The advent of the internet has made hip-hop the most creative, most productive and fastest evolving genre in music. Just the same, it makes the copying within all the more apparent. Beats are jacked, flows are stolen and looks get played out faster than Tumblrs get refreshed. Simply put, to elevate, you have to innovate. Under the leadership of Mike WiLL Made It but under the influence of no one, Rae Sremmurd has climbed the charts with the surprise hit of the summer, “No Flex Zone,” by simply doing them.
Copy other artists? Please, they know better. Reliant on their own cadences, charisma and dress code, the young duo has the whole country jamming their record and the biggest names in hip-hop jumping on their momentum. We caught up with Slim Jimmy and Swae Lee to discuss their taste in sneakers, original approach to style and the response to their summer smash.
Nice Kicks: When did you guys first get into sneakers?
Slim Jimmy: We always liked sneaker, we always really liked kicks.
Swae Lee: But we couldn’t always afford them.
Slim Jimmy: So we used to wear Vans and whatever we could afford really.
Nice Kicks: Now that you guys are on, which models stay in your rotation these days?
Slim Jimmy: Right now we’re rocking the old school British Knights, old Jordans.
Swae Lee: British Knights, just crazy looking shoes. We had this girl customize some Forces, too. Those are hot.
Nice Kicks: Which kicks are you still looking to pick up?
Swae Lee: Really whatever’s hot, something that stands out. Whatever everybody else doesn’t have or what people are scared to rock.
Nice Kicks: Growing up, who did you look up to from a style standpoint?
Slim Jimmy: I can’t really say anybody’s style, I never really looked up to anybody like that. I just like to experiment.
Swae Lee: I always had different style. I’d always change mine up and do what I felt like was hot.
Nice Kicks: You guys both seem to have a pretty unique fashion sense. Now that you’ve arrived, how important is it that you maintain/evolve your own style?
Slim Jimmy: It’s real important, hopefully people start dressing like us or trying to.
Swae Lee: Trendsetters!
Nice Kicks: Would you say there are certain pieces of your wardrobe that are staples of your look right now?
Swae Lee: Bandannas for me. I always wear different bandannas and keep my outfit with them.
Slim Jimmy: I like gas masks. Gas masks and skateboards. Those (sneaker gas masks) are crazy. I’m interested in finding one.
Nice Kicks: Moving on to music, what’s been your response to the takeoff of “No Flex Zone” this summer?
Slim Jimmy: Love it, it’s a blessing. We’re feeling great, we’re loving the energy and the experience.
Swae Lee: We love it. We’re getting a lot of good reaction from the crowd and different people. And it’s not like a certain group of people giving us a good reaction, it’s everybody. It’s a positive reaction, I’m feeling good about it.
Nice Kicks: Of the remixes so far, which ones have stood out as your favorite?
Slim Jimmy: I like ’em all, I’m not even gonna lie.
Swae Lee: I liked Nicki Minaj, I liked Pusha-T, Juicy J, Ace Hood went in on it. Man, everybody just went in.
Nice Kicks: What should Nice Kicks readers expect next from you guys on the foot and on the airwaves?
Slim Jimmy: Fashion wise, you never know what to expect. We’re going to keep growing, keep changing and keep developing. On the music, the same thing.
Swae Lee: You never know what to expect next, we might come with a whole different genre, we might come with (completely) different beats.
Slim Jimmy: We’re trying to land on the moon, we’re going to be the first artists on the moon.