Rae Sremmurd were not seen as masters of their own universe until "Black Beatles," a song whose very premise expanded a longstanding reclamation project: Rappers are the new rock stars. The Brown brothers--Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee--have been trying to prove themselves serious artists to naysayers for years now, defending rap as serious art in the process. SR3MM has a song called "Rock N Roll Hall of Fame," a continuation of "Black Beatles" that takes their rockstar evolution a step further, claiming the duo as entrants into the canon.
The triple album format springs to mind career-surveying hits compilations, Zappa-type improvisations, Grateful Dead live sets or the Clash's Sandinista! A 27-song, three-disc record of all new material is not the kind of thing you'd associate with a pop-friendly hip-hop duo that had its first hits just four years ago. Then again, most duos aren't Rae Sremmurd. Sure, maybe Sr3mm — the ambitious third album from twin brothers Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi — contains more songs than their entire output up to this point.
Four years on from delivering their first hits, the evolution of Rae Sremmurd as a unit has been undeniable. Swae Lee's flighty vocals and attention to melody have grown to serve as a perfect complement to Slim Jxmmi's more boisterous, boastful bars, leading singles like "Black Beatles" and "Look Alive" to platinum status.
Not unlike a wildly popular trio in their orbit, much has been made about the possibility of each Sremmurd brother striking out solo. Fittingly enough, their third LP, SR3MM, arrives as a three-disc affair, packaging individual efforts Swaecation and Jxmtro alongside a proper group album.