Raised in Trinidad before he made his move to Houston, TX, as a teen, Papa Reu blended the soundtrack of his early upbringing with the hardcore Dirty South music he discovered later in life, and created a new urban genre he likes to call "thug hall." Reu first presented his unique blend of dancehall reggae and hip-hop at talent shows and open mic nights around Houston. He was only 15 when legends 8Ball and MJG caught his act. The duo enlisted Reu for an appearance on their 1994 album On the Outside Looking In. A few independent singles hit the streets during the late '90s along with appearances on albums by Mr. Coop and Field Mob, but it wasn't until 2000 that Papa Reu broke out on his own with the full-length Xcuse Me! on the Upstairs label. A year later his own Reu Muzik released U Know Me, and while the album sold well regionally, it was his 2002 appearance on the 504 Boyz's hit single "Tight Whips" that would make him a Southern rap player. High-profile rappers like Daz Dillinger, Juvenile, and Lil' Flip were guests for 2003's Certified, the last album he would release on his own label before being signed to the Sanctuary family. The major label coupled some of Reu's classic cuts with new tracks and released Life & Music in 2005. ~ David Jeffries
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