tue 27/02/2024

CD: Rae Sremmurd - SremmLife 2 | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Rae Sremmurd - SremmLife 2

CD: Rae Sremmurd - SremmLife 2

Youthful Mississippi rap duo change their formula not one jot

The SremmLife wasn't broke, so they didn't fix it

The duo of Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi – aka 21- and 23-year-old Tupelo Mississippi brothers Khalif and Aaquil Brown – are the epitome of everything that is baffling to ageing hip hop fans.

Whisked from obscurity as teenagers by superstar producer Mike Will Made It, they became the breakthrough rap success of 2014, with what appeared to be little more than leaping around shirtless barking a bunch of half-nonsensical slogans and in-jokes about how much weed, money and sex they are surrounded by. There's nothing overtly conscious or “woke” about them, no reverence for hip hop's history, just mindless party music of the purest sort.

The thing is, that is brilliant. And on SremmLife 2, as the title suggests, they have not moved on a jot from their debut. Well, perhaps their voices are a little bit more husky and lived in – but they are still unmistakeably adolescent in tone, and they continue to ride beats that judder and boom with the drum-machines and insidious chiming hooks of the “Dirty South” (Mike Will once again produced almost the entirety of this album). “I'm just trying to have a fucking good time,” they patiently explain in “Come Get Her”, and that is precisely what this album continues to be about.

It's notable the guest spots come not from currently-hip R&B or pop singers (MWMI has after all extensively worked with Miley Cyrus), but from godfathers of this southern-states directness, roaring maniac Lil Jon and eccentric drug-rap kingpin Gucci Mane. But the core of the album remains the Brown brothers: it's a precision-engineered depiction of two young men having the time of their lives, no more, no less. But that precision is something that is not to be overlooked: just as with a perfect rock'n'roll record, the totality and focus of the expression and delivery elevate it into something quite glorious. Sure, we need rap records that speak of intellectualism, and self-analysis, and society's ills, and all the rest. But we also need ones that are able to express belligerent joy and not give a tinker's toss for anything else.


'I'm just trying to have a fucking good time,' they patiently explain in 'Come Get Her'


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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