Rae Sremmund – Sremmlife (Album Review)


If there’s ever been a time where Hip-Hop has been so divided in every single way possible. The media are constantly outraged or in debate about something and it seems like there’s not a day that goes by that Azealia Banks isn’t in some sort of dispute with someone. It seems that everyone has such different opinions on what Hip-Hop should be and mean. Enter Rae Sremmund (named after their record label, ‘Ear Drummers’ spelt backwards), a Hip-Hop duo between two brothers whose entire music is built around buzzwords and catchy phrases.

Looking at Sremmlife’s track list alone you’ll see it’s jam-packed full of these buzz words like ‘No Flex Zone’ ‘Unlock The Swag’ and ‘No Type’ all of which are said repeated throughout the songs multiple times until the phrase is securely planted in your brain for eternity. Outside of these buzzwords there is little-to-no flow at all that can be distinguished; it’s almost as if they make up the words as they go along and throw in all these horrible ad libs along the way. They go for the sort of flow that has become a trend in the club side of Hip-Hop ever since Drake dropped ‘Worst Behaviour’ where they throw out a few words before letting the trap beats do the talking.

All of this wouldn’t be quite as bad if their vocal deliveries weren’t so insufferable. The two brothers vocal deliveries lay somewhere between Lil Wayne’s wheeze and an Alvin and the chipmunk type squeakery complete with autotune. It’s like every horrible trope that people like Justin Bieber and Chris Brown have borrowed from Hip-Hop rolled into one. Kanye’s ‘808s and Heartbreaks’ allowed this type of sung delivery to become prominent in Hip Hop but I don’t think he ever thought it would turn into this.

What’s worse is how cold and empty this entire album is – never so much in one album have I actually uttered the words ‘Oh for fucks sake’ than I did listening to this album. There are times where I actually questioned whether this could possibly be some sort of parody album by taking every bad trope that can sometimes be found in Hip-Hop (Misogyny, Homophobia ect) and turning it up to 11. Alas, no such luck, these guys are dead serious ‘rapping’ about strippers and how many hoes they’ve banged. I think these guys’ fans must like this music in the same meme-worthy way that Lil B’s fans do.

The only positive thing that can possibly be said about this album is that some of the production and very occasionally the way that they let the beat speak for itself can sometimes pay off. They’ll occasionally be a nice synth line or a bit of instrumentation that’ll throw me off balance because of how good it is. Of course it must be noted how none of the production will have been done by the two talentless pricks themselves.

If you’re looking for a Hip-Hop album that sounds like it’s been made by someone who’s never really listened to a real Hip-Hop album in their life then this will be for you! Even Iggy Azealia and Azealia Banks could come together and universally agree on how this album is the epitome of what is detrimental to Hip-Hop. In an age where the world of Hip-Hop is so divided in what it stands for, an album with absolutely no redeeming features in terms of content should not be getting the radio-play that it does.



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