Righteous Ones originated as a Hip Hop/Rap group based in Chicago, led by the lyricist known as Righteous. As of 2012, Righteous decided to pursue a solo career, but kept the name Righteous Ones as a tribute to those that have helped and are helping achieve the dream of making music. Live Band and solo performances available.
From Reject Beats to Righteous Ones
Born in Chicago and raised in the suburbs, Ruben’s earliest memory of music is
driving around with his mom, listening to house music and singing along, karaoke style. This was the simplest, yet earliest form of music influence he can remember and it has served as the foundation on which he has built his music career. At the age of 12 Ruben began to be fascinated with the idea that he could potentially create music. Finding that he couldn't relate to the music directed at his generation and feeling like the oddball out, he began to look for other options. It was at this time that he began exploring other types of music that ranged from house to Spanish and still, he was unable to find himself in the messages depicted in the lyrics and even less so in the beats he heard. It was then that he realized that he could, in fact, write his own music. From there, it became an on off process. He believed his age; lack of funds and inexperience could be a barrier for his success and began writing in secret. As fate would have it, Ruben suffered an accident and broke his leg. He credits this period in his life as a time when he really put ink to paper and wrote constantly as a way to keep his mind off his injury, as his leg healed, Ruben’s notebook pages became filled with songs and rhymes he hoped to one day put to use.
It was after this at the age of 13, that he befriended his cousin, Albert, and together began working on Ruben’s music. Taking him under his wing, Albert introduced him to his other friends- also into making music. They would get together and talk about music, write it, create it and live it. This was crucial to Ruben’s musical development because something that seemed so far for him was within his grasp, finally. He felt that if they could make music and believed in him, he too could live his dreams. With his cousin’s guidance and advice, Ruben was on his way to becoming the artist he is today. Ruben recalls one of the first days he began working with them, “I didn't even know what a bar was, so Albert had to count off the beats for me to jump in. Despite my rhymes being a less than average performance Albert always cheered me on yelling, ‘that was so dope!”
Ruben believes that without his constant support in the beginning he would not be where he is today.
Using his weekend trips to his grandma’s house as an excuse Ruben would steal away to meet with his cousin and learn as much as he could. When he was 14, Albert introduced him to another group of friends. It was then that Ruben recorded his first song: Who. After that, his desire to share his music overwhelmed him. He knew then, that this is what he wanted to do. The feeling of writing, recording and making his own music was where he had found his calling. His drive to make his music into something he could share with others fueled his determination to make this his life.
Due to his lack of a driver’s license and money for studio time his weekly trips to his cousin’s were only resulting in his recording one song a year, on average. He felt like this was not enough. At this point he decided to take it one step further and at the age of 15 he attempted to work with local artists, in order to gain experience and record more. He did this until he felt he needed to give more and thus, embarked on a journey to raise money and build his own studio at home at 16.
That summer, he dedicated himself to working oddball jobs in order to make enough money to fund his home studio vision. Finally, after gathering the means to do so, he had the equipment necessary to begin recording. After a while, he realized making music was a lot harder than he expected. Not one to be deterred, he went back to his original producer and asked him to show him the ropes. His producer Oso, who remains his producer today, supplied beats for him and helped him find his way around creating and producing music, specifically instrumentals. Now that distance and studio time money wasn't an issue, school was still a priority for Ruben and also a bit of an obstacle. He began learning to prioritize his life and time at an age where everyone else was just busy having fun. His high school career consisted of him putting music on the back burner in order to fulfill his duties as a student. He walked the halls of his school without anyone knowing his music talents or his desires to get back into the studio.
Once he entered college Ruben found that much to his delight, he had a lot more free time and began recording again. It was then that his producer helped him make an outline with the intentions of making a first album. After his first year of college, he participated in an internship in Michigan with the opportunity to raise money to fuel his dreams. Often eating Twinkies and Ramen noodles in an effort to save every penny possible, he went to sleep with a half empty stomach and a heart full of ambition. Returning from Michigan he recorded his final, remaining songs and went through the whole process of editing and putting together artwork for his album. In retrospect, he realizes his first efforts were disorganized and could even be labeled as childish, but also knows that you have to start somewhere in order to see your hopes turn into a reality and start he did. His first album: Inferno: Self- Immolation was released in 2009. After years of dreaming, hoping, and trips to Grandma’s house, he finally had a tangible piece of his work. Life-long friends and even some family members didn't know that he had musical talents, much less that he had recorded an album. He found people stopping him and even calling him up asking, “You make music? I didn't know that!” His years of writing in secrecy paid off. In 2009, Ruben dropped his first demo, Inferno: Self-Immolation. The purpose of the demo was to test the waters and see what people liked and disliked- making it easier for Ruben to write. This was Ruben’s first taste of publicity. He began making appearances at Universities specifically UIC and DePaul. After that he began branching out to other places. Ruben found he was competing with “radio music” and didn't think many people would pay attention to music with meaning. Much to his surprise he found that there was an audience for his music. From there, he began meeting more and more people in music, recruiting talents and making connections that would come together for his newest album, Purgatorio: Wrathful Ashes.
This newest album is a hybrid, meshing all different types of music into something experimental. It’s a reflection of Ruben’s open-minded approach to music and is also a product of the constructive criticism he received after his first demo. This album is a demonstration of the lengths Ruben is willing to go in order to push himself further and develop himself musically. He hopes that his audience will appreciate his lyrics and find the growth that has taken place within himself since his last song was recorded. Today Ruben finds himself focused and ready to collaborate with all kinds of talents as he looks for more ways to blend music and stay true to lyricism.
He still writes in secret.