Written By Angelo Gingerelli
Rae Sremmurd should have been one-hit-wonders. By all accounts their summer 2014 blockbuster “No Flex Zone” should have been hot for a few weeks and in the bargain bin (do those exist anymore?) by Thanksgiving. Instead, the duo gained instant credibility when Pusha-T and Nicki Minaj jumped on the official remix and then did something nobody expected by dropping four more huge singles. The meme-ready “This Could Be Us”, the seductive “No Type,” the strip pole themed “Throw Sum Mo” and the spring break anthem “Come Get Her” were the soundtrack to countless high school and college parties for the next year and helped pave the way for artists like Lil’ Uzi Vert and Lil’ Yachty to gain national attention.
Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy, along with producer/mentor Mike Will Made It, are back to try to duplicate the success of SremmLife with the unimaginatively titled SremmLife 2 just a few months after their previous singles have finally cooled down at clubs and on radio. The project is solid from beginning to end, but most likely lacks the hits and staying power of the original.
The members of Rae Sremmurd are extremely young (both were born in the mid-90’s) and represent the current younger side of the generation gap in Hip-Hop, and while a lot of this album will be loved by kids, there is nothing on it that will sway older fans to respect the young duo. The lead single “Look Alive” is a good example of the entire album, the beat is the kind of drugged-out, spacey soundscape popular in trap music, but mellowed out and melodic enough to not be overly aggressive. The majority of the lyrics are more singing/chanting/mumbling than rapping and the actual verses are very short and simple. The formula is incredibly popular on commercial radio with artists like Future, Fetty Wap and Disiigner becoming household names in the last few years.
The album features a few of the godfathers of this style of rap with Gucci Mane (the obviously trolling-titled “Black Beatles”), Juicy J (“Shake It Fast”…No, it’s not better than Mystical’s version), and Lil’ Jon (“Set The Roof”) all making cool contributions and welcoming Swae & Jimmy into the fraternity of party rap royalty. The general subject matter doesn’t stray far from partying, women and money, so overall the album has very little to offer anybody not interested in getting “Turnt” at the club.
Your feelings on SremmLife 2 will most likely depend on your age and taste in music, if you’ve ever been in an argument about who had the best verse on Wu-Tang’s “Protect Ya’ Neck” this is not for you, if you couldn’t wait to download Gucci Mane’s first post-prison release you will probably love every minute of this.
Best Songs: “Look Alive,” “Black Beatles,” “Came A Long Way”
Perfect For: Clubs, House Parties, Frat Parties, Basement Parties, Teen Nights, You get the point…
Rating: 7 out of 10
Also Worth Checking Out…
DJ Khaled – Major Keys: DJ Khaled albums are like the NBA All-Star Game in that the best players are all there, but nobody seems to be trying very hard. While only a handful of these songs are more entertaining than Khaled’s snapchat it will provide a decent soundtrack to the dog days of summer.
Manganelli – Sauce: This Jersey Shore native is amassing youtube hits and a solid following with his unique version of Trap Music. Check it out here and then tell your friends you knew about him first…