P. Reign: Claiming The Throne [Interview]
Toronto, ON – Montreal native and Toronto-raised rapper P. Reign has been keeping himself extremely busy lately. With new music, a new presence, and a new outlook on life, he is preparing himself for his plans of world domination. P. Reign took a break from a recent studio session to sit down and update HipHopCanada about his goals, aspirations and the message he’s about to take world wide. Amongst a whirlwind of trials and tribulations he’s dealt with in his life, the charming rapper takes a moment to show a more genuine side. Pay attention, cause the self-proclaimed King of the North is about to prove why he’s just that.
“I’ve seen the money with or without rap, I’ve seen the women with or without rap…I’m going to show that Canada is just as real as any other place in the world.”
HipHopCanada: Describe who are you in three words.
P. Reign: Three?
P. Reign: Real…focused…and influential.
HipHopCanada: I like the last word you chose. So I remember seeing you in August 2010, when you opened for Drake in Vancouver. That was about a year and a half ago, describe the progression you’ve had as an artist since then.
P. Reign: I’ve grown a lot, even performance-wise. I’ve dedicated myself to working on it so much; I’m trying to take it to another level. I mean it’s crazy to get up there in front of 3000-5000 people. I was definitely ready but I learned a lot that whole tour. That was my first real tour traveling all of Canada with Drake. I’ve learned new things like crowd interaction, things like that. As far as the studio, I’m a whole new artist. Creatively I know where I want to be at. The most important thing is finding yourself as an artist and what lane you want to fill… I think I know now exactly what I want to do. Creatively I’m in a great space.
HipHopCanada: You’ve done a couple songs lately with artists like Alyssa Reid and Hedley, can we expect some more genre bending music of your own?
P. Reign: Definitely. I don’t make music just to make rap or hip-hop, per se. I don’t want to stay in one genre. I grew up listening to a lot of different genres, so whatever works and whatever sounds good. I respect artists in all genres and I definitely want to be apart of something more than just hip-hop.
HipHopCanada: May 2011 was a huge month for you; you were acquitted of all nine charges of gun possession. Tell us how that has changed your outlook on life and how it has affected your music.
P. Reign: It shows me you get second chances. Not everybody gets them right? It gives me a better sense of purpose as to why I’m here. I got bigger dreams than being in jail. It’s motivated me to reach for the stars and do better things, and not get in trouble again. Also just to reach out to the people going down the same path I was going down and try to curve them from doing the things I was doing.
HipHopCanada: Yeah. I liked the message you put out for the “In My Hood” video, it was strong and worthwhile.
P. Reign: Yeah.
HipHopCanada: I’ve noticed that most all of your marketing has been word of mouth, as opposed to mass media promotion. Why have you chosen that route?
P. Reign: Um, well I just wanted it to be something authentic. I want to be for the people by the people. Everything I speak about are things that I’ve been around and artists that I can relate to growing up. I just wanted my fans to relate to me just off the hop without the internet forcing them to listen. I wanted people to naturally gravitate to me. Now we are definitely going to start the mass promotion but I can say that I built my own lane on my own.
HipHopCanada: So on your twitter today you tweeted your followers a question: would you rather have one faithful girl…
P. Reign: Or a million hoes.
HipHopCanada: Yeah, but you never answered! So what would you rather have?
P. Reign: Nah, I mean the question was for them because I don’t know if I know the answer yet. I wanted the peoples’ opinions. I don’t know the answer; I don’t know what I would pick. I could go both ways, different moods different days. I could want somebody as cute as you, or I don’t know…
HipHopCanada: [Laughing] Ok, well let your female fans know what kind of girl you go for.
P. Reign: I like a unique style. Something like your crazy hair and stuff, it shows confidence.
HipHopCanada: Right on, that’s a good answer [Laughing].
P. Reign: I like someone who is just free, someone I can laugh with and chill with. I want someone who isn’t afraid to be themselves and I can be myself with.
HipHopCanada: Tell me, in 50 years, what will we remember P. Reign as?
P. Reign: Someone who was just real, loyal and who never sold out. Someone who just did it for the love of the music. Not someone who is just making a record to make some money. I’ve seen the money with or without rap, I’ve seen the women with or without rap, there’s nothing that I’m necessarily trying to gain as far as fame or money. This is something I enjoy doing and I just want people to appreciate that.
HipHopCanada: What’s your goal as a rapper? Do you have a certain number of accomplishments you want to complete?
P. Reign: I never really look at it like that. I just want to enjoy myself while I’m here and I want everyone to enjoy the ride with me. The only goal if I had one is to bring the people that are around me to a higher place. I want to put my people in positions where they can further themselves. That would be my only goal.
(P. Reign’s friend drops a bag of something by my foot)
HipHopCanada: Sorry [Laughing] I’ll pause so you can pick that up.
P. Reign: As the weed falls, as GoStyles weed falls [Laughing]. He performed with me in Vancouver, he was my hype man.
HipHopCanada: Oh yeah that was a dope concert, I had a lot of fun.
P. Reign: You guys had seats though! It was like a theatre. That was one of the worst cities for energy, because you guys were sitting down. It’s hard to tell if people are enjoying themselves if they’re sitting. The rest of the tour was open seating. It was a dope show though for sure.
HipHopCanada: Yeah it was a good show. So tell me why P. Reign is important to Canada?
P. Reign: Because there’s nobody that’s come out of Canada to represent what I’m representing. It hasn’t been represented yet. I’m coming from a place that’s spoken so much about in America. The hoods, this and that, you can google me and tell that that stuff is real. It’s not something I’m just rapping about. Kudos to Drake and his success, that’s my brother and he’s one of the greatest musicians of our time, but he doesn’t speak for what I speak for. He doesn’t come from where I come from. I don’t think anybody has every represented that. I’m going to show that Canada is just as real as any other place in the world.
HipHopCanada: Is that the number one thing you will be promoting?
P. Reign: Hell yeah, to let them know we go through the same things they go through.
HipHopCanada: Lastly tell your fans what they can expect from you in the near future.
P. Reign: Expect to see a lot more work, a lot more music, a lot more videos, a lot more everything. Expect to just see me a lot. All over the world, no matter where it is, what it is, just expect to see and hear P. Reign.
Don’t forget to visit PReign.com.
Interview conducted by Christina Parihar for HipHopCanada
Photography by Alexandra Moore for HipHopCanada