"This is the reintroduction," he says of Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi's triple album.
Rae Sremmurd have made rap history with their ambitious release, SR3MM, a triple album made up of two solo projects and a proper group effort. It's the first time such a project has been attempted, but it does feel immediately reminiscent of Outkast's classic double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which packaged two solo albums from the Atlanta group together in 2003. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, executive-producer Mike WiLL spoke of playing the Outkast album for Sremm and envisioning their own unique take on the format.
"I showed 'em [Outkast's 2003 album] Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and I was like, we need to do some shit like this. But I feel like the only thing that was missing off this project right there was the group project," he said. "Outkast fans, we still waiting on that, the next project with both of 'em together. So I'm like, it can't be that. We gotta give 'em the group thing, too. And we got cool features – Young Thug, Travis Scott, the Weeknd, Future, Trouble. But it opens the door for you to drop your solo shit."
While Outkast's influence is present in the way the album is put together, it's mostly about establishing Rae Sremmurd's multi-faceted identity. "[SR3MM] is the first Sremm album. This is the reintroduction. The first two albums, it's like, alright, these guys are hitmakers. They're hard, they make hits, they make some of my favorite songs. That's like their two mixtapes," he said. "They only got 26 songs before this project. Eleven or 12 of 'em are platinum. Their batting average is so high. People put way more songs out than that with no platinum joints. And it's not some cookie cutter, forced platinum. It's shit that makes people a certain way, like, damn, why didn't I make that song?"
While Rae Sremmurd's first two albums perfected the concise pop-rap album formula, SR3MM is an attempt to widen their scope as their creativity continues to develop. "We felt like we had to give them something new rather than just 12 bangers," he said. "Some people like Swae. Some people like Jxmmi. Everybody likes 'em all together. But that's the only thing they've seen. So it's, let Swae hop in his artist mode a little bit. Let Jxmmi hop in his artist mode a little bit. Then we got these Sremm bangers right here where they're both like ying and yang.
Listen to SR3MM, Swaecation, and Jxmtro, here.