It’s a little bit before 10 PM when Swae Lee jogs up the steps and into one of the artist’s trailers parked behind 800 Congress Ave in Austin, Texas. Slim Jxmmi ambles in right behind him. Rae Sremmurd is in town to perform live as part of the Roots second annual Bud Light jam showcase at South By Southwest, but they seem a little exhausted. Their plane touched down from Las Vegas only half an hour earlier and they tore through the city from the airport to make it to the venue for their surprise mini-set.
“How much time we got before we have to hit the stage,” Swae asks no one in particular while rummaging through his bag. “Well, you were supposed to go on at 9:45,” a handler replies. Jxmmi parks himself on a couch and asks for a drink. The duo is in understandably high demand these days. Their first album SremmLife put them on the map in 2015, but it was the stunning success of the single “Black Beatles,” that catapulted the brothers to a whole new level of fame and exposure. The song soundtracked the viral mannequin challenge that made it all the way to the White House and beyond, while topping the charts for an incredible seven non-consecutive week run.
I didn’t have much time with Swae and Jxmmy, but I tried to make it count. We talked about how they’re handling their newfound success, while maintaining a rigorous work schedule. We also talked about their work with producer Mike Will Made-It on his upcoming album Ransom 2, as well as the status of their next project which could either be titled Sremmlife 3 but then again, it might not.