Review: SR3MM — Rae Sremmurd

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Review: SR3MM — Rae Sremmurd

Hektor Vineburg

SR3MM, an album from trap pop duo Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi — better known as Rae Sremmurd — is the follow up to their mega-hit Sremmlife 2. With Sremmlife 2 it seemed the duo reached their peak with a catchy take on this new, spacey, trap based Atlanta sound coming out of the South of hip-hop. Hits like (the infamously viral) “Black Beatles” created a melodic mix of trap and pop which was undeniable for anyone listening. Coming off that album, there were a few questions that came naturally to any listener’s mind. Was this the logical conclusion for Rae Sremmurd’s sound? Could they come back with a hit just as catchy as “Black Beatles” or would they fall off? Would they go in a different artistic direction?

SR3MM leaves me with mixed answers and a general sense of confusion as how to judge this album. The album is split into three “albums”. There’s SR3MM, which is business as usual; Swaecation which is solely controlled by Swae Lee; and Jxmtro headed by Slim Jxmmy. This album is an hour and forty one minutes, a trawl especially for the type of hip hop that Rae Sremmurd create. Beginning with SR3MM, songs like “CLOSE”, “Powerglide” and “Perplexing Pegasus” deliver and expand on what the two have been doing with their trap pop sound. With poppy beats, punchy drums, energetic vocals, and a spacey atmospheric setting, Rae Sremmurd properly follow up their sophomore effort.

Sounds good right? More of the same with a bit more of an experimental edge from your two favourite trap poppers. Coming out of “T’d Up” I felt the exact same. Don’t be fooled though — there’s another hour of material to go through. Swaecation is up next, and to be quite honest: this is seriously one of the worst examples of stream-oriented album filler I have seen. Ideas worthy of an interlude at most are overloaded on top of Caribbean flavoured trap pop —  look no further than “Guatemala”, “Offshore”, and “Hurt to Look”.  This is the lowest point in the duo’s discography, so much so that I felt like I was going to succumb to hallucinations created by the boredom of tracks like “Heat Of The Moment”. The benign crooning barely tolerable in an early Post Malone song is front and centre of Swae Lee’s artistic process. With lyrics being replaced with ad-libs and production NOT from Mike WILL Made It, it’s clear Swaecation for me is my least favourite hip hop “album” I’ve heard all year so far.

Let’s continue with Jxmtro. Slim Jxmmy creates a CD which further reveals that Rae Sremmurd is a group that make songs greater than the sum of their parts. Jxmtro exposes Slim Jxmmy as a mediocre rapper without Swae Lee, with “Anti-Social Smokers Club” and “Chanel” being especially mediocre — the latter in particular drained me, with one of the most bizarre performances Pharrell has ever given. “TAKE HER TO CHANEL COS SHE FINE” will haunt the dreams of my descendants to come.

If this album stopped at SR3MM, I would be more than happy to give this album a positive review. It lives up to the hype Rae Sremmurd built form “Black Beatles”. However, this album. kept. going. The obvious stream filling here is ridiculous and spells trends I fear as an avid listener of hip hop. Rae Sremmurd were aiming for the heights of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and clearly missed the mark.

SURG FM Broadcaster