Mike Dupar is related to Ringo.
Up until recently, much of Rae Sremmurd’s music has seemed unapologetically concerned with attaining commercial fame. The fact that last year’s inescapable social media challenge was born out of a Rae Sremmurd song was about as surprising as the incessant “Let it Burn” jokes currently being made at Usher’s expense. Far more unbelievable was that Rae Sremmurd had somehow landed Gucci his first number-one single and simultaneously coaxed music journalists everywhere to bring Paul McCartney’s wet dream into fruition yet again by printing his name next to the word “rap.”
Last year was a true turning point for the duo, their potential no longer stunted by the make or break mentality that had elicited some of their more simplistic songs. On SremmLife 2 the duo acquitted themselves nicely next to some of their trap forefathers and smartly structured more of their songs around the interplay of Swae’s melodic genius and Jxmmi’s gristly delivery.
On “Perplexing Pegasus” we find Rae Sremmurd at their best yet, siphoning the creativity previously reserved for their mediocre strip-club anthems into a mood that is equally sinister and infectious. No longer would one expect to find Swae and Jxmmi throwing back shots, rather “Perplexing Pegasus” casts the brothers as the types to sip a stinky scotch while quietly escorting your girl to their caterpillar whip out back without you noticing. They grow up so quickly.
Thanks in large part to Mike WiLL’s production, which sounds like slipping into a K-hole while watching Stranger Things, Rae Sremmurd have evolved into hip-hop Dunkirk. Swae and Jxmmi are once again concerned with hip-hop tropes, but here they are smart enough to pepper their escapades with humor. The mental image of Swae and Jxmmi riding Pegasus or a caterpillar is the stuff that brings a tear to a writer’s eye.
As Swae’s contagious hook fades into the fog for the first time, Slim Jxmmi delivers a verse that sounds like a Ballers Anonymous group therapy introduction, in which, despite briefly fighting the urge, Jxmmi succumbs to boasting and berating his fellow addicts before disappearing into the fog himself. Swae reappears like a phantom, his cup a pigpen, riding in an all-white ride of mythological origin. His demeanor remains unchanged when he scrapes his car or leaves an extra large tip, making it clear that money does not always necessitate more problems.