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Song You Need: Z Money and Valee are still in lockstep on “Risk”

“Two 16s” was five years ago, but the duo haven’t lost their touch.

July 08, 2022

The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.

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When Z Money and Valee’s “Two 16s” dropped in 2017, it was like an alien transmission had beamed in. There’s no hook, no themes flying over your head, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone else rapping like them. In one half there was Z Money’s wispy Gucci-like sneer and in the other, Valee’s breathless stream-of-consciousness flow. Valee’s frustrated that people think he’d eat at Outback, and Z Money’s hustling with an empty box of Pop-Tarts somewhere in the trash. It’s two 16-bar verses of straight rapping and not much more. There’s no need to make it any more complex.

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“Risk,” their latest song, is a testament to their undeniable chemistry. Over a craterous beat from CheezzMusic, the duo hand off the mic to flex mismatched designer and fast cars. “T-Shirt 300, get one use out of it / My bitch call me fly, I’m proud of it,” Valee raps with a shrug. He never sounds fully satisfied with any of his flexes, but this one is warm and wholesome. A woozy hook from Z Money bookends the song, his rough voice smoothed into something lighter and slightly melodic. They could make reading from the dictionary sound good.

Thumbnail photo taken from video.

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Song You Need: Z Money and Valee are still in lockstep on “Risk”