For the first time in almost five years, the popular hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd has returned with their brand new album “Sremm 4 Life.” Following the success of 2018’s “SR3MM,” brothers Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmy are back with more club bangers for us to enjoy. But with so much time away from the album game, it was hard to gauge whether or not they would be successful upon their return.
To be clear, both brothers have been together on songs since their third album, along with featuring on other people’s songs. Swae Lee in particular is a popular feature amongst artists, appearing on albums by Lil Yachty, French Montana and even the “Madden NFL 22 Soundtrack.” While less prevalent, Slim Jxmmy also appears on a couple of features here and there.
With Swae Lee two months away from turning 30 and Slim Jxmmy already 31, it’s hard not to expect a level of maturity in their most recent project compared to the sentiments of “No Flex Zone,” which helped blow up their career. Songs like “Something I’m Not” touch on the murder of their stepfather, while “ADHD Anthem (2 Many Emotions)” talks about the isolation of fame. Another form of growth that is evident is their maturity as vocalists, with Swae Lee’s voice sounding as good as, if not better than, 2018’s chart-topping “Guatemala.”
Unlike some of the other collaboration albums that have come out this year, it is very clear which brother plays what role. Swae Lee sings and does more melodic things, while Slim Jxmmy is assigned to rapping. The pair hit their stride with the same confidence that made them popular in the first place, but that’s not to say that Swae Lee doesn’t rap or that Slim Jxmmy doesn’t sing; they do it interchangeably.
Rae Sremmurd and producer/boss Mike Will Made-It excel at creating music that is meant to be heard in a club. With booming 808s, bouncy rhythms and melodic choruses that are easy to follow, Rae Sremmurd makes music to shake your ass, if we’re being honest. With images of dazzling lights, bright jewelry and beautiful women, the party never ends with Rae Sremmurd. The two features, Young Thug and Future, are the perfect addition to the album’s superstar vibe. Future’s flow is memorable on “Activate,” while Thug’s addition to “Royal Flush” is welcomed.
Not all songs on a project are going to be standout bangers, but by God, they managed to make a large percentage of the album playlist-worthy. I found myself having fun listening to the beats provided by Mike Will Made-It, Cubeatz, Zaytoven, Murda Beatz, Pluss and Sonny Digital, just to name a few. Even if you’re not a rap connoisseur, those are some significant household names providing their expertise to make the album shine. “Flaunt It/Cheap” has that 1980s New York breakbeat meets ATL bounce in both halves to make what might be one of the most enjoyable songs I’ve heard from the pair since “Up In My Cocina.” With an eerie synth that pops off in the second half combined with hi-hats that pan “right-center-left,” the five-man production team on this song deserves a round of applause.
If there was any doubt about whether or not Rae Sremmurd was back in business those doubts are immediately dispelled. These two brothers along with executive producer Mike Will Made-It managed to bring the same energy and quality of their last three albums. In fact, many would consider this to be an improvement from the last project, which was a three-part album, because it’s been slimmed down to a much more manageable 47 minutes. It’s hard not to feel like you’re the life of the party when listening to this album, with many songs deserving of a spot on the nightclub playlist.