clearly enunciated bar to let you know that there are no accidents here.
Furthermore, the beat is produced by ChaseTheMoney, Valee’s St. Louis-bred in-house producer. Valee favors off-kilter, bass-boosted beats – check out his recent GOOD Job, You Found Me EP for some examples – compositions barely identifiable as rap beats. “Wombo” is no different. For Valee, it’s a smeared canvas that suits him well — his verse is razor sharp, and feels effortless. For Yachty, the cacophony provides something else entirely, and it’s a backdrop he’s not particularly well equipped for.
That said, the young Atlantan sells it, even though he’s meeting Valee on his own turf. Yachty’s never been the most compelling rapper in the world, instead rising to prominence by simply radiating goodwill. That’s no different here; he’s meeting Valee in a (near alien) element, and resolves just have fun with the new guy on the block. That, Yachty can pull off.