2 Takes On SremmLife 2 : Track by Track Review with flowsfordays and C&R

flowsfordays.com is pretty new to the blog game. We’ve been up for about a month now. It’s hosted on WordPress which is an excellent platform in case there are any potential writers looking to start a music blog. But I digress. WordPress allows you to explore other blogs through the site. I was looking through a bunch two weeks ago and I came across Colorandrhyme.com. Not only did they post fresh hip hop, their articles were lengthy and informative. The writing was REALLY good. That has always been my focus on this site. Quality over quantity, quality writing, diverse and engaging content, and the aim to support artists that may not get as much recognition as deserved.

I hit up the owner and main operator, Mike del Ro, to let him know I enjoyed and respected what he (and his other contributor of the same name) was doing. Since the blog’s inception I’ve wanted to collaborate with other blogs in some way. After DMing on Twitter for a few days we came up with an idea; to look at an album and give our thoughts track to track. We decided on Rae Sremmurd’s newest release SremmLife 2. Opinions on the album have been all over the internet; so we thought this would be a good one to focus on. Below you will see each track on the DELUXE version and our thoughts on each. Enjoy!

Start a Party

flowsfordays: The first few seconds of Start A Party was a combination of violin strings being played incredibly fast and a motorcycle gearing up to go 0-100. I was a little disappointed as this intro wasn’t as exciting as Lit Like Bic. Lit Like Bic set the tone for SL1, which has tons of bangers. When Swae Lee begins his double time flow the entire track shifted and I started to enjoy it. Jxmmi matches Swae well in energy and lyrics.

C&R: The distorted noises at the beginning of this track immediately make clear the explosion that’s about to happen. “Start a Party” functions as exactly what the title suggests, it’s a reintroduction to Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmy. At the same time, though, they pick up as if they never left, launching straight into the shouted hooks and unmatched energy that Rae Sremmurd made their mark with on Sremm Life 1.

Real Chill

flowsfordays: This beat from Mike Will Made-It wasn’t great. Jxmmi and Swae completely carry it. It took awhile to like, but after getting into it it became one of my favorites on the album. The chorus is catchy and I liked Kodak’s verse although there is a significant decline in energy as he usually attacks features with intensity. Swae and Jxmmi’s verses are a bit dry, but are far better than most of the songs following.

C&R: There’s potential for a banger here, but it falls just short due to a couple fatal flaws. The hook on “Real Chill” doesn’t have the addictiveness that Rae Sremmurd usually brings to the table, with empty spaces that could have been filled with an extra syllable or adlib. The beat could have built as the song continued, but instead, Mike Will opts to repeat the same drum pattern. When Kodak Black switches up his flow, the song regains momentum until it’s cut short.

By Chance

flowsfordays: When this came out as a single, I had a lot of hope for the album. I was praying the choruses would be just as catchy and I wasn’t completely wrong. I didn’t enjoy the verses, but the chorus was executed so well that I found myself replaying this a lot.

C&R: As soon as the menacing keys hit, “By Chance” seemed bound to blow up. The bass on this song would get annoying in most cases, but it fits just right under the rest of the minimal production. It’s not the most impressive lyrical performance from Swae Lee or Jxmmy, and the track’s redeeming quality remains to be it’s hard beat.

Look Alive

flowsfordays: This is BY FAR my favorite track. When I heard this (as it was the third single) I was shocked at how dark it sounded. I liked the original much more than the Migos remix, and the music video made me pay attention to the lyrics a little more.

C&R: Featuring the full gamut of Mike Will signature sounds, “Look Alive” stands as the most complete sounding track on the album. The rolling hi-hats and aggressive synths paired with much more substantial verses make this track my favorite on the album too. It’s sinister sound marks another song on Rae Sremmurd’s hit list.

Black Beatles

flowsfordays: I follow the group on Twitter and throughout the first couple weeks of the release the group would retweet screenshots of fan’s favorite songs. I never understood why Black Beatles was the most retweeted song. It sounded a little off to me. After a few listens I started to appreciate the chorus and the verses were more sonically pleasing than a lot of the tracks that followed. I liked Gucci’s verse, he added a lot of personality.

C&R: One of the more melodic songs on the album, “Black Beatles” comes as a refreshing switch up. Gucci brings his own character and steadiness to the track as well. While I initially saw this song as just a filler track, it’s now becoming one of my favorites.

Shake It Fast

flowsfordays: I absolutely LOVED this instrumental. This was the turn up song I was waiting for. Juicy hasn’t had a lot of good features in the past year, but this one was pretty nice. He saved the song. It was a bit long for my taste.

C&R: From the “new phone who dis” line to the bouncy beat,” “Shake It Fast” is one of the most fun tracks on SL2. Rae Sremmurd does exactly what they need to do on a party anthem like this one, and Juicy J elevates the track with a solid feature.

Set The Roof

flowsfordays: When I initially saw Lil Jon was featured on this song I wasn’t expecting much, but he contributed a really nice chorus. Once again the beat was weak. The switch up of flows was nice, but this was pretty boring.

C&R: “Set The Roof” caught my ear as yet another potential banger. Lil Jon brings his own personality to the hook, sounding like a natural addition to the track. The energy of the album also picks back up at this point. I slept on this song after my first listen, but I came to appreciate it as I listened through the whole record.

Came A Long Way

flowsfordays: The production on this was very different. There was some piano dispersed throughout which gave it more of a grown up vibe. The subject matter was pretty personal, depicting the struggle Rae initially had starting off in the rap game. This was a stand out.

C&R: The album takes on a whole different vibe with “Came A Long Way.” A lot of reviewers commented that the Rae Sremmurd sound a lot more mature on SL2, and this song definitely echoes those remarks. If anything, it demonstrates that Rae Sremmurd has potential outside of the party tracks they’ve built their name on up to this point.

Now That I Know

flowsfordays: Rae singing on a slow jam? Didn’t think it would work, but it did. This is the closest I’ve ever heard the group attempting to sound sincere in a track. Definitely liked this.

C&R: The funky intro to “Now That I Know” caught me off guard the first time I heard it, but as the song went on, this change of tempo came as a welcomed surprise. Like I said with “Came A Long Way,” Swae Lee and Jxmmy demonstrate the potential for more hit-making weapons in their arsenal. I wouldn’t mind hearing what a whole Rae Sremmurd project with downtempo tracks like this one could sound like.

Take It Or Leave It

flowsfordays: This is the weakest song on the album. It’s characterless and slow. This attempt at a “romantic” song was a complete fail. The verse towards the end wasn’t too bad but as the song progressed it got worse and worse.

C&R: I enjoyed the haziness of “Take It Or Leave It” at first, but it got a little boring as the song dragged on. The vocals sound hollow at points, but the beat switch toward the end regained my interest.

Do Yoga

flowsfordays:The chorus didn’t make any sense. If Rae was attempting to make a complex track, it sure didn’t work. The beat is interesting, and sonically it is very pleasing. After I listened to it 5-6 times I started to like the strange chorus.

C&R: When I played this song for the first time, I thought the beat combined with the minimal hook was an interesting curveball from Rae Sremmurd. Over time, that feeling faded and now it’s become one of the least memorable tracks on SL2. The repetitiveness would’ve been tolerable if not for the song being 4 minutes long.

Over Here

flowsfordays: The music video to this track was artistic as fuck. Very well done. Bobo contributed nicely. Over Here is on the deluxe edition. There are a lot of tracks they should have been switched out for this one.

C&R: I agree that this track should’ve made the official album instead of just the deluxe edition. The hook sounds like exactly what you’d expect from Rae Sremmurd, and Bobo’s feature fits right in with the duo. I still think it’s one of the most entertaining tracks on this project.

Swang

flowsfordays: While listening to this I was amazed at how great these bonus tracks were and surprised they weren’t included in the original album. I didn’t love this instrumental; seems to be a running theme. The high pitched chorus did a lot for me. I saw Swang as a little experimental, and this time it worked.

C&R: Usually bonus tracks are hit or miss, but all of the bonus tracks on SL2 hold their own ground. “Swang” doesn’t necessarily fit the tone of the rest of the tracks which is probably why it didn’t make the regular cut. However, it’s still a nice addition.

Just Like Us

flowsfordays: I could totally see this as a Billboard 100 contender. 2nd favorite song on the album. It is very melodic, very full, and very catchy.

C&R: The poppiness of “Just Like Us” immediately got my attention. It’s a lighthearted closer and a nice ending to the party that Rae Sremmurd crafted on SL2. Showing yet another side of Rae Sremmurd, the duo seems to have more tricks up their sleeves that listeners have yet to hear.

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