December 5, 2014

Max Bell will be celebrating Festivus.

Kriss Kross released three singles in the year after “Jump“. “Warm It Up” wasn’t multi-platinum, but it hit #1 on the rap charts. The next two (“I Missed the Bus” and “It’s a Shame“) proved Jermaine Dupri and the duo he ostensibly discovered at a mall weren’t immune to the law of diminishing returns. Despite any and all similarities, Rae Sremmurd appear set on defying the trajectory of their ATL antecedents.

“No Flex Zone” will forever be their “Jump,” as much for its unbridled exuberance and infectious hook as its endearingly high level of hubris. But “No Type” charted higher. According to many of this staff’s writers, it’s actually the better song. “Illest Walking” is their third single and their first sans Mike Will, produced instead by a titularly venerable gent, Honorable C-Note. It’s not their best, but it’s definitely their darkest.

The Jason masks in the music video notwithstanding, the beat sounds tailored for the blackest Christmas since Black Christmas. When paired with ominous low-end and skittering hi-hats, familiar yuletide bells smack of the sinister. Lyrically, Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy remain hell bent on taking your woman in a heartbeat and flexing in any way possible in all flex free areas. So it goes when you have dirty dancers stashed in a Tesla. Their high-pitched and exasperated inflections remain, as does the ever en vogue staccato flow. Both are as effective in making you bounce in your expensive ergonomic computer chair as they’ve been for months.

If you weren’t wearing your jeans backwards in the early ’90s, there’s a chance you missed everything after “Jump”. And there’s a future wherein we only remember Rae Sremmurd for “No Flex Zone”. For now, they remain on the rise and the cognoscenti will keep all three of their singles in rotation.

Their fourth single, “Throw Some Mo”, features Nicki Minaj and Young Thug. Sremm Life, their debut on Ear Drummer Records/Interscope, is due out January 6th. When those are the facts, you’re forgiven for not resisting the urge to flex with every step.

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