The son of a Christian Death Metal Record Label owner, John Reuben spent his youth in a trailer park and a farm that doubled as a church/outreach program for troubled youth. He spent a lot of time with youth from the East Coast who helped turn him on to the Golden Age of Hip Hop. John spent his formative years writing poetry and admiring his older brother’s ability to turn a profit with his baseball card collection. By the age of 18 he had started his own Indie Label, and released several EP's recorded by himself and other artists and was running a Hip-Hop night with his brother at a local club on Ohio State campus. Just before his 20th birthday, John packed up his recording gear and moved to Hollywood where he survived by doing extra work for movies and television. If you look close enough you can see him appearing in such classics as "Rocky and Bullwinkle", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Melrose Place" and "Clueless". After receiving interest from a handful of labels, John returned home and signed a deal with Gotee Records. Since then he has released 5 albums selling over two hundred and fifty thousand records, toured the world, got married, and worked with his brother to produce comedy shorts, including a mocumentary "The Professional Rapper". John moved back to LA for a short stint and then returned home to Ohio and continues to produce videos with Elevate Pictures.
In 2000, Reuben released his first album for Gotee, Are We There Yet?, an album that captured John’s wit and personality over fun hip hop beats with some darker trips as well. His second album Hindsight picked up where the first album left off with music that suggest his early 90’s hip hop influences while delving into alternative pop. Reuben produced his third LP, 2003's Professional Rapper. Some say this is where he came into his own, incorporating more live instrumentation rather than samples and loops. Reuben continued to pen lyrics with personal themes and an increasingly eclectic musical soundtrack on his next two albums, 2005's The Boy vs. the Cynic and 2007's Word of Mouth, both of which earned him enthusiastic reviews from the music press.
December 22nd, 2009 marks the release of John Reuben’s 6th album Sex, Drugs and Self-Control. Produced by John Reuben and his drummer, Seth Earnest, the album was recorded at John’s home studio in Ohio. With live instruments and drum loops Reuben achieves a sound that suggests the influence of artists like Beck and the Dust Brothers. His personality once again sets this album apart lyrically and brings it to life. At times broodingly dark and at other times the life of the party, John Reuben gives listeners a glimpse of who he really is.
“My goals artistically are so intertwined with what I'm experiencing spiritually that it's impossible to separate the two. I'm most creative when I feel close to the heart of God. It's only then that certain spiritual disciplines seem freeing and inspiring instead of restricting. It’s only in that place that spiritual disciplines feel like an authentic expression instead of rigid censorship. In a lot of ways this record is a confession of faith and lack thereof.” – John Reuben
Sex, Drugs and Self-Control will be available at worldwide music outlets on December 22nd, 2009. The first 4 singles and videos are available for immediate download on iTunes. The mockumentary “The Professional Rapper” along with other John Reuben videos and digital shorts can be viewed at youtube.com/johnnyreubonic.
Legal name: John Reuben Zappin
Also performs as: John Zappin