Kanye West may keep accomplished company, but a glance at his G.O.O.D. Music roster shows a keen interest in new talent. Case in point: Chicago rapper Valee, who, following breakthrough 2016 hit “Shell” and a Pitchfork Festival after party set last July, found himself on the line with West after being connected by his manager, noted hip-hop tastemaker Andrew Barber. “[Kanye] is telling me how much he enjoyed my music,” explains Valee, 29. “He said everyone at G.O.O.D. was a fan of my music and was excited to work with me.”
It wasn’t until last October, though, that Valee’s carefree, off-kilter flow got him officially signed with G.O.O.D. Music. In March, he made his debut with the six-track mixtape GOOD Job, You Found Me, executive-produced by West and featuring Pusha T as the sole guest.
What attracted Valee to G.O.O.D. wasn’t the star-studded roster (Big Sean, Desiigner), but that the imprint let him create without restrictions. “There were a few labels scouting me, but I felt like G.O.O.D. had my best interest at heart,” says the Chicago native. “They gave me the freedom to really do what I want, which is to expand my brand, make great music and find ways to elevate my sound.”