It has been almost three years since the first time I saw Rae Sremmurd. The party crashing duo hailing from Tupelo, Mississippi were performing a set at SXSW hosted by famed Atlanta producer Mike WiLL Made-It. The rappers, Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi, performed a couple of trap jumping bangers for the crowd; one of which, “No Flex Zone” would turn out to be Rae Sremmurd’s breakout single. Three years, a couple of last year’s hottest songs, “No Type” & “Throw Sum Mo,” and a critically acclaimed debut album later, and Rae Sremmurd has become one of Hip-Hop’s biggest surprises in recent memory.
While the group has always been known for their club bangers, the duo has always been more than just “party rappers.” One-half of the duo, Swae Lee has shown potential as one of the industries budding songwriters. Lee already has writing credits with the likes of Beyonce and Gucci Mane and recently revealed to MTV that he even wrote a song for the pop star Katy Perry.
On the flip side, Slim Jxmmi has started becoming a bigger personality in Hip-Hop. He’s like a mix of Juicy J, Mystikal ,8Ball and Lil Jon all rolled into one. Slim has definitely stepped up his lyrical content on this project. Not that Slim is done rapping about the party scene; he has just developed a better way of delivering the message, this time around.
Sremmlife 2 is like the first album- but on steroids. When it comes to club music, no one can really challenge the status that Mike Will is has created for himself over time and this LP definitely defends that argument.
I believe that this project features some of the best production that we have seen from the superstar producer. The track “Real Chill,” featuring Florida native Kodak Black, has a pulsing beat that makes Swae Lee’s vocals pop out during the hook. Then, on the record “Came A Long Way,” Mike Will stacks multiple chords on top of each other that it gives Slim Jxmmi’ verse a soulful feel.
It is not just the production that gives these records life, but the performances by the group and their long list of features that make this LP worthwhile. The standout moment from Sremmlife 2 is the infectious “Black Beetles” record. With gorgeous production provided by Mike Will, plus luxurious wordplay from Gucci Mane, and Swae Lee providing a hypnotic hook equals an audio masterpiece. We also can’t sleep on Slim Jxmmi as he lays down some memorable bars:
“D&G on me I got a lot of flavor/15 hundred on my feet, I’m tryna kill these haters”
“Black Beetles” follows the style of songs that are found on most of this album. Rae Sremmurd is from the deep south, and you can hear that culture influence their lyrics. To top that off, most of the features on this LP are from some OG southern club bangers. Juicy J makes a contribution on the track “Shake it Fast“, and Lil John lends his talents to the hook
Though Rae Sremmurd, is known as a “club artists” there is a sequence at the end of the album where the duo changes direction. On the tracks “Now That I know” and “Do Yoga“, both artists take a more melodic approach . Swae Lee ‘s vocals take center stage on these tracks.
“Quit tellin’ the world that I deal with you/ That’s what n*ggas do, that’s what n*ggas do/ So much for a dream come true/ So this is what we’ve come to?”
However, Slim takes the challenge of going on a record with a slower tempo and succeeds. Both rappers show in the last part of the LP, they are way more than meets the eye.
Overall, Sremmlife 2 is an LP full of growth for Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi. Backed by one of the hottest producers in the industry, Rae Sremmurd continues to prove their doubters wrong. Sremmlife 2 is the perfect record for the end of summer 16 and well into the fall.
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