Rae Sremmurd’s home is far from the party headquarters their vibrant music videos and energetic live shows might suggest. Tucked into a quiet pocket of Encino, Los Angeles, it’s a place where the brotherly rap duo’s Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi can sometimes find a moment’s peace. Apart from the flashy jeeps parked in its driveway, the property isn’t immediately visible from the street, concealed behind lush greenery and a security gate. It’s not exactly the “Pablo Escobar house” the two occupied previously – which seems like the point.
Once inside, the space is endlessly horizontal. Even with 5 permanent housemates and often as many crashers, disappearing into the cavernous depths of the estate is an easy task. As a result, it’s difficult to track the brothers down, and their locations quickly become a guessing game among those situated in the living room.
I’m told today is one of 17 days the duo have spent in the house since moving in earlier this year. As some of rap’s most reliable hitmakers, keeping the party alive has become a full time job, so a day spent lounging at home is the closest it comes to a vacation. With a flight to Atlanta in under 12 hours and a sophomore album dropping in a few weeks time, this feels like the calm before the storm.
Swae, the younger of the two siblings, eventually slides into the kitchen, still in his bathing suit from the photoshoot that took place hours ago, though it barely registers in a space that seems to encourage shirtlessness. A simple, red jewel pendant is the only thing worn on the upper half of the 23-year old’s thin body, draped over the Superman logo emblazoned in ink on his chest. His hair is closely shaved at the sides, his dreads tied back in a loose knot, a style he later tells me is inspired by the pineapple he often carries with him on stage. His boy-ish, clean-shaven appearance and perfectly-white grin are reminders of his status as the duo’s heartthrob. This youthful charm has inspired the phrase “Swae Is Bae” to grow from a hashtag to a proudly worn t-shirt among fans, a movement the rapper has happily endorsed on his own Instagram profile.
Swae isn’t sure where his brother has escaped to either, speculating that he’s holed up in his room watching Game Of Thrones. When Jxmmi, now 24, does emerge from his reclusive quarters, he confirms Swae’s hunch by giving me a rundown of the show’s pilot in his own expletive-laden words, his diamond grill gleaming between giddy recollections of the violent and incestuous plot. His summary is incredibly economical and probably more entertaining than the episode itself (spoilers will follow).
“It’s this dude. He’s the queen’s brother. The queen is fucking her brother and the king don’t know. And then this little kid – who’s like this other nigga’s son, who’s like a big lord – see them fucking in this tower. So the nigga push the kid out the tower! Try to kill him on the first episode!” he says, still in disbelief of what he’s just witnessed. “It’s crazy, bruh. It’s so good!”