Nowadays, music isn’t necessarily a grown man’s sport. For one, a bevy of women have fortified their stature by delivering a slew of bangers. In addition, younger artists are crashing the party with their fervor and vivacious attitudes.
Hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, consisting of Swae Lee, 19, and Slim Jxmmi, 20, walked into the trenches and became instant favorites with their 2014 radio smash single, “No Flex Zone.” The Mike WiLL Made-It signees created a stir with their poignant single, which explains the pompous mantra of today’s average young adult. Artists like Ace Hood, Kid Ink, Pusha T, and even Nicki Minaj gave the track the remix treatment, resulting in Rae Sremmurd’s rapid rise in popularity.
Following the success of “No Flex Zone,” Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi debunked any claims of being a one-hit wonder by following up with “No Type.” That song peaked at No. 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in November.
With two hits already under their belts, they are quickly establishing themselves as a formidable duo on the music scene, and for their next single, they tapped Nicki Minaj and hip-hop’s premier hook man Young Thug for “Throw Some Mo,” leading up to their debut album, SremmLife, on Jan. 6.
Rae Sremmurd also scored their first partnership with Champs Sports, culminating in a starring role in the holiday campaign “Get Yours This Holiday Season.” In the finale commercial, while throwing the year’s biggest party in a neighborhood diner, Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi debut another new song from SremmLife called “Unlock the Swag.”
The “Get Yours This Holiday Season” campaign from Champs is telling a story every high school kid can relate to, and in today’s ad, Rae Sremmurd takes center stage. Knowing the duo’s history, it’s pretty much a given that this track will be yet another chart-topping hit.
Drake might rap about it, but Rae Sremmurd knows about it, coming from the bottom to the top of the genre, coming from being homeless to national celebrity status, from getting “most likely to be famous” in their high school yearbook to actually being famous. They aren’t just making beats on their Fruity Loops software anymore. They are making songs for the world, making music for the thousands of high school kids rocking their style and sneakers. Whether they are dropping a new track or wearing the latest Air Jordans, Rae Sremmurd knows what it means to be unique.
On set for the video shoot, the duo was giving off good vibes and rocking all of the latest kicks from Champs, including the 6-inch Timberland Camo boot, the new Air Jordan Retro XIII, the “Empire State of Mind” Nike KD7 colorway, the Nike Air Max 2015, and the red Air Max 90. During a sit down with The Drop, hip-hop’s new trendsetters talked about what fans can expect from Champs Sports, as well as what’s on their holiday wish lists.
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How excited are you guys about this collaboration with Champs Sports?
Swae Lee: Man, I’m so excited! I can’t wait to see it.
Slim Jxmmi: Yeah. It was like a movie! It was like a party.
Swae Lee: Yeah man. Jimmy’s swag on there was crazy. What Champs did for us was fresh. I’m just excited to see how it looks.
What can fans expect from this commercial?
Swae Lee: Ah man. We had the crazy kicks on.
Slim Jxmmi: Yeah. We definitely had some crazy kicks!
Swae Lee: Me and Jimmy were having so much fun. It was like a party in the diner. It was like a club. We turned the diner into a club. It was a club diner. (Laughs)
Slim Jxmmi: Yeah it was so crazy. It was like a movie in there.
Which shoes did you guys love the most on set? We know you had a lot to choose from.
Swae Lee: I liked the red and white Air Jordan XIII. I also like the Timbs (Timberlands) with the army leather top.
Slim Jxmmi: I liked the Air Max and the black and red Jordans.
You guys also have the “Unlock the Swag” song, which will be featured in the commercial.
Slim Jxmmi: Whew!
Swae Lee: “Unlock the Swag” is crazy! We were about to turn up. Jimmy couldn’t stop singing “Unlock the Swag.” (Laughs)
With the holiday season coming up, what do you guys have in your current sneaker rotation?
Slim Jxmmi: Ah man. I got like a stash of shoes that I haven’t even worn yet. I’m gonna bring them out though. Just watch.
Swae Lee: I have like 39 pairs. (Laughs)
If you guys had to choose your favorite snapback or fitted of all time, which one would you guys go with?
Swae Lee: Snapbacks and tattoos! (Laughs) I would say my favorite snapback is…I don’t really wear snapbacks because of my hair.
I hear that. I know you guys are big Grand Theft Auto fans. As far as sports games are concerned, are you guys NBA 2K players or Madden players?
Slim Jxmmi: Man, I like 2K. I ain’t gonna lie, I can’t play it. But, I play Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.
Grand Theft is definitely the best for me. Call of Duty is dope though.
Are y’all sports fanatics?
Swae Lee: I like Futbol. I like real Futbol, which is soccer. Like, I don’t know. I just love soccer.
Slim Jxmmi: I’m into college football.
Swae Lee: Hey, come on Jimmy. I want get in some quotes too, man. (Laughs)
I know you guys also just dropped the “Throw Some Mo” single with Nicki Minaj and Young Thug. How did that come together?
Swae Lee: Ah man. That’s crazy, just by making good music and being in there at the right time, working.
Slim Jxmmi: Yeah man. Nicki Minaj is real cool, man.
Swae Lee: She’s like the big homie now, too.
Yeah, I remember she hopped on “No Flex Zone.” Just to see her working with you guys on a new track, you guys must have had a great time getting the record done.
Swae Lee: Oh yeah. We definitely have a few more that we’re working on.
Obviously, “No Flex Zone” was a huge record. A lot of people remixed the record or freestyled on it. Which ones were among the best in your eyes?
Swae Lee: There were so many. I couldn’t really pick a favorite.
Slim Jxmmi: Yeah. There were a lot of them.
I thought you guys would throw Nicki on there again. (Laughs)
Slim Jxmmi: Oh yeah. Nicki, she snapped.
Swae Lee: Yeah, Nicki went really crazy on it.
Slim Jxmmi: Yeah, she went crazy. But with some of them that weren’t recognized, I feel like Ace Hood went real real crazy on it. And Pusha T went stupid. It was just great to see them pay respect.
You guys are signed to Mike WiLL Made-It. Talk about how that whole experience has been for you guys, having such a great producer and mentor by your side.
Swae Lee: Ah man. It’s been so cool.
Slim Jxmmi: Working with Mike WiLL, he’s somebody that will start with you from the beginning, like from the beginning of the project. He’ll see your vision and work with you all the way through it. He’ll work with you from the hard times, the good, and the bad. So you know, working with Mike WiLL, he’s a real good person to work with. Respect for all time to Mike WiLL.
What are three things you guys have on your holiday wish lists for this year?
Swae Lee: I gotta get a remote control robot. I gotta get a new microphone. And then, I gotta get a new computer for my Fruity Loops software.
Slim Jxmmi: I need a PS4, a big-screen TV—
Swae Lee: Another one?
Slim Jxmmi: Yeah. I need another controller. Then, I just need a big hotel to just chill in by myself.
You want a hotel for yourself?
Slim Jxmmi: Yeah. Just to chill in and be away from the world so nobody can find me. I can just be in there with my PlayStation and Grand Theft Auto, and just go crazy. (Laughs)
Follow Carl on Twitter at @TheRealCL24