April 25, 2024

Valee & Stan Lane Raise The Bar With Their Ice Cold EP “VLANE 2”

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Valee has the ability to sound both menacing and unassuming on the microphone. There’s a grim intensity to his rhymes, which consists of hyperbolic boasts, but the rapper balances it out with a callousness that makes his boasts appear legitimate. When left unchecked this combination can get repetitive. Fortunately, VLANE 2 is an EP in which less translates to more. With producer Stan Lane at the helm, Valee’s verbal talents shine brighter than ever.

To call VLANE 2 brief would be an understatement. The EP is only five tracks and nine minutes in length, which means it never has a chance to overstay its welcome. Valee and Stan Lane take few shots over the course of the project, but none of the shots feel tossed off or left to chance. Every second of VLANE 2 is thought out, resulting in musical and lyrical consistency throughout. It’s the sort of consistency that only happens when one emcee and one producer are working in tandem. The opening track, “regret”, makes the EP’s conciseness unmistakably clear.

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Valee & Stan Lane Surpass Their First EP

“CoMmandO” keeps the sleek, threatening vibe of the opener intact, but it’s the song “DigiDasH” that perfects the aesthetic Valee and Stan Lane are striving for. The latter cooks up a menacing production reminiscent of Metro Boomin‘s darkest moments. The former sounds like he’s narrating a nightmare in which he’s the antagonist. “My comma’s going up like when you type quote unquote,” he spits. “That Gucci two different browns, we root beer float.” The fourth track, “SeE it”, sees Stan Lane channel his inner Chuck Inglish with a bassy, Cool Kids-esque instrumental.

“MooNpie CuT” wraps things up on a high note. Lane throws it back with an 80s R&B-laced production, while Valee channels the swagger of Kush & OJ era Wiz Khalifa. If that comparison sounds like a stretch, then Valee doubles down by referencing the Pittsburgh rapper: “Smoking out the bed he think he Wiz Khalifa burning.” It’s a smooth capper to a purposely skeletal outing, and it loops right back around to “regret”, inviting the listener to run VLANE 2 all the way back. The sequel is a marked improvement over the original, and a reminder that a focused EP can be more rewarding than an album triple the length.

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