California-born, Tupelo-raised, Atlanta-based rap duo Rae Sremmurd debuted on Mike WiLL Made It’s late-2013 mixtape Mike Will Been Trill with “We,” a scraping, lashing party track. While their name could have been read as a backward-spelled alias for Mike WiLL’s songwriting and production syndicate EarDrummers, Rae Sremmurd turned out to be two young and exuberant rappers, Swae Lee (Khalif Brown) and Slim Jimmy (Aaquil Brown). They were former members of Dem Outta St8 Boyz, a trio that had competed on the Wild Out Wednesday segment of BET’s 106 & Park program.
In February 2014, “We” was issued as Rae Sremmurd’s first official single through Mike WiLL’s Made-It Mafia label. Throughout the rest of 2014, following the signing of a contract with Interscope, the rowdy “No Flex Zone” and relatively kicked-back “No Type” and “Throw Sum Mo” (featuring Nicki Minaj and Young Thug) were released as preludes to the early-2015 album SremmLife. All three singles reached the Top Ten of Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart. The first two received platinum certifications. In 2016, they returned with the single “By Chance,” along with SremmLife 2, their sophomore LP. Later that year, they earned their first Billboard number one with “Black Beatles” featuring Gucci Mane. That single went on to win a Billboard Music Award for Top Rap Collaboration. In August 2017, Rae Sremmurd announced the impending release of their third LP, SremmLife 3, and issued the album’s first single, “Perplexing Pegasus.” ~ Andy Kellman