Rae Sremmurd, "Sremmlife" (Interscope)

Mainstream hip-hop is desperately looking for new stars as the biggest rappers are busy with nonmusical projects. Maybe that's why the buzz around Rae Sremmurd — two brothers from Tupelo, Miss. — is so loud. Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee showed promise on their single "No Flex Zone." On their debut album, they bounce through a variety of first-rate hip-hop backdrops provided mostly by Mike Will Made It. While "No Flex Zone" carries that traditional Dirty South bounce, "No Type" is slowed down and spaced out. And "This Could Be Us" has pop crossover potential. It's so well crafted that "SremmLife" often feels like a star vehicle that Rae Sremmurd simply get to hop in and drive right to the top of the charts, especially on "Throw Sum Mo." The two brothers have skills and star quality. They just need a little more help to put it all together before that Next Big Thing hype feels fully deserved.

Glenn Gamboa, Newsday


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