Before you meet superstar rappers Rae Sremmurd at the sibling duo’s spacious rented house in Los Angeles’ suburban San Fernando Valley, you’ll be vetted by the pair’s entourage. First comes Poncho, a pit mix still growing into his paws. Next is BoomBadda, a hyper French bulldog built like a tiny battering ram. Then Nya, a capuchin monkey who’ll frisk you for snacks. If you see Lil G, the baby spider monkey wearing a diaper, he’ll probably just scream until you look away. I arrive one afternoon in late March, and when the dander clears I realize I’m staring not at Khalif “Swae Lee” Brown, 24, and Aaquil “Slim Jxmmi” Brown, 26, but large, 3-D-collaged portraits of the two, complete with real jackets and jewels, lording like royals over the living room.
“We’re the kings of Woodland Hills!” shouts Swae as he enters cackling at his own joke. This is an upscale, mall-oriented part of town -- a sleepy place for a habitually shirtless, tattoo-covered Mississippian with Rick James dreads, a bejeweled gold fishbone-shaped choker and flower-embroidered pants slung halfway down his Tommy briefs. “Ask all the 60-year-old ladies who terrorizes the neighborhood! We run this shit!”