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Rap duo Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee, also known as Rae Sremmurd, return to bless us with another line up of bangers after a mere 19 months. At least, that was the ambition. Complete with double the features of SremmLife, SremmLife 2 offers the same attractions as its predecessor. Their staple party anthems are their biggest strength. Unfortunately, for them, its one that eats them from the inside out.
There are eleven tracks on 2. “Start a Party” is a decent start to them, but only decent. Their weakness is apparent from song one, even if it’s on a passable beat. It’s difficulties lie in the uninspired, cookie cutter verses and tiring chorus. The Kodak Black featured “Real Chill” is an upgrade in every way. The rhymes are tougher, the beat sinks deep, and Kodak puts the perfect combo of finesse and fire into his lines. Next up, one of two wildly popular singles on 2, is “By Chance.” The song is as clever and cool as the lottery-inspired cover art for this single. Uncle Jxmmi and Swae hit the jackpot on this single, once again. The excitement doesn’t end there, though. Sremmurd goes back-to-back with bangers between “By Chance” and “Look Alive.” The latter being the strongest of the couple. Check out the remix with Migos. Quavo, an unavoidable rising star in hip-hop at the moment, improves on an already excellent party rocker.
The middle chunk of SremmLife 2 is, without question, the best of Rae Sremmurd here. “Black Beatles” wastes no time maintaining the momentum. One listen is all that’s needed to get attached to this one. Oh, and Atlanta’s own Gucci Mane, who is enjoying quite the resurgence, makes a stop here. “Shake It Fast” and “Set the Roof” admittedly are the least likeable of the phenomenal tear Sremmurd goes on from songs three to seven. That’s not to say they’re bad songs, though. “Shake It Fast” has a killer Juicy J collaboration and likeable chorus. The same can’t be said for “Set the Roof,” which has a dated feeling Lil Jon chorus. But, the rest of it bumps just fine, thanks to some solid verse work from the duo.
“Come A Long Way” seems like a poor man’s Ice Cube cruise jam, like “It Was A Good Day.” They should be so lucky. You can feel the intended direction on “Long Way,” but that’s about all that’s felt; yet another song on 2 that is just “not bad” material. The following song, “Now That I Know,” is slightly better than the eighth track. “Now” has a smooth chorus with a bit of bite: “So this is what we’ve come to? If you want to go, fuck you,” sings Swae, the softer voiced of the two. Swae’s sweet-talking doesn’t end there. The same tone carries over to ‘Take It Or Leave It,” which sees its only real attention on the chorus. “Do Yoga” is the finale to the second Rae Sremmurd album. Its goofy lyrics capture the ear, but it doesn’t last. The best certainly was not saved for last.
Jxmmi and Lee offer some of there best to date on SremmLife 2 (“Black Beatles,” “Look Alive,” “Real Chill”). That’s offset, however, with sloppy and lazy tracks bookending the album. Their linear approach to hip-hop is high risk, high reward by nature. 2 would have been better off as a five or six song EP. In a world where constant output and production keep artists relevant, the pressure gave way to a forgettable body of work. Add the highlights to your party playlist and discard the rest.