Rae Sremmurd: Rap's Rapscallions
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because Nicki Minaj and Pusha T, some of the biggest names in hip-hop, are backing up these hot new stars.
By Jasmina Cuevas
It is tough to tell how old brothers Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy of the hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd really are. I mean, they resemble a couple of teenage boys having a good ol’ time, but if you look past their party track, “No Flex Zone,” then you catch a glimpse of something more: a young group planning for a long-lasting career.
Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy had a tough childhood, peppered with a parental split and a rough neighborhood. But music became their outlet from the troubling times. Thanks to the visibility of local hip-hop hero David Banner, the boys realized they could be more than just some teenagers making music in their bedroom.
But they also knew that they had to start somewhere — so instead of waiting for Superman, they taught themselves how to produce and record tracks using the studio software Sonar 6. On the side, the boys used their musical insight to DJ parties and bring some fun nights to their friends. They made sure they dipped their hands in as many jars as they could; eventually someone was going to catch them.
The duo’s music has a down-South flow combined with an upbeat vibe that puts everyone in a feel-good mood.
Sure enough, the word started spreading that the brothers were producing some creative party tracks, and the information made its way all the way to Atlanta — specifically, to producer Mike Will Made It. Mike Will Made It loved what he heard from the boys and brought them on to his record label, EarDrummers, in 2013. The duo then took on the name Rae Sremmurd — Ear and Drummers spelled backward.
Next up: They dropped tracks “We” and “Why Enough.” Then “No Flex Zone” blew up, seemingly overnight. “Just making uptempo good music, to get people moving, make people’s day go by smoother,” Slim Jimmy said when asked about the inspiration behind the track. And that’s exactly what they have done. The duo’s music has a down-South flow combined with an upbeat vibe that puts everyone in a feel-good mood.
Hip-hop heavyweights Nicki Minaj and Pusha T, for their part, loved the track so much that they decided to add their own twists to it. Pusha created his own freestyle, but Nicki jumped on the remix. Which is good news. “It lets us know we are on the right track. We are making good quality music, which is always our goal. We are making good music that the world can accept and vibe to,” Swae Lee told OZY.
Hear it yourself:
- Jasmina Cuevas, OZY Author Contact Jasmina Cuevas