Few rappers epitomize the successful integration of social media and hip-hop the way Rae Sremmurd did last fall. During that time, the duo, comprised of Tupelo, Miss.-bred brothers Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi, effectively made the whole world freeze when their hit single "Black Beatles," was used as the de facto official soundtrack for The Mannequin Challenge.

Easily outpacing the success of their breakout 2014 single, "No Flex Zone," the hopelessly anthemic Mike WiLL Made-It-produced "Black Beatles" sold over 4 million records, earned over 578 million YouTube views and a co-sign from their song's inspiration, music legend Paul McCartney. Rae Sremmurd have reigned as one of the most commercially successful duos in the rap game, dropping platinum-selling singles (their recently released track "Perplexing Pegasus" could be next), releasing two critically acclaimed albums (SremmLife 3 is on the way) and establishing themselves as powerful voices of the new generation.

Their continual rise in conjunction with their strong connection to the culture made them no-brainers to pop up on our 20th anniversary issue of XXL Magazine. They explain the importance of being on a magazine cover during our sit-down interview.

"I mean, it’s a big statement," says Lee in the interview for our Fall 2017 cover story, written by XXL Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten. "If you’re on the front cover of a magazine, it’s very important. Plus, you reaching like, the masses. A lot of people read the magazine and tune into that stuff to see who’s hot. So, when your face is on there [it’s] saying, “Yeah, this person is it right now,” you know what I’m saying? It’s a big statement."

Rae Sremmurd are just one of the hip-hop acts selected to appear on XXL's 20 special edition covers. Like Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi, these rappers have been documented by XXL through the extent of their careers and have always shown love to the brand that helped raise their profiles along the away. Rae Sremmurd's fellow cover stars are 50 Cent, the cover king with 15 total XXL covers and a career we’ve been documenting from the start; Diddy, the man who not only reinvented the remix but paved the way for rap moguls; Nicki Minaj, a queen in hip-hop building her own pinkprint in the game; Wiz Khalifa, the cool, calm and collected superstar; Cam’ron, Harlem’s swag connoisseur; Lil Uzi Vert; the face of hip-hop’s new generation; Migos, three rappers who helped redefine the culture; Snoop Dogg, the Doggfather of the game; Pusha T, a success story as a group member, solo artist and record executive; Future, a trendsetting trap god; T.I., rap’s gangsta and gentleman; Fabolous, a highly respected New York MC; Birdman, a No. 1 stunna with a revered empire; Run The Jewels, partners in rhyme and reason; Yo Gotti, a testament to tenacity; Gucci Mane, the true comeback kid; Tech N9ne; an independent icon; E-40; hip-hop’s in-the-know uncle; and The Lox, a trinity representing for the streets.

Check out Rae Sremmurd's full Fall 2017 cover story here, watch his interview video below and keep it locked to our exclusive 20th anniversary hub for more content coming in honor of XXL's 20th anniversary.

Travis Shinn for XXL
Travis Shinn for XXL

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