REi The Imperial
Rather than imitate, he demonstrates a post-modern, yet authentic Hip Hop sound. Emerging from New Orleans, LA’s “underground”, REi is a conductor navigating through the murky waters of musical mediocrity often plaguing the scene. Currently residing in Atlanta, GA, REi is a hip hop empresario representing with a refreshingly different and unique sound that shouts of creativity and innovation. With a combination of raw lyrics, exciting cutting edge production and a highly energized stage performance, he produces a sound that embodies the true essence of Hip-Hop!
Beginning his Hip Hop trek during his 5th grade year of school, REi recalls hearing Mystikal’s verse on Master P’s classic “May Em Say Uhh” as the pivotal moment where he knew he wanted to become a rapper. “One of my neighbors used to work for No Limit. I wanted to be like the artists associated with that camp. I used to go over there and listen to their music.” As luck would have it, a barbeque hosted on the block would have REi joining forces with Mystikal in a street football game. “The entire No Limit staff came through, including Mystikal. Following the game I approached him and told him I could rap. While everyone else laughed at me, Mystikal paid attention and encouraged me. He said, ‘Y’all laughed at him, but when he gets older he’s going to be cold!’” REi recalls. “He told me I was going to make it. Ever since then, when people doubted me, I would remember that day and keep moving.” REi also credits Eminem, The Hot Boyz, Outkast, Big L., Nas and Soulja Slim as major influences.
Just before Hurricane Katrina, REi relocated with his family to Atlanta, GA where he met the legendary “God-Father of Atlanta Hip Hop”, DJ Toomp, who was impressed with REi after listening to one song. Seeing REi’s potential, DJ Toomp took him under his wing, mentored him and began to guide his musical career.
Describing his style as versatile and his sound as being closely aligned with “Alternative Hip Hop” or “Punk Rap”; a gritty fusion of Hip Hop often sprinkled with Rock and other musical elements. One thing is for certain, REi does not fit comfortably in a categorical box. He also prides himself on taking risks in his music that goes against the norm of using cookie-cutter “formulas” often used by many of today’s artists and producers. This is one element that makes REi stand out among the rest.
Embodying the spirit of the “underdog”, REi has established a special and significant fan base. This community of loyalists not only embraces him as an artist, but they love him for being innovative and fresh. He speaks their language. He’s one of them. He calls this tribal community “Reject Society” and his music is the soundtrack to the movement.
“I represent the people who genuinely feel like they are left out; the ones who feel like they can’t relate to what’s going on in music today. I want kids to feel like it’s ok to be the ‘nerd’. I don’t want them to feel like they have to go down that same route of doing ‘gangsta rap’ because that’s what everyone else is doing. Rejection ties into so much of everything in my life,” he shares. “My mom passed away when I was four. The doctors pretty much told her that she shouldn’t have had me because it was expected that I would have a variety of physical issues. She refused to listen and took the chance. My dad used to call me ‘The Golden Child’ but I never understood that. He’d say, ‘It’s because you’re not supposed to be here, but you’re here!’ Those days of growing up were of me being a nerd. It was just my Dad and I. I was often picked on and it was really about me not wanting to get picked on. I just wanted to change that. My talent has always been here, but people didn’t want to risk shopping me around, because they didn’t want to be rejected! I’ve dealt with this type of ‘reject spirit’ all my life.”
As REi shares, “Everyone goes to school and talk about the teachers, but no one talks about the cafeteria lady. Those ladies took care of us! They went to church with us. They fed us. They talked to us. They served a purpose. I represent those people that make moves and are important but never get acknowledged. I wasn’t supposed to be here. I was supposed to be rejected early in my life. But I’m still here, alive, well and growing!”
Reject Society embodies this spirit and embraces the people that break molds and don’t fit in. “Being rejected is God’s way of leading you toward something else. When I make music, I’m not going to make a certain type of artist’s music. I really want to make music for the girl that everyone thinks is unattractive, but she’s a beautiful person, with a heart and feelings. The guy that thinks something is wrong with him, but he’s God’s creation and he’s perfect the way he is. I want people to take from the things that I’m sharing.”
Demonstrating strong lyrical skills and dropping some of his tightest verses on his previously released mixtapes “Spaceships & Satellites” (2008), “UnREleased” (2009),“The Regeneration Project” (2010) and “Item 9” (2010) (all encompassing production & features a variety of key names in music including DJ Toomp, Nesby Phips, Varsity Squad and Rico Law),REi proves he is a force to be acknowledged. At first listen, it is no wonder fans agree. Each release has received rave reviews from influential bloggers, websites, DJs, and a variety of social media outlets. Many who have joined REi’s “tribe” and often provide features and/or reviews, unsolicited, because they have become fans.
To his performance credits, REi has opened up for a variety of Hip Hop’s finest including Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Cory Gunz, CyHi the Prince, Nesby Phips and others. He has also rocked stages at music festivals A3C and SXSW and appeared on the line-up of shows at various venues in Atlanta, New Orleans and Miami. REi also performed on the SMKA Stargazing Tour and NOLA Summer Jam.
Said to possess one of the greatest personalities to ever grab the mic, REi intends to help fill the void that exists within today’s music scene. Having garnered the attention of many established artists and Who’s Who at the executive level in the music biz, it is no doubt he is on the right path. Based on their response, these influential people are definitely keeping their fingers on his pulse, proving he is on a fast track to being the next to blow! REi provides the rescue for those seeking to escape the mundane. REi is the future!
For booking or further information, contact Robert Haynes at 504.427.6618 or at REibookings@gmail.com