Label: Ear Drummers, Interscope
Released: Aug. 12
The lost and helpless would tell you this album didn’t deliver save one five-minute crowd pleaser. They’ll talk of #MannequinChallenges, album delays, and buzz that fell short of “No Flex Zone” and “No Type.” Sorry, Khaled, but if there was ever an album that exemplified “staying away from They,” it’s SremmLife 2. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played the tenth track, “Take It or Leave It,” only to have someone ask what song I was playing. Do you all listen to albums or just skim through them during yoga?
No, SremmLife 2 isn’t the sequel that manages to improve on Rae Sremmurd’s breakout hit. It’s not a renewable energy source that can power a party straight through like their debut. It’s riskier and weirder, but run it back this time without lamenting the lack of an “Up Like T**m*” or “Come Get Her” and you’ll find gems like “Take It.” Songs that see Swae experimenting and Jxmmi joining him for the ride over some of Mike Will’s spaciest production yet. Not everything worked, but when it did, what was the result? A co-sign from Paul McCartney. We should be excited to see what the Brothers Sremm do next. —Frazier Tharpe