Former Cash Money Artist Papa Reu Reunites With Lil Wayne, Exclusive Candid Interview

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 EXLCUSIVE Interview With Creator Of Sean Price Mural MERES One

Exactly one month following the untimely death of Boot Camp Clik new millenial frontman Sean Price, conducts an exclusive interview with MERES One, the creator of the famed Sean Price memorial mural located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn that has been visited over the past month by thousands. MERES, who is also the founder of the now defunct Five Pointz Art Gallery, talks with Sha Be Allah about how he came up with the idea for the mural, the details of the art and more importantly, why Sean Price still is an important figure to Hip Hop and Brooklyn.

-Sha Be Allah(@KingPenStatus)

Branded: BBC x Bee Line x Timberland “Blue Boot” Release


The Billionaire Boy’s Club and Ice Cream store served fans of music icon Pharrel and fashion visionary Mark McNairy’s collaborative tonal blue take on the timeless Timberland boot. Following the success of previous work with McNasty’s Bee Line label and Timberland, the trio of creativity entities brought the latest blue boot exclusively to Soho, New York City. Despite sweltering hot temperatures people lined up and copped the visually cool winter ready shoes. For those keeping track, Bee Line has now produced in tandum with BBC and Timberland the Grass, Honeycomb, Red and Blue variations of a 6 inch boot steeped in culture and history. Check out a look at what went down release day at the Billionare Boys Club Soho spot in the Branded episode above.

Kehlani & Mr. Carmack Team Up for ‘Songs From Scratch’

Kehlani and Mr. Carmack team up on the latest installment of Songs From Scratch. The resulting track “All In” desricbes the incredible heights a relationship can reach over a soothing beat. Mr. Carmack even pulled the string quartet out to add a little flavor.

– Def Soul (@DefSoulNJ)

Revisit the Behind the Scenes Video of Chance The Rapper’s Source ROTY Cover Shoot

A week after he became an iTunes legend, we go back to Chance the Rapper’s first Source cover

Picking the Rookie of the Year can sometimes be a daunting task, and require weeks to months of conversation and debate. Back in 2013, the conversation was brief. From the moment his free Acid Rap mixtape-album was so hotly coveted it leaked on the internet prior to its release–have you ever heard of a mixtape leaking?–to the next 12 months when he toured with everyone from Macklemore to Eminem, worked with Madonna, Erykah Badu, J. Cole and more, one thing was very clear. Chance The Rapper was the one.

Now, along with his literal band of brothers, Chance the Rapper has broken the rap internet again. Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment‘s Surf album, released for free on iTunes–yes, the button said “get”  instead of “buy”–was downloaded a whopping 618,000 times in its first week of availability. Free or not, the statistics are staggering. If anyone was doubting Chance or his SoX movement, they aren’t now.

In the above video clip, we take you back to Halloween 2013, when Chance, his illustrious manager Pat The Manager, some friends, photographers, and Source staff headed out to an eerie loft in Bushwick, Brooklyn to shoot a Tim-Burton-inspired 2013 Rookie of the Year cover of The Source, featuring Mr. Acid Rap himself, Chance The Rapper.

Minister Louis Farrakhan Interviews with the Breakfast Club

This morning, DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God sat down with the honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to wax poetics about peace, justice, tyranny, and the issues facing people of color. Farrakhan talked about everything from President Obama’s comments on the protests and riots in Baltimore, to his expectations of artists he knows personally, like Snoop Dogg and Kanye West.

Watch the full interview above.


– Def Soul (@DefSoulNJ)



Celebrating Chris Lighty: Mike Lighty And Mona Scott-Young Share Memories Of A Legend

Even though Baby Chris didn’t recognize his own born day, we do by celebrating his works

Yesterday was Chris Lighty’s birthday, but he was raised in a very structured Jehovah’s Witness household so he never celebrated birthdays or holidays. Chris became the most influential hip hop manager through his management and marketing imprint, Violator. Violator was the real Empire before Lee Daniels hit series. The impressive roster included Missy Elliot, P. Diddy, 5O Cent, Foxy Brown, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, Mariah Carey, Mobb Deep and more.

To the outside world, Chris Lighty was an alluring powerful executive who negotiated unprecedented deals with his partner, Mona Scott-Young but to Mike Lighty, Chris was a brother and father. Outside of his insane work ethic he had layers about him that made him a remarkable human being, friend, mentor and support system to many people.

“It’s taken me 2 years to even sit down and talk about Chris to someone. I haven’t done this. So for me to talk to you today shows progress and how my faith has strengthened me along with my family and friends,”

begins Mike Lighty.

“I try to remain positive and I would like to think that through my faith and if I live right then one day I’ll be able to see my brother again. Yo Gotti and Rick Ross have really helped me a lot through this and I’m thankful for my friends who make sure I answer the phone no matter what. All of this helps. Our family is trying to move forward the best we can but Chris was the nucleus of our family. We were from the hood and there were six of us and just my mother so he raised us at 17. He was an electrician at 17, helping provide for us. Chris worked on trains and buildings but music meant everything to him. When he would babysit us he had us doing dance offs and listening to music.  He could have just been a successful electrician but music took him to different places. He was carrying D.J Red Alert’s crates and mapping out his dream for us. D.J Red Alert gave him his break and Chris never looked back.

Through Violator management, Chris and Mona became the cerebrum of hip hop, developing and sustaining careers while structuring lucrative marketing and branding deals that helped grow hip hop into becoming a viable entity- cementing its place in popular culture.

“Hip Hop was everything to Chris,” says Mona.

I’m so proud of what Chris has done for our culture. I’m proud that the young guy that I sat next to on a stoop in the Bronx was able to conceptualize a dream and really make it happen.  Everything we sat out to do we did.  We stayed focused and accomplished it all.  So much of who I am today has everything to do with the fact that Chris had a dream. My relationships, my ability to leverage the success of hip hop into mainstream culture and our ability to provide opportunities to others came from Chris. We locked arms, came together and his dream became my dream.“

Mike attributes the success of Violator to the balance Chris and Mona had along with the ability to pick a great staff and do honest business. He credits Chris with his own success as one of the country’s top booking managers.  Mike’s Emmel Communications firm continues to flourish as the go to booking agency for top acts.  He plans on putting together a new Violator compilation album saying all the acts that Violator has worked with can just send him their verses. 

“Chris wanted everyone to be successful. I want to continue this,” says Mike.

 Mona adds to this saying, “Even with all his tough exteriors, Chris was the most compassionate and caring person you could meet. He didn’t want anyone around him to ever struggle.  He was a father to many of our clients.  He wanted success for everyone. Chris carried the weight of all of that on his shoulders. When someone needed, advice, money and support they leaned on Chris. It’s ironic that we’re talking about his birthday because in his faith, the traditional trappings that people enjoy were never a part of his life and this shaped who he was. There was a shyness about him.  The spotlight is something he stayed away from. He was reluctant to celebrate himself. So I would like to celebrate Chris and wish him a happy birthday,” says Mona.

-Abesi Manyando(@abesipr)

2015 Writer’s Bench Awards Recap congratulates Source Magazine editor Sha Be Allah , Rodney C and Ralph McDaniels for being the 2015 Writer’s Bench recipients

Throughout the history of the New York City subway’s aerosol art movement there were meeting places for writers known as writer’s corners or writer’s benches. The majority of these meeting places were in the subway system. The last active location was the 149th Street Grand Concourse subway station in The Bronx, on the 2 and 5 IRT lines. It was active from the 1970s until the decline of subway painting in the late 1980s.

Writers from all over the city congregated at a bench located at the back of the uptown platform. This station was an ideal location for a writer’s bench for several reasons. It was a station where the 2 and 5 lines converged. The 2 and 5 lines featured some of the most artistic works in the city. The fact that many lay-ups and train yards for the 2s and 5s were located in both the Bronx and Brooklyn made creativity on these lines extremely competitive. An overpass connecting the uptown and downtown platforms was an ideal vantage point from which to view the passing trains.

Old school New York writers occasionally visit the site for the sake of nostalgia. Writers post 1989 and writers from outside New York City occasionally visit it as a historical location. 2015 three recipients received lifetime achievement awards from the Writer’s Bench.

Check out the exclusive 2015 Writer’s Bench awards ceremony above and the gallery below and watch as James Top presents awards to Sha Be Allah, Rodney C and Ralph McDaniels


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-Infinite Wiz (@InfiniteWiz)

#SourceTBT (Throwback Thursday): Floyd Mayweather & Da Brat Front Row at the Source Awards

From classic Source Award show footage, to exclusive freestyles, interviews and game shows, The Source‘s archives are filled with things for everyone, from the casual Hip-Hop fan to the nerdiest of the purists.

Every Thursday, as part of #SourceTBT we at The Source will dig deep into our archives and re-visit interesting and funny classic footage, and this week we take you front row at The Source Awards, when Da Brat stumbled upon on Floyd Mayweather‘s gaudier chains.

(VIDEO) BRANDED: BAPE 10-Year Anniversary Recap

Last week BAPE, in conjunction with Hennessy, threw a huge party in New York City to celebrate their 10-year anniversary, featuring performances by Travi$ Scott and Big Sean, and appearances by fashion designers and nightlife royalty, including DJ Cipha Sounds, Vashtie, Virgil Abloh, and many more.

The Source was on hand for the event, and in the latest episode of our BRANDED series, we took a quick look around the venue (Up & Down) and caught up with a few folks, and surveyed the scene. Shouts to BAPE, and here’s to 10 more years!

shot/edited by Fabian Pacheco