Rapper Reuben X was born in Illinois, but raised in Tulsa, OK. He moved to Cincinnati, OH at the age of 17 – and currently resides in Chicago, IL. He became enthralled with music at a very young age. His mother raised himself and his siblings in the church and was very active in the choir; at that time, his eldest brother, CJ, was always BIG into Hip-Hop and Rap even though their mother was strict on the type of music they listened too. He used to sneak out and listen to artists like Master P, Tupac, Big L and Jay-Z.
As he got older, he got big into writing his own rhymes and freestyling. He often recalls being in the 6th grade and hopping in cyphers with the 7th and 8th graders before school. By the time he reached high school, he was recording songs on his cousin Marcus’ mother’s computer every day after school. They’d download industry beats and freestyle over them – not unlike other Texas artists such as Swishahouse, DSR, LBP and the Color Changing Click. Growing up in Oklahoma, he heard a lot of Texas music and was always very fond of it. He was always an athlete growing up and had a lot of god-gifted talents, so that was a passion of his as well. Once he hit college, he became a pretty good athlete and used to split time between sports and music – since He loved both so much. After graduation, he was picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals for their rookie mini-camp where He did fairly well. It was the last day of the camp, though, where he ended up having a debilitating achilles injury, which didn’t allow him to participate anymore. This was a crushing blow, but only furthered his love for music. He allows all these experiences to be translated into his music, which is now his main focus.
Reuben recently released his first mixtape, “The Reuben X-Files,” on Soundcloud. He prefers to put his music on Soundcloud first because that’s where his most loyal listeners are – and he likes to reward them first. He’s released four music videos for this project which can all be found on his YouTube channel. The most noteworthy are “Time 2 Eat” and “Won’t Settle,” which he edited himself. A born entertainer, he’s opened for Montana of 300 at The Canopy Club in Champaign, Illinois, Chuck Inglish from the Cool Kids at the Self Diploma Summer Series in Cincinnati, Ohio at Fountain Square. He also opened for LAMB$ of the Insomniacs and also King Chip. As well, he’s performed at multiple venues, including Canopy Club, Cowboy Monkey in Champaign, IL as well as Bogarts and HD Beans in Cincinnati, OH
He wants to be on the freshman XXL – he notes that as a primary objective. After that, he’d like to win a Grammy or two for his songs and songwriting abilities. He also aspires to start his label and bring on artists who are dedicated and want to see real hip-hop live on. As an artist, he wants people to know that they can become whatever they want to be regardless of what this world tries to pressure them into. He wants to motivate and inspire those kids who are growing in a deprived childhood because they live in poverty. He wants to encourage them to keep hope and allow their imagination to help create a better future for themselves; in essence, he wants people to feel his energy and drive that he puts into each and every song.
Reuben has been through a lot of adversity in his life like homelessness, living months without lights, serious injuries, losing relationships – and things like that – which have allowed him to appreciate overcoming those tragedies to be triumphant.
Drive, heart, and a down to earth – relatable – aura is what Reuben X delivers in his music. He has a polished stage presence and a determination that will surely see him reach all his goals. Reuben is an artist to keep your eyes on for 2017.
Photographer(s): Its Ya Boi O & Kelsey Greene
Artist: Reuben X