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Rae Sremmurd: SremmLife [PA]

Track List

>Lit Like Bic (Intro)
>Unlock the Swag - (featuring Jace)
>No Flex Zone
>My X
>This Could Be Us
>Come Get Her
>Up Like Trump
>Throw Sum Mo - (featuring Nicki Minaj/Young Thug)
>YNO - (featuring Big Sean)
>No Type
>Safe Sex Pay Checks

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[They] radiate an inescapable exuberance, shouting with the zeal of freshly minted stars as they build off the joyous bounce of last year's hits 'No Flex Zone' and 'No Type.'"

Spin - "There's something about Mike Will's sharp-eyed understanding of the rappers' voices that smoothes out their edges without masking their tics and quirks..."

Spin - "[E]very single track on their tight debut SremmLife is full of youthful energy and goofy charm..."

Paste (magazine) - "The opening track, 'Lit Like Bic,' is rambunctious with slight touches of a dirty guitar....'Up Like Trump' comes later, menacing, with a sinister piano and explosive bass.

Pitchfork (Website) - "SREMMLIFE hurdles the hype machine with infectious rap music. It never sags, packing hooks into every pocket and half-beat."

Album Notes

Audio Mixer: Stephen Hybicki.

Recording information: Ear Drumma Studios, Atlanta, GA; Larrabee Sound Studios, North Hollywood, CA; Mean Street Studios, Atlanta, GA; No Excuses, Santa Monica, CA; Tree Sound Studios, Atlanta, GA; Windmark Studios, Santa Monica, CA.

Photographer: Diwanna Valdez.

Looking like a combination of Kriss Kross and Das Efx while sounding like neither, Tupelo, Mississippi rappers Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy came on hard in 2014, taking Migos' bright style of trap music and adding a little of David Banner's sway to the bottom end. They aren't so gangsta, and their early hits came with arguably "positive" messages when compared to folks like Chief Keef, as the brilliant "No Type" ("I ain't got no type/Bad bitches is the only thing that I like/You ain't got no life/Cups filled with ice and we do this every night") is a booty-fueled ode to keeping one's mind open, while "No Flex Zone" believes it's better to be a "trill ass individual" than a crowd follower. That latter hit put Rae Sremmurd (or Ear Drummers backwards, a reference to producer Mike WiLL Made It's record label) on the cover of a Marvel comic book relaunching Captain America as a racially diverse title, and in this case, the hype machine and talent work in tandem as SremmLife surrounds its hits with worthy follow-ups. Stoned roller "Lit Like Bic" is just happy to sit in "poppa's chair" now that these teens are entering their twenties, then "Up Like Trump" spits out witty bits like "I do my own stunts" and "wear my hat to the front, like I drive a truck," and like everything here, it's highly infectious. SremmLife can also be a surprisingly diverse and sure, as "Throw Some Mo" saddles up next to a strip clubbin' Nicki Minaj with so much swagger that no one will bother to check these kid's I.D.s. Big Sean's feature lands on "YNO," a crucial cut that's one-part zombie walk, one-part come-up anthem ("Tokyo drift through the hills/Used to have to walk, no wheels"). There are moments when the LP feels a bit rushed, but there's also more refinement and purpose here than expected from such a supernova act. The coming-of-age and kinetic SremmLife reminds listeners that jumping into "poppa's chair" was a thrilling mix of pride and new opportunities, plus, the album doubles as a guaranteed party soundtrack. ~ David Jeffries


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