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.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
feat: Big Sean