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Rae Sremmurd Balances Diverging Tastes With Three New Tracks

Rae Sremmurd showcase their individual talents on three new tracks.
Michael Loccisano
Getty Images
Rae Sremmurd showcase their individual talents on three new tracks.

Just shy of a month ago, Swae Lee, one half rap duo Rae Sremmurd, announced on social media that he and his counterpart, Slim Jxmmi, would be adding a "twist" to their third studio album.

"SremmLife three is a Triple disk," he tweeted. "One side Rae Sremmurd, one side Slim Jxmmi, and one side Swae Lee."

It was a lofty promise, the kind rappers often make nonchalantly, but then, for whatever combination of reasons, don't usually back up. Haters be damned, the pair has given fans their first taste of the triple-disc effort today by dropping three new tracks, each showcasing something a little different. The first track, "Powerglide," featuring Juicy J, is a straight forward Mike Will Made-It, Rae Sremm-slayed it banger. The sample of a Three 6 Mafia classic "Side 2 Side" has the right amount of twerkable bass and balances verses from all three rappers.

The second and third releases however, are where the musical styles diverge. The Bizness Boi, Fwdskxsh and E.Y-produced mood of Swae Lee's "Hurt To Look" is lovesick and lost while Slim Jxmmi's "Brxnks Truck," produced by Mike Will and J-Bo, is hard-hitting and exuberant. Both tracks confusingly feature Rae Sremmurd.

As duo that's grown up in rap's spotlight and solidified themselves in the mainstream with the No. 1-charting track "Black Beatles" in 2016, this is the first time each member is simultaneously showing off his individual style. Swae Lee convinced listeners he had potential in the R&B space with his 2017 feature on French Montana's "Unforgettable" and Jxmmi has worked on his own with the likes of Juicy J, Dice Soho and Blac Youngsta.

This triple-play of music following the duo's first single of 2018 "T'd Up" is starting conversations with some comparing the duo to ATL icons OutKast circa Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Though the logistics and accreditation for these new projects can --- and likely will — get confusing, what is clear that each respective member is admirably exploring new options while still trying to hold on to his roots.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.
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