Trinidad & Tobago born and Houston,TX based entertainer Papa Reu is a musical tour de force. He is innovative and true to his art. His style is distinctive and trendsetting. His music is realistic yet cutting edge. Papa Reu has been paving his musical lane since 1994. His first claim to fame was being featured on 8Ball and MJG’s 1994 album “On the Outside Looking In.” The former cash money records artist sat down with us for a candid interview to bring people up to speed about his movements.
The Source: You started off with the Rap/sung style that was later adopted by such artists as Akon. Describe that style in more detail.
Papa Reu: I am originally from Trinidad & Tobago. I was one of the first artists to bring the Caribbean/Hip Hop sound to the South. My style is universal and it represents “uniqueness.” My music reminds me of ‘Gumbo.’ For example, the main ingredient for gumbo is “Rue.” Different assorted meats, veggies, and rice are added to complete the “unique” taste of gumbo. And that’s how I would describe my music. It’s flavorful. I was the first Mr. International. And my sound is still very relevant and current. With all due respect, I was “Akon” before “Akon” was on the scene. And the reason why I say that is that we were both international artists with in the underground Hip Hop music lane.
Source: Many know you as being part of the original Hot Boys camp. Recently you attended the Hot Boys reunion during Weezyana Fest . What was that like?
PR: It was an incredible experience. It was nostalgic. I was originally featured on The Hot Boys’ “Shoot First,” The Big Tymers’ “Lick Them Up Shots,” Juvenile’s “Rich Ni**az,” “Lil Wayne’s “Not Like Me,” and more. I hadn’t seen some of my Hot Boys brethren in a while. The vibe and energy was great. Juvenile, Turk, Mannie Fresh and most of the whole crew were there. Everyone was ecstatic to see me. In fact, while Lil Wayne was on stage performing, I was on the stage enjoying the set on the side. Wayne came over to where I was standing and Mack Maine alerted him that I was standing there. When he saw me, Lil Wayne briefly stopped performing and fell to the ground and then got up and gave me a bear hug like embrace. That’s love. There’s a possibility that you may see a remix of one of my new singles featuring Wayne in the future. Things are moving. Anything is possible.
Source: What is your relationship like with Baby of Cash Money now?
PR: We haven’t spoken in a while but it’s cool. If we bumped into each other today then we would just sit down and have some drinks. I respect what Baby and his brother accomplished but I had to move on and create my own zone. I’m all about growing and expanding. I started my own record label called Reu Muzik, Inc. Also I built a full-fledged studio in Houston, Texas and added a production company called Reuster House Productions.
Source: You are back with a vengeance. One of your big records was with Rick Ross on “Put It In The Air.” Remind the people about some other major collaborations you did.
PR: Well the truth is I never left. Over the years, I have collaborated with hundreds of artists like Bun B and Elephant Man on “Big Shottas,” I was featured on the H-Town track “Buss One”, Solange Knowles’ track “Don’t Fight the Feeling,” The 504 Boyz‘ track “Tight Whips” also featuring Slay Sean, 5th Ward Weebie, and Lil’ Romeo.. I also worked with artists like YZ & Gemini on “Hold on,” Lil Keke on “Diamond and Pearls” and as you mentioned Rick Ross on “Put It in the Air,” which was my record.
Source: You appear on the new Scarface album “Deeply Rooted ,” which is getting critical acclaim? Tell us about that.
PR: First off Scarface is a legend. And he has created a masterpiece with his new album. I am featured on two songs. I am on the songs “Rooted,”which is the title track and “Dope Man Pushin.” Make sure you go out and support quality music from a classic artist such as my big bro Facemob.
Source: Your new movement is called Born2Win. What is the philosophy behind that?
PR: The philosophy involves “Principle” and “Integrity.” It is all about creating music that has a message with positivity and motivation that listeners will enjoy and feel a connection to. My new video is called “Born2Win.” I talk about my trials, tribulations and then my triumphs. Positive people view other people’s success as inspiration. There is a winner in each of us. You just have to harness the champion within you. Respect the grind and join the movement. Check out my website www.reumuzik.net.