By the time we are connected with Rae Sremmurd, things are well over schedule and the brothers from Tupelo, Mississippi have been slogging it out against the sketchy conference line all day. With such similar voices it’s hard to decipher which belongs to Swae Lee and which is Slim Jimmy; fairly apt given the fact that many still think Rae Sremmurd (Ear Drummers backwards) is a solo artist. But, when you’re living that SremmLife, with the hottest album in the world, the down side is that journalists like me are going to want to grab a twenty minute conversation. That’s not to say that the duo aren’t engaged; they keep their responses short but well considered. And while they often describe lifestyles of excess, it feels like the concision of Rae Sremmurd is really their strength.
In a world of mixtapes, free EPs, pre-albums and daily SoundCloud drops, the traditional pop music model of two-singles-and-an-album is a rarity. The fact that Rae Sremmurd hit it out of the park with ‘No Flex Zone’ and ‘No Type’ then dropped their debut album almost seems cutting edge. SremmLife was intended to be an EP initially, however: “The good reception that we got from our first two singles ‘No Type’ and ‘No Flex Zone’; people were so drawn to them we just decided to do an album instead of dropping a mixtape,” they explain. “We made more music for it and we made it an album.” For many this would apply pressure. Coming out the gate without offering wares for free is almost unheard of for a hip-hop act these days, but Swae and Slim were too caught up in the music. “That didn’t even cross our minds,” they admit. “We didn’t even think about it like that. It was just like, ‘I hope they like the music.’ It’s all about the music.”