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Q&A: Rae Sremmurd on SXSW, New ‘Trail Mix’ Tape, and Donald Trump

Alright, so maybe it’s no mistake that South by Southwest’s yearly music session happens to coincide with most colleges’ spring break, but you have to hand it to the performers who make the most of beer-fueled sun worshippers hitting up Austin in mid-March. Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy — better known as the rap duo Rae Sremmurd — know exactly how to play to the college crowd: bring insane levels of energy, work the audience, and get f**king hype. SPIN caught up with the Tupelo-born duo before their set at this year’s AXE Collective + Crew party at the Belmont in downtown Austin to talk about SXSW, Donald Trump, and Trail Mix, the new mixtape featuring Rae Sremmurd and their SremmLife Crew.  

Is this your first time at SXSW?

Swae Lee: Nah, this is like our third time.

Has anything changed since you guys have been coming here?

Swae Lee: Everybody know us now.

Slim Jimmy: Man, look bro, you know the first time we came to South by Southwest, you rent a hotel. Now we got a crib and we got the whole squad a crib. The whole deal, we got a squad of cribs.

So you guys are all posted up together?

Slim Jimmy: We got a crib, then our whole squad got a crib. They both turned up too, there be girls over there every night and day.

So you guys dropped Trail Mix recently, right?

Slim Jimmy: That’s for all my crew from Mississippi. You know what I’m saying? We just came up — all my niggas from the block, they the ones we bringing up. We got them all coming up.

What was that like, working with all your friends you came up with?

Swae Lee: It was awesome. Because I did a whole bunch of beat-making, like, when we blow up, I’m going to bring my partners and they go hard too, so they going to make all this real music. We brought them up and then they did it, so it was just amazing. It’s a good feeling.

I want to talk about your song “Up Like Trump” for a second because that has to be taking on a different meaning now, right? What do you guys think about that now?

Swae Lee: I think we dropped it [at the perfect time] because now it’s just crazy and everything going on around Trump.

Slim Jimmy: I wish we would have never dropped it because I don’t f**k with Trump and I don’t think he should to be president. I really hope it’s Bernie Sanders because it’s not even about Trump, it’s about what he’s saying. I feel like he’s says things that shouldn’t even leave your mouth to a lot of people, you know what I’m saying? I’d rather vote for Bernie Sanders, I don’t even like guys like Trump.

Have you guys performed that track at any shows lately?

Swae Lee: Yeah, a bunch of them and they go crazy!

I was going to say it must be really different now.

Slim Jimmy: Every time we do it, we do the first verse, then on my verse I gotta keep it real. I cut it off and say, “Look, f**k Trump, we voting for Bernie Sanders” and the whole crowd goes crazy nuts. They love it.

You guys got anything else you want to say?

Slim Jimmy: Just want to say a shout out to SPIN, we love y’all. Sremmlife 2 comin’ soon, banger after banger.

Swae Lee: Y’all keep goin’ hard and we’ll keep goin’ hard.