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Youngstown, Ohio, United States | INDIE

Youngstown, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop


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"Unsigned Bands: Throwback"

Throwback is a nineteen-year-old Jewish rapper who has drawn comparisons to SRC/Universal artist Asher Roth ("I Love College") and MC Serch (3rd Bass, Illmatic producer).

With the release of his high-powered debut mixtape What’s High?, the “Jewish King” – a name given to Throwback by high school friends – is staking his claim as one of the most promising new recording artists in hip-hop.

What’s High? features “Smoked A Blunt,” a hilarious parody of Katy Perry’s mega-hit “I Kissed a Girl,” the smash remix of “Flight School” featuring T-Pain and Kanye West, and the summer street anthem “I Got Paper” featuring J-Wiz.

“Almost everyone and their mother smokes weed in this day and age,” says Throwback. “I figured why not put together a mixtape that all my smokers could relate to.”

Throwback’s attachment to pot is entwined in hip-hop. “I was introduced to marijuana at a Snoop Dogg and The Game concert by a fan. The guy next to me just happened to be rolling a blunt of ‘dro. He was kind enough to share.”

With the release of What’s High? – hosted by DJ Deez and available for free download at on June 9 – Throwback is out to prove that despite tracks like “Smoked a Blunt” he’s no novelty act.

"I definitely don't look the part, but don't let the face fool you," says the confident Youngstown, OH native. “I have never regretted making a song or spitting a verse. Everything I've done has served as a learning experience for me and has really helped to build my character. Asking me why I smoke weed is like asking why do I rap. It's something I enjoy doing; it keeps me sane and grounded. To each his own, right?” - High Times Magazine

"Eighteen-year-old freshman rapper signs to New York record label"

Eighteen-year-old freshman Jonathon Tepper is working on a fashion marketing degree at Youngstown State University, but has recently successfully marketed himself to the music industry.

Tepper, aka Throwback the Jewish King, has just signed a major record deal to New York's top independent record label, Affluent Records, which has a few other artists such as Outlawz, Dead Prez and Hood Surgeon.

"It's an all-star line up, and a perfect fit for me," said Tepper.

As far as being from Youngstown, Throwback raps that people hate on the Yo', but he's proud of where he comes from. In his songs, he focuses on misconceptions of a city back on the rise.

Throwback decided to make his dream a reality when a freak accident involving a semitruck made him realize he had to pursue his rap dream.

"It made me realize that I could die at any time, and I had to rap before that could happen."

Tepper said his family is fully supportive of him — his dad is even his manager.

Tepper describes his rap style as unique. He enunciates his words and embraces stereotypes about Jewish people.

"I will try any type of music, whether it is a raw style or more commercialized," he said.

"As long as I wrote it, and as long as I am happy with the end product, I will do what I have to in order to get my music out there," he said.

Throwback has done many local performances in Youngstown and the surrounding area, which has contributed to his success. He has released a album locally, but by the summer time he will celebrate his nationwide release of his first major album, "Ballin' Since Birth."

It will contain some old songs and a few new tracks he's recording now. It will also feature a few other local artists.

Throwback said his main musical inspiration was and still is Jon Bon Jovi.

Tepper would love to collaborate with him, along with Young Jeezy, Busta Rhymes and Run DMC.

Tepper said he plans to continue with school and finish this semester, but plans to take off at least one semester to focus fully on his music. He would like to put on a few concerts that might become a little tour. - The Jambar

"Boardman native Tepper raps up road to success"

Under the name Throwback, the recent graduate is working hard on his music career.

Just over a year ago, Jonathon Michael Tepper’s future seemed set.

As a member of the Boardman High School Class of 2007, the young man would study business marketing and fashion merchandising at Youngstown State University in hopes of one day starting his own fashion line.

However, fate had other plans for Tepper, who often casually pursued his love of hip-hop by karaoke-ing his favorite songs. While people would often praise his MC talents, he didn’t take the idea seriously until he attempted to attend rapper Ludacris’ Youngstown show last spring.

On his way to the gig, Tepper was involved in a car accident. Not only did he not make the show, but his life changed forever.

“That kind of put things into perspective for me,” Tepper said. “I’m in the back of the ambulance thinking, ‘I could die at any given moment. Wow, maybe I should really take this rap thing seriously. This is what I want to do.’”

From that point on, the Boardman native started writing his own material under the name Throwback. He recorded a few songs here and there, and finally released his local debut CD, “Ballin’ Since Birth,” which is a combination of old school (Brand Nubians and Run-DMC) and modern sounds (Young Jeezy and Kanye West).

Right away, Tepper started to make inroads, with his single “Get This Dough” being voted the No. 1 independent song on That’s when out of nowhere he received an e-mail from New York City-based hip-hop label Affluent Records.

“It’s like 4 a.m. and I’m groggy, I check my e-mail and thought it was a dream,” Tepper said. “ I’m walking around campus and go to DeBartolo [Hall Computer Lab] to see if this is for real and I’m like, ‘Get out of here.’ They really want to sign me to a record deal. So I reply back, they give me a call and the next thing I know, I’m on a flight to New York City.”

“Probably the first question that comes to the minds of many is why would a New York City label sign an 18-year-old out of Youngstown, Ohio?” said Affluent Record label owner Oscar Sanchez, whose r sum includes an A&R stint with Def Jam Records. “The answer is pretty much simple: talent. I have had the chance to work with many great urban artists we all know today. They all started from the bottom, but they all shared one common aspect among them that made them stand out. They all had star power.

“Throwback shares the same trait. He has the ability to move the crowd and his rhymes are as articulate as many of today’s top rappers. He has complete crossover potential naturally and he brings to the table a fresh new look of what hip-hop currently is, a multicultural movement voice for the youth.”

For Tepper, his career passion and dream – albeit less than a year old – quickly became serious with the record label’s interest. So the college freshman turned to the one person he knew could successfully guide him through the lecherous music industry. He asked his father, Scott, who owns his own business as a chief restructuring officer, to become his manager.

“It doesn’t really matter because every company is just another company,” said Scott, a Pittsburgh native. “I don’t get enamored by anything, and it’s a good management project for me, too. But keeping him level-headed hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be.”

He added, “This man — I won’t call him a boy — is an unusual singer. He’s the most dedicated person you’ll ever meet. That’s what the label has said to me. They haven’t seen anybody like this in years because normally they have people who don’t want to be in the studio constantly and don’t want to work. He wants to be there, and he’s so dedicated towards success. He just has the bloodlines for success.”

While the clich d story would find Tepper all alone in his show business endeavor with his hard-working father discounting such dreams as frivolous, Scott is different.

“I believe that if you’re going to do anything in life, you have to go for it for the fullest,” said Scott, who studied vocal performance in college. “It’s a Tepper thing.”

So far so good in Tepper’s wild ride. He’s finishing up his major label debut, “Ballin’ Since Birth,” which is actually his local debut only remixed with added songs. The album is due out this summer and will be followed by major touring, including stateside and perhaps visits to Europe and China.

Even more surreal for Tepper is the fact he recorded a song with Brand Nubians’ member Sadat X, who has been one of his idols for years.

“It was incredible,” Tepper said. “But I just try to keep myself level-headed and remember that this can go away at any moment. Like things come and go, and I could be a one-hit wonder.

“I hope for an extended career and to make a full living off this, but that’s why you have to have a backup plan. You have to have that safety net.”

Part of that safety net involves finishing up college; however, both Tepper and Scott have agreed he’ll finish the current semester and then take some time off to see how far Throwback can take him.

Said Tepper, “Yeah, it’s out of control.” - The Vindicator


Ballin' Since Birth LP, Put A Grand Up Publishing (2007)
Ballin' Since Birth LP, Affluent Records (2008)
What's High Mixtape, Block Starz Music (2009)
The Leftovers Mixtape, Throwback Ent. (2012)



Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Jon "Throwback" Tepper grew up listening to rock and hip-hop. His love for music continued to grow throughout the years. It was only a matter of time until he earned the name "Throwback" from his massive collection of throwback jerseys. Soon after, Throwback began writing music and performing at local events. At first, the music was just a past time for Throwback until he was in two life-threatening car accidents within the span of two months. After these occurrences, Throwback decided to follow his dreams and take music seriously, seeing as how life can be taken away at the blink of an eye. After putting out his debut album, "Ballin' Since Birth," in December 2007, Throwback started to generate quite a buzz. This buzz lead to his first record deal with Affluent Records (New York, NY) at only the age of 18. Affluent Records re-released a new copy of "Ballin' Since Birth," on November 4, 2008. Unfortunately for Throwback, Affluent didn't live up to their expectations, which resulted in the album not being distributed properly. Other issues arose leading to a fallout with the label.

Fortunately for Throwback, he didn't let this discourage him. Throwback kept working hard alongside of his publicist and managerial team to score a mixtape with YoRaps/Block Starz Music. Throwback's mixtape, "What's High," hosted by DJ DEEZ is now available. It is available for FREE DOWNLOAD on & The mixtape scored Throwback a feature in "High Times Magazine."

Throwback, now 22-years-old, has worked with the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Sadat X, and more. Throwback has shared the stage with many admirable musicians, which include: Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Dorrough, Machine Gun Kelly, DJ Unk, Warren G, Joell Ortiz, Devin The Dude & more. He is currently working on expanding his own brand, Throwback Entertainment. With an album, mixtape, and a Best New Artist Nomination in the 2008 Ohio Hip-Hop Awards now under his belt, Throwback is a free agent and ready to see what the music industry throws him next.