Rae Sremmurd’s SR3MM, a three-disc album including Slim Jxmmi’s and Swae Lee’s debut solo projects, drops Friday, May 4. Swae Lee and Jxmmi dropped by Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio show Thursday to preview a few tracks from the massive album and talk about how some of the high-profile collaborations came together.
One of the singles they’ve released in the build-up to SR3MM is “Chanel,” featuring what Swae Lee says is his favorite Pharrell verse of all time. The song, which comes from Jxmtroduction, Jxmmi’s solo album, didn’t always feature Pharrell, though.
Jxmmi sent Mike Will Made-It the track, who said it was a “smash.” “I didn’t understand how good the song was,” Jxmmi admits. “A couple months later, Mike Will sent me back the song and it says featuring Pharrell. Time stopped, wherever I was at, everything froze. I said, ‘There's only one person named Pharrell.’”
“He’s the third member of Rae Sremmurd,” Swae Lee joked.
Jxmmi also spoke about another single, “Guatemala,” which comes from Lee’s solo album, Swaecation, and features him. “It makes the whole club ounce, you feel like you’re really getting away,” Jxmmi said. “When we went [to Guatemala], the whole country embraced us because of this song. The people were so amazing.”
One of their favorite moments in the studio was recording “Bedtime Stories,” which features the Weeknd. Swae Lee described the collab as an organic experience. “We were on tour with him, it was coming towards the end of the tour, and we wanted to get a song,” Swae Lee said. “We stopped in Atlanta, fucked with Mike Will in the studio, cooked up that ‘Bedtime Stories’ from scratch. Pure collaboration, organic vibes, from the beat to the ideas.”
On working with the Weeknd, Swae Lee had nothing but good things to say. “He’s like an instrument, his voice, he could say anything, he could say ‘scratching my elbow’ and it’s gonna sound good when he’s singing,” he jokes. “He’s super creative, he can go in there in one take and say a whole bunch of different ideas and we have a bunch of options to pick from.”
Rae Sremmurd are also gearing up to go on tour with Childish Gambino, plus probably a tour of their own to promote SR3MM. They’ll also headline the Billboard Hot 100 Fest in August. “It’s sad because some of our old classics on our setlist, they might not even make the show,” Swae Lee said, inadvertently demonstrating just how big the two rappers have gotten. He also revealed that ”No Type” will be their new walkout song.
Despite dropping three albums at once, Swae Lee says they’re still in the studio a lot. “We got three more albums done. We cooked up so much music, we got too many songs,” he said. “Some songs didn’t make [SR3MM], but they’re still our songs, they just didn’t all go together collectively.”