Future Black History Month: Rae Sremmurd's Rock Star Appeal
Fuse is once again celebrating an extended Black History Month by highlighting a variety of rising forces who are creating Future Black History before our very eyes. Today we are honoring Rae Sremmurd, who is changing the face of rock stars in America.
The two brothers from Tupelo, MI—Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee—have been making waves in music since the 2014 release of their debut single “No Flex Zone.” They earned Platinum status with the Sremmlife album in 2015 and followed up with last summer’s Sremmlife 2 sequel. They guys have always been a growing force in the hip-hop world, but it was a certain song that paid homage to a classic band that finally catapulted Rae Sremmurd into official mainstream stardom.
The duo has an assortment of well-produced singles (shout out to Mike Will Made-It) with catchy lyrics from Sremmlife 2, from "By Chance" to "Look Alive." But "Black Beatles," a song that became an instant fan favorite, unexpectedly transformed into a force all on its own. The track skyrocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was their first chart-topping hit and stayed there for seven consecutive weeks.
Rae Sremmurd's formation into bonafide rock stars was solidified with the help of the #MannequinChallenge, which began with high schoolers using their "Black Beatles" song in the background of their posing videos. As with many challenges, this one went viral with stars like Destiny's Child, Blac Chyna, Hillary Clinton and even Sir Paul McCartney himself (the Fab Four was the track's inspiration) joining in on the nationwide trend. Fans already recognized the greatness of Rae Sremmurd, but now the whole world was catching on to their impact.
Along with their innate ability to make impressive party-starting music, Rae Sremmurd are using their star status for other great things. For the summer 2016 issue of The FADER, Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi posed shirtless on the cover in a way that showed a different, more vulnerable side of black masculinity in hip-hop and every day life. Swae Lee was the genius behind the creation of Beyoncé's "Formation" song, where a single voice note of his was turned into an empowerment anthem with the help of Mike Will Made-It. And following Donald Trump's election win, Slim Jxmmi voiced his strong opinions on the president and the group takes ownership of their wild "Up Like Trump" single.
“I don’t care,” Jxmmi said in a recent interview. "Donald Trump is not gonna stop me from doing what I gotta do. I just hope he don’t saying nothing too out the way to make somebody pissed off at the whole America.” Lee continued, "When I say Up Like Trump I’m thinking about fans, financially, successfully, up like Trump, owning businesses, being bossed up.”
The amount of success Rae Sremmurd has achieved before the age of 25 is commendable, and they’re bound to create even more record-breaking moments that will secure their place in future black history.