Why Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” Is the Best Song of the Year

Image via Rolling Stone

Image via Rolling Stone

Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” is now the No. 1 song in the country. Achieving this milestone means the duo nabbed  their first No. 1 song of their careers. Aides from “Black Beatles” inevitable rise atop the pop charts, something else comes to mind: “Black Beatles” should be considered for Song of the Year.

When Rae Sremmurd released their sophomore project SremmLife 2 this past summer, the sequel to their surprise debut SremmLife, the duo had abandoned their previous sound that made them fixtures in urban radio. While many were upset that SremmLife 2 found Rae Sremmurd exploring new musical terrans, there was a small group of listeners that realized the blood brothers from  Tupelo, Mississippi were on to something.

“Aides from “Black Beatles” inevitable rise atop the pop charts, something else comes to mind: “Black Beatles” should be considered for Song of the Year.”

“Black Beatles” serves as the fifth song released from SremmLife 2. Singles such as “By Chance” and “Look Alive”, respectively, failed to entice fans during Rae Sremmurd’s promotional run for SremmLife 2.  If the first album with all its intents and purposes was wildly targeted to dance floors across America, then the second album plays as the car ride home  from the club. Relying more on substance than filler, Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi elevated their sound to separate themselves from their contemporaries, while proving to critics that they are simply much more than a typecast in a script.

Before the Mannequin Challenge became the latest culture fad to sweep the country (the world, possibly?), and “Black Beatles” being the de facto backdrop music for it, the song was already heads and shoulders above anything Rae Sremmurd and Mike Will Made-It ever made. From the ’80s inspired instrumentation, to Swae Lee creating one of the most enamored hooks in recent memory, to Gucci Mane delivering one of his best verses post-prison Gucci.

While much credit is due to everyone involved in the making of “Black Beatles”, it’s hard to ignore Swae Lee’s ubiquitous presence on the record. While the hook is polarizing, it’s the cadence in how Swae Lee sings the chorus . Simply put, the hook wins more on the fact of not what he’s saying, but how he’s saying it: “That girl’s a real crowd pleaser, small world all of her friends know of me,” says Swae Lee on the chorus.

In late October, The Mannequin Challenge started out as a silly challenge made by  students at Edward H. White High School in Jacksonville, Florida. Since then, the challenge has went viral and everyone from athletes to politicians have found creative ways to accept the challenge. Hell, even the legendary Beatle himself, Sir Paul McCartney has endorsed Rae Sremmurd and “Black Beatles”. With all that going on, No. 1 was no doubt in the foreseeable future.

“Black Beatles” quick soar to No. 1 is the quickest leap for a song to the top spot since Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar did it with “Bad Blood” back in 2015. The song not only serves as Gucci Mane’s first ever chart topper, but it’s also a first for producer Mike Will-Made It, who came close with Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” (song peaked at No. 2).

“Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi are indeed hitmakers in every sense of the word.”

Now with “Black Beatles” solidifying its place amongst some of the best songs to be released this year, and the Grammys around the corner, there should be serious talk about this song being the best thing that happened in music this year. For those who thought Rae Sremmurd were buying borrowed time on their 15 minutes of fame should take note: Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi are indeed hitmakers in every sense of the word. They’ve proved they can dominated not only urban radio, but also the pop stations as well. Only time will tell if their run can garner more successes, but with “Black Beatles”, they’re sure off to a great start. 

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Curt Williams
Curt Williams

Curt Williams is the creator of Supreme CX Magazine. He is a former Senior Music Editor for SooDetroit Magazine. Has worked with the Michigan Chronicle. He hails from Detroit, MI.

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