Rae Sremmurd Are Back And Sremmer Than Ever on ‘Sremm4Life’

Rae Sremmurd are party starters first and foremost. Their 2015 debut, SremmLife, burned bright with blockbuster singles like “No Flex Zone,” “This Could Be Us,” and “No Type,” still club staples to this day thanks to the Tupelo, Mississippi, brothers’ exuberant charisma and Mike WiLL Made-It’s slick production. They were ahead of the curve, too, on viral challenges like “Black Beatles.”

It’s been a few years since we’ve heard Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi make music together. Their last album, 2018’s SR3MM, was mostly a soft launch of their solo careers, but they’re back in full force as a united front for Sremm4Life, a tight statement from the two that sees them continue to grow and expand the unique sonic world they’ve invented.

The songs on their latest continue to showcase the interplay between the two sides of the brothers: Slim Jxmmi’s tougher edge continues to mingle well with Swae Lee’s softer, sung-rap delivery. It kicks off with the hazy “Origami,” a tribute to all the “hotties” of their past, present, and future that asks the extremely apt question, “How you have a party/And not invite us?” It’s something we’ve all asked in their absence. “Royal Flush” is addictive with its horn-driven loop full of quick one-liners (“I just shit on my ex/Now that’s a royal flush”) that feel classically Sremm.

Carrying the album, though, is the romantic streak the boys have. It’s what made previous standout tracks like “This Could Be Us” so enduring and beloved. “Tanisha (Pump That)” is a highlight, a saccharine dose of pure pop that goes down easy and lingers in your ears long after. “Flaunt It/Cheap” features an old-school beat and kicks off with Slim Jxmmi taking the lead, rapping swiftly over record scratches before Swae Lee swoops in with a swaggering slowdown. It’s an instant classic in their catalog worthy of any and all party playlists. “Sexy” provides a healthy dose of humor and fun in the middle of the LP, a bit of a spiritual Right Said Fred reinvention, with the two celebrating how good they look and why those looks make them so superior: “You can tell I think I’m sexy/And average things just don’t impress me/And I can’t smoke no reggie/Do what I want ’cause I’m sexy.”


The Eighties and Nineties hip-hop-beat references on the album open up a world of opportunity for the group: They’re clearly having the most fun lyrically as they update the past. Ideally, there’s a future where they see where that thread takes them. The album loses some steam in between such clearly excellent moments, with tracks like “Bend Ya Knees” going through the TikTok-bait motions and losing the charm that makes Rae Sremmurd so original.

But it all ends on a high note, with the industrial emo of “ADHD Anthem (Too Many Emotions).” The song is deeply un-Rae Sremmurd yet still works: a depression banger that can’t help but make you smile a bit at how catchy it is. It’s something only Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee can do so well.