For the first time their career, Rae Sremmurd is breaking away from their standard approach. Accompanying the third edition of their SremmLife trilogy are solo albums: Slim Jxmmi’s Jxmtro and Swae Lee’s Swaecation. Slim Jxmmi is an adrenaline shot; his presence on a record carries the tireless turn up of a party animal possessed. Jxmmi’s electric rowdiness has long been an overlooked attribute to what makes Rae Sremmurd an explosive pairing.
For years, we've heard rumblings that Swae Lee will eventually leave his brother Slim Jxmmi behind for solo stardom. As someone who once wrote the same about Quavo leaving the Migos because of his melodic prowess and magnetic charisma, recent releases have proven the Offset and Takeoff both possess an immense amount of star power of their own. All it takes is the opportunity to show the world you are more than meets the ear.
Unlike his brother, who went in a completely different sonic direction, Jxmmi keeps Jxmtro’s production duties in the trusted hands of Mike WiLL and fellow EarDrummers in-house producers. Knowing what “Ric Flair Drip” did to raise Offset’s favor, a big hit could be the wind beneath Jxmmi’s wings.
In usual 1-Listen fashion, the rules are the same: no skipping, no fast-forwarding, no rewinding and no stopping. Each song will receive my gut reaction from start to finish. In Slim Jxmmi I trust.
1. "Brxnks Truck"
Third and final review! Oh my God. This BASS IS INSANE! THIS IS THE BASS THAT PUSHES HAIRLINES BACK!!! THIS IS THE BASS THAT CAUSED LINDA BLAIR'S HEAD TO SPIN! Speaking of hair, Jxm definitely gets a $100 line up. Paper Boi could never. There is a monster in my headphones. I can’t believe this knock. Jxm is running rampant. His double-time flow is moving faster than a stallion and is as smooth as a criminal. This is the electric adrenaline of shotgunning 20 Red Bulls. I was tired before I pressed play but the bass just blew away my exhaustion. This is incredibly motivating. This is bossing my life up. I am a little disappointed the title is “Brxnks Truck” and not “Fuxture Trunks.”
2. “Players Club”
Heavy. This sounds very haunting. I’m already shook. Nice drums, but not hard as the intro. Dirty fingernail production. He’s all charisma and bravado. If SZA can get Drew Barrymore to appear in “Drew Barrymore,” I’m challenging Mike WiLL to convince LisaRaye to reprise her role as Diana Armstrong for the “Players Club” music video. This one is fun. Reminds me of something Juicy J would have made 10 years ago. Who am I kidding, Juicy J probably made this very song yesterday. It’s short and fun. I’m becoming a big fan of short and fun trap records. Slim is giving us trap music the length that a Hot Pocket needs to be in a microwave. This is the kind of bassline that makes you catch an assault charge on a brick wall.
3. “Anti-Social Smokers Club” ft. Zoë Kravitz
Man, Jxm got blessed with all the KNOCK. Each beat has been a baby battering ram. The hi-hats are striking stronger than an extra-large McDonald’s Sprite. Slower flow. Can someone please connect Mike WiLL to Tyler, The Creator? The two would make musical monsters. I was worried about the hooks on the album without Swae. But I like this one. Why didn’t this drop on 4/20? Man, the marketing team at Interscope is slacking. Zoë Kravitz is rapping. I love her ad-libs. She’s popping off haha. I love the energy, but deep down, I know the record could've done without her. Another solid banger, though.
4. “Chanel” ft. Swae Lee & Pharrell Williams
I just jumped out my skin. I feel like Mike WiLL is dipping his basslines in radioactive waste. This is HARD. I think the trap music coming out of EarDrummers is a tier above. Jxm is floating. I like the pause trick he just pulled off. “I got enough bread to recline” is going to be yelled at shows... Swae! Who is this woman doing his ad-libs? See, that’s another good trick. I have a soft spot for rappers who get ad-lib assistance. Swae is dancing. An early favorite. A simple, yet catchy hook. Okay, lets see what old man Skateboard P is going to do. Pharrell with the high-pitch alien flow. He sounds like a child. It’s so hilariously awesome. A voice switch and his flow is vicious. RAP PHARRELL IS DANGEROUS. "I can get God on the line." A third flow switch. Certified banger. Can we finally get a trap Pharrell album this year? Man, I might have to write a piece and a petition on Twitter. Crazy outro. More of this please.
5. "Cap" ft. Trouble
MIKE WILL SAVED ALL THE HEAT FOR JXM. If you have an appreciation for the mechanics of trap beats you will enjoy the ridiculousness of the drum and bass. I’m loving this one. Talking cash shit. Jxm floating with a flow that’s very trick-esque. I would rewind it. Rappers really are attacking Photoshop these days. I fully expect Trouble to murder. The foundation is perfect for him to drop a bomb. He has the kind of rap voice that’s perfect for the heaviness of trap music. He’s skating. This track has been a roller rink. I can’t express enough how much I appreciate the Hot Pocket length of these records.
6. “Changed Up”
Oh! Now that’s interesting. Elegant chords. A complete switch up. OH!! The way the bass just knocked the wind out of my chest. SLIM JMX! If this was a slam dunk contest, I would be holding up 10s for the way he just soared through the air from the free-throw line. That’s how impressive he rode the beat when he first came in. “Changed Up” is pure sauce. Ha. He just said he feels like JAY-Z. This is not as good as “Chanel” but definitely a close second. I like this a lot. This is the kind of hook, flow, production that really puts on display how much Jxmmi has to offer other than club anthems.
7. "Keep God First"
Yung Lan on the track. I know these keys! AHHH WHAT SONG. I hate that I can’t place this sample. It’s a song that I’ve played a million times and I can’t recall it, dammit. WAIT. THIS IS J.I.D’s “ALL BAD”!!!!! Okay, now that I got that out my system... great production. Nice delivery. Another banger about keeping the man upstairs first. Jxm said if you're not speaking facts he don’t want to converse, sorry Kanye. That was unnecessary but I’m not taking it back. Second verse starts off hotter than fresh grits. I would love to hear Swae do some harmonies. This is the first time I’ve wished he was on the album. A keeper, word to J.I.D.
8. "Juggling Biddies" ft. Riff 3x
Zaytiggy. Man. OH! This is some classic Zay. This is the kind of beat Gucci would’ve picked in 2007-2008. They should’ve called Guwop for the feature. This is harder than a cement brick. I've gotta hear this one coming out of a trunk with a sound system. Riff! I still wish this was Gucci but I understand putting family first. Zaytoven really is a natural treasure. We will appreciate what he did with these keys 100 years from now.
9. "Growed Up"
Finish line. THE DRUMS ARE BOUNCING ON A TRAMPOLINE. That’s a very immature thing to write on the song called “Growed Up” but it’s 4 am so DO NOT judge me. Jxm kept an anthem for the closing record. Love the pitch adjustment to his flow. He's putting his foot in the pocket like Darius put his foot in that pasta. This is graduation music, no Kanye. Hahaha, he could’ve kept the making love to the money lyric. I love this hook. “Young, young nigga done grow’d up.”
Jxmtro (first listen) closing thoughts:
Well, that was fun. More fun than I expected it to be. If you're pulling an all-nighter, Jxmtro is a 5-hour Energy. You can’t sleep when the bangers are shaking your soul. God bless Mike WiLL.
Of the three nine-track albums, Slim Jxmmi’s Jxmtro leans the hardest into today’s trap sound without lifting flows or mimicking styles. Each beat is a nuclear missile of crisp 808s and belligerent bass. By far, Jxmtro is the best-produced project of the three. Infectious bangers, roaring production, and effortless swagger bring major replay value.
As for Jxmmi’s delivery, at times, he's far too straightforward. The album's best moments are when he shows more flavor, weaving when we expect him to bob. The double-time flow on “Brxnks Truck” is masterful; “Changed Up” is another example of when style, swagger, and sound work in perfect unison. But even when his flow isn’t filled with tricks, his personality and enormous presence are effective. Slim Jxmmi is like Bruh-man from the fifth floor; you can’t ignore him once he enters.
Jxmmi has never been an interesting lyricist, but it’s how his words are delivered and the sound he builds them around that matters. Together, this creates an interesting contrast to Swae Lee, the brother who does the same thing except with melody.
The three albums are all fresh, specially curated music; you never feel like you’re listening to outtakes or throwaway music that didn’t make the Sremm album. Together or separate, there’s an infectious joy within Swae and Jxmmi; two artists who genuinely sound like they’re having the time of their lives making it. I went into this listening session dreading a triple disc album, but, to my surprise, Rae Sremmurd went three for three.
Early Favorites: "Brxnks Truck," "Chanel," "Changed Up"
Early Not-So-Favorites: "Anti-Social Smokers Club"
By Yoh, aka Yohxtro, aka @Yoh31