John Reuben (born John Reuben Zappin January 14, 1979) is an American hip hop artist signed to Gotee Records until late 2010. Reuben has sold over 200,000 copies of his first four albums.[1][2][3] He released his sixth album, Sex, Drugs and Self-Control on December 22, 2009. The album was nominated for a Dove Award for Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year at the 42nd GMA Dove Awards, while the song "No Be Nah" was nominated for Rap/Hip-Hop Recorded Song of the Year.[4]

Reuben continues to tour, and has played with many popular Christian music artists such as Five Iron Frenzy, Relient K, The O.C. Supertones, Luke Dowler, Hawk Nelson, and TobyMac.[1][5][6][7]


Reuben is of Jewish heritage[8][9] and according to his MySpace, his mother is the owner of a Christian Death Metal record label.[10][11] Raised in Pataskala, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, Reuben got his start in rapping by taking the bus into the city to rap on open mic nights and participate in rap battles[1] at the age of fifteen.[12] Reuben later released Monuments, an independent EP, which caught the attention of Gotee Records. They took a chance, signing him to the label and releasing his first project, Are We There Yet?, in 2000.[1]TobyMac, the founder of Gotee Records, provided vocals for the album's final track, "God is Love." The album was nominated for a Dove award in 2002.

Reuben in September 2005

Reuben's next release, Hindsight (2002), continues his use of a wide variety of musical genres and thoughtful, often funny lyrics. The album was praised as a "truly eclectic and creative hip-hop album that blends old-school sounds with progressive production."[1] Once thought to be a Christian version of Eminem,[12] Reuben's first two releases established him as an original, witty, sarcastic musician, as well as Gotee's top-selling solo rap artist.[13]

Reuben in 2005

Professional Rapper (2003) marked Reuben's debut as a self-producing artist. The album is noticeably different from his previous efforts, using more instruments and less DJ sampling for the tracks. Along with these differences, the album is noticeably darker in both lyrics and feel. It includes several somber tracks which allow a glimpse into Reuben's struggles and self-doubt. Adrienne Camp of The Benjamin Gate contributes vocals to two tracks on the album.[13]

The following year Reuben released So In Hindsight the Professional Rapper Isn't There Yet (2004), an album of remixed versions of songs from his first three albums.[14]

The Boy vs. The Cynic (2005) continued Reuben's trek from the non-serious songs which characterized his earlier work to music that's far more somber and meditative. Reportedly, when the time came for him to submit his work for the album, Reuben turned in enough tracks for two albums, one light hearted, the other more serious. Rather than releasing a two disc release, the label decided to splice them together into The Boy vs. The Cynic. Relient K's Matt Thiessen contributes to the album's second track, "Nuisance". Tim Skipper of the band House of Heroes appears on the track "So Glad".[2] Most of Reuben's songs use "traditional" musical instruments, typically the guitar, though he experiments with many different instruments and musical styles.

Reuben is currently working on a reality show detailing his "rise" to stardom while poking fun at many of the conventions of reality television. The pilot of the show can be viewed on YouTube.

Reuben released his fifth album, Word of Mouth, on February 6, 2007. called Word of Mouth an "unqualified triumph" and said that "You won't find a truer, more honest, or more celebratory album this year."[15]

Gotee Records released Reuben's sixth studio album, Sex, Drugs and Self-Control on December 22, 2009. The first single, "Town Folk" was released on July 14, 2009. The next single, "Jamboree", was released August 18, 2009. Followed by "Confident", which was released September 15, 2009, "No be nah" was released October 14, 2009.

According to an interview with TVU in January, Reuben said that there are definitely more music videos planned to release in the coming months from his most recent CD.[citation needed]



Compilation albums

  • 2004: So in Hindsight the Professional Rapper Isn't There Yet
  • 2010: Zappin (The Best of)

Music videos

  • No Be Nah
  • "Confident"
  • "Jamboree"
  • "Town Folk"
  • "Good Evening"
  • "Make Money Money"
  • "Trying Too Hard"
  • "Word of Mouth"
  • "Nuisance"
  • "Move"
  • "Do Not"
  • "Doin'"

Compilation appearances


  1. ^ a b c d e Breimeier, Russ (May 2002). "John Reuben - Hindsight." Christianity Today. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Farias, Andree (2005). "John Reuben - The Boy vs. The Cynic." Christianity Today. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
  3. ^ "Biography of John Reuben." Christianity Today. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
  4. ^ [1][better source needed]
  5. ^ "Fundraiser focused on fight against slavery". Daily Herald Tribune. 
  6. ^ "industryinsider - Five Iron Frenzy Headlines 'THE ELECTRIC YOUTH TOUR' - Christian Activities". 
  7. ^ "The JFH Concert Reviews and Dates: Fly Me To The Show Tour (Hawk Nelson, John Reuben, Britt Nicole, Revive) in York, PA". 
  8. ^ "". Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  9. ^ "". September 28, 2008. Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  10. ^ Archived February 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ US. "". Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (First printing ed.). Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 757. ISBN 1-56563-679-1. 
  13. ^ a b Farias, Andree (December 2003). "John Reuben - Professional Rapper." Christianity Today. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
  14. ^ Farias, Andree (December 2004). "John Reuben - So in Hindsight the Professional Rapper Isn't There Yet." Christianity Today Retrieved February 7, 2006.
  15. ^ Whitman, Andy. "Word of Mouth". Allmusic. Archived from the original on June 3, 2009.