The Rae Sremmurd road to success has been relatively straightforward. Every album cycle comes with a few hits that the pair is able to capitalize on. This is likely what resulted in the structure of SR3MM, as it is technically three albums, SR3MM, Swaecation, and Jxmtro, that the pair packaged together, likely to pool streams amongst the three records and make use of the already established Rae Sremmurd name. Inadvertently, however, this SR3MM three disc becomes an argument for keeping Rae Sremmurd together.
SR3MM, the first album, is clearly the best of the three. The chemistry between Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi is undeniable, though the product is at best catchy and at worst vapid. “Powerglide” would be this best-case scenario, and “Perplexing Pegasus” would be the worst. The two manage to put together catchy southern influenced songs that do not attempt to be anything greater than party music. “Buckets,” which attempts to be serious to some degree, still has a more laid-back attitude than any other rapper on that instrumental could have brought. The duo own their aesthetic and play off each other’s strengths (like Slim Jxmmi’s flows and lyrics and Swae Lee’s singing) in order to bring it to fruition. That is what results in the better songs, like “Up In My Cocina.”
Swaecation, on the other hand, is an immense disappointment. Every song on this album feels like listening to Swae Lee try to make a full version of his verse on “Unforgettable.” Yet, he is unable to capture the catchiness that made that song popular. Instead, he has produced nine of the most overindulgent tracks on the album. At best, you have “Guatemala,” the closest Swae gets in achieving that dance-hall sound, and a lukewarm Young Thug feature. The worst, however, is not as easy to discern, as so much of Swaecation is the same. All the tracks have this juvenile playboy atmosphere infused into them that actually make some parts of Swaecation rather funny. “If you can’t get over me it’s because the good vibrations” is definitely something a high schooler will tweet when they break up with their girlfriend.
The last hope becomes Slim Jxmmi, and, like many people, I was reluctant to place my hope in any man who refers to himself as Slim Jxmmi. The thing is, Jxmtro is actually surprisingly cohesive. “Brxnks Truck” and “Chanel” encapsulate Slim Jxmmi’s focus on the mainstream trap sound as well as his emphasis on that aggressive southern delivery. However, his pursuit of this sound leads him to fall into most of the problems intrinsic to it, namely the repetitiveness and mindlessness. Most of the choruses reflect this, though the main examples would be “Chanel” as well as “Player’s Club,” as both rely on minimalistic choruses that can be either catchy like “Chanel” or corny like “Player’s Club.” Slim Jxmmi’s performances manage to avoid any other noticeable problems, as he is rather consistent with his energy and flow. His guest features, on the other hand, are more erratic in quality. Riff 3x matches Slim Jxmmi’s energy, but Zoe Kravitz kills any of the life still struggling within “Anti-Social Smokers Club.”
This record is easily the low point in the Sremmlife trilogy, which in itself is not a legendary or particularly special trilogy. It comes off as an attempt by the artist’s to stream troll through the disguise of a triple disc while still delivering much of the watered down, inconsistent, and often uncreative music traditionally spawned as a result of stream trolling. While it is not surprising that Rae Sremmurd has gone in this direction, the music produced as a result is simple quantity over quality.
SR3MM – 7.5/10