Special: SremmLife and SremmLife 2 Double ReviewWonkeyDude98 Mini-Description: In my twelfth and thirteenth album reviews, here's the double Rae Sremmurd review I was talking about, it's here!
Best Song: "Safe Sex, Paychecks"
Worst Songs: "My X", "YNO" ft. Big Sean", "Up Like Trump", "Come Get Her", "Throw Sum Mo" ft. Nicki Minaj and Young Thug, "Unlock The Swag" ft. Jace, "No Flex Zone", "Lit Like Bic", "No Type", "This Could Be Us"
Worst Songs: "Black Beatles" ft. Gucci Mane, "Over Here" ft. BoBo Swae, "Shake It Fast" ft. Juicy J, "Set The Roof" ft. Lil Jon, "Do Yoga", "Start A Party", "Real Chill" ft. Kodak Black, "Swang", "Now That I Know", "Take It Or Leave It", "By Chance", "Look Alive", "Came A Long Way", "Just Like Us"
Read the review/10
-------------------------------------------------------- SremmLife 1 ------------------------------------------------------------------ --
I want to do a preamble so bad, but...there are just no words. There's no way to introduce this. I'll just open up by saying that if you're a Rae Sremmurd fan, you're gonna be more offended by this review than black people are of the KKK.
Just by opening it up like that, you can tell that I think SremmLife is a stillborn trainwreck from the drawing board out. My hobby of listening to and reviewing music albums in just the past five months has meant that while I've listened to some accidental or expected masterpieces, it also means that I've had to listen to dozens of terrible albums, but none of them have matched the utter incoherence this has. Peach Panther by RiFF RAFF? That album was at least actually imposing and didn't have as atrocious vocals. Honest by Future? That was at least nihilistic. TANGLED UP BY THOMAS RHETT? That was at least brighter than this nightmare.
So, yeah this album is beyond awful, and a good place to start is our performers. Both MCs have absolutely no flow, and their rhymes are stilted at best....when they bother to rhyme....or even rap on beat at all. As for their voices, not only are both Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi two of the worst vocalists I've ever heard, they are the two worst vocalists I've ever heard. They both mostly suffer from the same issues in that their voices are incredibly scratchy, very nasal, weirdly adolescent, and overly flamboyant, and when you top it off with just enough autotune to get on my nerves, you have yourself some super grating rappers. It doesn't help that their singing is irritating, never on-key, and make both guys look like crooning oafs, especially in This Could Be Us and the Fetty Wap-esque speak-rapping in Throw Sum Mo (the difference is Fetty Wap actually has energy and personality). As for how they are individually, I'd say Swae Lee is worse, given his much younger delivery being more laughable, yet insufferable. Slim Jxmmi, despite being better, isn't charming enough to compensate for his Chad Kroeger-soundalike delivery.
There are four guest appearances on this album, and all of them are wasted. Jace is a complete nonpresence on the unlistenable Unlock The Swag, Nicki Minaj is wasted on a bored chorus in Throw Sum Mo (seriously, give her a chance to rap and she'd blow these guys offstage), which is the same song where Young Thug seems to have a yeast infection fetish, and Big Sean...okay, Big actually drops the best verse on the album on YNO, though that isn't saying much.
And the lyrics and themes. Well, what about them? They're the same generic "cash lean chicks" shtick we've heard a thousand times already...except it isn't. The difference is, nothing makes me want to party with these twits. They spite their audience on multiple songs, make themselves about as likeable as Chris Brown, and most strikingly, contradict themselves on every level. The hypocrisy here is astounding. Shifting from the obnoxious ex-dissing on My X, to the whiny pleads on This Could Be Us, from the anti-flexing on No Flex Zone to the...flexing on No Flex Zone, from the anti-type on No Type to be followed a line later by their type, it's like Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi wrote these songs in different rooms in a day, then lumped the ideas together with no tact. I can deal with mindless brag rap, but the insufferability of it all kills it for me.
I know I've given material by people like Lil Jon, Ludacris, Pitbull (besides Hotel Room Service. DEFINITELY not.) and T-Pain a pass despite having almost if not just as standard material, but there's a difference. Rae Sremmurd, despite being absolutely egregious, are not the main culprit here. Wanna know who it is?
My least favorite producer of all time, Mike WiLL Made-It.
Besides some songs off of Big Sean's Dark Sky Paradise, I don't think I've liked a single song from this guy. He's responsible for the very worst of 2013 and 2014's hits. Only fitting that he'd show up here. Every song on this album is composed of lightweight hi-hats as a substitute for percussion, either too much or no bass, and a thin stockbeat three-note melody.
This is across the board, by the way. The thick hazy blocks of buzzy synth on No Type, the stiff piano riffs on This Could Be Us, the melody-less breeze of Come Get Her, the oily top-heavy synth on No Flex Zone, the choir on Unlock The Swag, the warped chiptune on Up Like Trump, the two off-kilter synth lines on YNO that are compressed to the point of sounding like farts, the limp watery keyboard on Throw Sum Mo, and worst of all, the dark bells and screeching tones on the worst-of-all-time bad My X.
The elements themselves aren't even the biggest issue, no, we have to deal with how Mr. Williams made the already dull, boring beats absolutely dysfunctional. The reverb and pitch correction slathered over everything leads into any melody ( all of which are simple and shoved to the back btw) being absolutely gutless and mechanical, which isn't helped by the usage of minor chord progression that makes everything really creepy, but not even in an interesting way.
It doesn't help that the tempo is so ridiculously slow. Geez, even conscious rappers like Eminem, Doomtree, and Kendrick Lamar make catchier music than this! And the songs that are catchy have other issues that make them ridiculously unfun (such as No Flex Zone and Up Like Trump).
To be fair, however, there is one song -- one -- that, while only barely, is tolerable. And that would be the closer, Safe Sex Pay Checks. Despite the hazy headache-inducing synths and the gratuitous autotune, and the fact that it's still mindless brag rap, it's at least brighter and more likeable than the rest of this abortion.
All in all, this album gets the forbidden score of a -1/10, which means it goes below the star rating. This is the absolute worst hip-hop and music in general has to offer, with no energy or presence to compensate for the offensively bog-standard brag rap. The worst album I've ever heard.
------------------------------------------Well, how does SremmLife 2 stand up?-----------------------------------------------
Just now, I reviewed the album "SremmLife" by Rae Sremmurd. To put it lightly it was an absolute disaster of an album that displayed everything I hate about pop rap (including the obnoxiousness, the shallowness, and the general emptiness) without anything that made a pop rap song enjoyable. The singles leading up to this release also have been...pretty bad. When I saw Spectrum Pulse's review of this where he gave it his third 2/10 (only following "Tangled Up" by Thomas Rhett and their own "SremmLife), I went in with some pretty low expectations, but I expected it to be marginally better than SremmLife. When it got delayed, I figured they were patching it up even more. So...was I right?
Well, to be blunt, absolutely not. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that this is worse than SremmLife. And what's weird is that....the general quality of the songs should say otherwise, but we'll get to that later. Where to start with this failed abortion?
Well, remember how I talked down the vocals on SremmLife? Well, Rae Sremmurd did the impossible: THEY GOT WORSE. While they both got about equal mic time on SremmLife, Swae Lee out-prioritizes Slim Jxmmi on this album. Do you realize how bad a decision this was? I remember complimenting Rae Sremmurd for their energy while trash talking Post Malone, well they seemed to have paid attention to my advice because the energy they had before? GONE. These guys either sound more bored with their music than I am infuriated (examples include By Chance, Look Alive, Real Chill, Take It Or Leave It, and Came A Long Way) or haughtily nasal, which makes me infuriated (examples include Over Here, Black Beatles, Set The Roof, Shake It Fast, and Start A Party).
The guest stars are either terrible or very poorly used. If we want the former, we can stick around for Kodak Black and BoBo Swae, both of whom are such nonpresences that it's basically impossible to care for them, thus rendering them useless. As for the other two, Lil Jon and Juicy J....yeah there was potential. I expected Lil Jon to shout with a ton of fire on Set The Roof, but not only did they only give him the chorus, they also completely compressed his vocals while also giving him a beat courtesy of BOTH Mike WiLL Made-It and DJ Mustard, completely sucking out all of his usual populism and energy. As for Juicy J, I'm impressed that he sounded as bad as he does. Even though he still has more bass than either of Rae Sremmurd, he sounds incredibly high, and his verse on Shake It Fast is absolutely vomit-inducing. Do you know what this means? It means this album doesn't even have what Big Sean was to SremmLife.
And the singing, entirely performed by Swae Lee....ohmylordthisisterrible. His autotuned crooning sounds absolutely awful, whether it be on the pretentious Take It Or Leave It, the undeserved "tearjerker" Came A Long Way, the meaningless Look Alive and Just Like Us, or the spiteful breakup song Now That I Know. His voice has absolutely no bass, and his thin upper range is way too shaky to hold itself, and his voice breaks incredibly frequently. But the worst example of this is easily Swang where he spends at least half the song in a falsetto that could be used against ISIS.
The lyrics and themes are probably the only place where SremmLife 2 is improved. That is, if by improvement you're transitioning between worst-of-all-time to second-worst-of-all-time. There are so many wack bars here it's not even funny. Between the potential pedophilia lines on Look Alive, Swang, and Shake It Fast (the lattermost of which features Juicy J swiping his credit card in a girl's butthole while lying to her about the cameras being off)the line about burping up diamonds in Real Chill (not even talking about the Ben 10 reference), the line about the girls Swae Lee is screwing are.... dying in Start A Party, the very slightly less insufferable My X ripoff that is Now That I Know, the "make it rain" double entendre on Over Here, the list goes on!
But...there are three songs in particular that irk me lyrically, and those are Came A Long Way, Set The Roof, Black Beatles. Came A Long Way is a song about Rae Sremmurd wanting recognition for their comeup from homelessness, and in the hands of most other artists, I could respect that. But not only are they still not telling us anything, you give us AN ALBUM AND A HALF of vapid garbage saying nothing but spiting your audience, and you give us ONE song where you want us to cry for you? Yeah, NO.
Set The Roof is pretty generic all things considered, but the prechorus. It's something, alright. It's talking about how Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi's waitress screwed up their order three times in a row, but instead of taking it like actual people, they decide "let's fill up her head and see if she chokes". Oh yeah, I forgot that you're both misogynists.
Black Beatles is a song (I think) where Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane compare themselves...to the Beatles. Uh, SCREW YOU. I may not love the Beatles as much as everyone else does, but they have a legacy and level of respect that you won't ever, EVER have!
And it's not even just the lyrics: these guys shouldn't have anywhere lower to go in terms of technical rapping, but guess what? They got worse. First off, am I the first one to point out that the cadence in Start A Party is suspiciously similar to the one in the far superior Jumpman by Drake and Future. The stuttering is even more constant, rhyming words with themselves on nearly every line, dropping the entire mix out more than once, not rhyming at all, completely failing to ride the beats, and speaking of....
I trash talked SremmLife's production for being dull, sluggish, derivative, and unfun, but guess what? Not only does SremmLife 2 suffer from ALL of those, it actually makes me have a compliment for the production on the first album: as generic as it was, at least the beats were diverse! I can't even say that here!
And again, it's across the board. There's the TEXTURELESS dark royal on the atrocious Black Beatles, the barely-assembled synth walls on Take It Or Leave It, the ear-bleeding cascade that opens up Start A Party, the incredibly thin synth line that ruined what could have been a decently built foundation on Look Alive, the dead pianos and My X -esque synth fragments on Came A Long Way, the burpy bassy synths on Set The Roof, the farty layers of synth on Swang, the bleak tom melody on Just Like Us, the warped melody line on Now That I Know, the subtle ripoff of Come Get Her in Shake It Fast, the complete nothingness of By Chance, and the nightmarish synth haze on Real Chill and Do Yoga, it's all borderline unlistenable.
But at this album's worst, it tries for a rougher, dirtier, grittier vibe on Over Here or Start A Party. But, the problem is, the buzzy grimy synth that we receive is one-note and barely there (for the former), or not even gritty at all (in case of the latter).
Wanna know the difference between this and SremmLife? On SremmLife, the songs stood out. Here, the beats are pitch-black without being at all imposing or slick, and the minor chord progressions return! The tempos are even slower, the beats are even duller, and the basses are even more limp, making these pale even in comparison to songs like No Type and Unlock The Swag. This means that the songs are much more lowkey, and even worse, completely bleed into each other.
What's weird is that this album is more consistent than SremmLife. Even the worst songs Black Beatles and Over Here don't get as awful as something like My X. However, that also means that there isn't a single song that even reaches levels of narrow passability like Safe Sex Pay Checks did!
This album proved me wrong in every way. I was wrong about Look Alive not being able to shrink on me after I wrote it off as merely being bad. I was wrong about Over Here being the worst song on this album. I was wrong that SremmLife was the lowest music could go. You know what? Screw it, -2/10. With Rae Sremmurd being the owner of being the only artist with a negative-scored album, much less two, they have solidified themselves as being objectively the worst artists of all time. This is WonkeyDude98, and I've gotta review something with substance....but only women kneel and smile.
Good job. - ProPanda
thanks - WonkeyDude98
👍 - visitor
Thanks! - WonkeyDude98
What he said. - Skullkid755
Great review! So Nicki Minaj is like the Beatles compared to these? - Martinglez
Black Beatles...yes. - WonkeyDude98
Uhhh...new post. - WonkeyDude98
Can't wait for the thrid album so you can rant about how terrible it is - RecklessGreed
SwaeCation is gonna be FUN.. - WonkeyDude98