Thursday, May 12, 2011

New EP from Y-Love next week

Erez from Shemspeed dropped me a line the other day about Yitz Jordan's (AKA Y-Love) upcoming EP release See Me.

In a hip-hop world full of negative messages, Y-Love (Yitz Jordan) is leading a new era of"global hip-hop" --where pounding rhythms combine with social consciousness to"elevate, not tranquilize" the world. Back with his first album since his smash debut, This is Babylon, Y-Love is set to release his hotly anticipated new EP, See Me, on May 17.
The club-friendly tracks on See Me are influenced as much by rap vet Chuck D as by new artists like Major Lazer and Nicki Minaj. Producer Diwon (mastermind behind Shemspeed Records) skillfully blends Middle Eastern beats with clubbed-out hip-hop, giving the EP an entrancing worldly sound ready for the dance floor. Y-Love explores a variety of styles, from dance and world to pop, to express his underlying message of harmony: “Unity builds the world, all divisions destroy the world.” Lead single "The Takeover," featuring Jamaican dancehall artist Tj Di Hitmaker, explodes with African rhythms and clever wordplay, while "This is Unity" sends the listener on a sonic tour of the Middle East with its Moroccan melodies and Hebrew chorus.  The title track features, pulsating rhythm and surreal vocals from upcoming superstar Ido Z. It is followed by "Move On," the pop hit that will have Young Money fans wanting more.
Y-Love's first full-length album, This is Babylon, gained worldwide praise and propelled him to appearances from BBC World TV to Late Night with Conan O'Brien. The world’s first black Jewish MC, Y-Love has featured his compelling life story has been featured in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, XXL Magazine and Italy's La Republica.  
Dubbed by The Jerusalem Post as a “crossover success,” Y-Love appeals to the mainstream through positive and constructive energy in his signature multi-lingual style -- "making hip-hop kosher," as XXL reported. With the release of See Me, Y-Love delivers a soundtrack fit for a new global revolution.
Here's a free download of The Takeover, a track on the new album.

Y-Love is a dynamic performer, whose style seamlessly blends various world influences as well as Yiddish, Hebrew and Aramaic lyrics. As Erez Safar (the DJ/producer/exec of the Shemspeed label) describes him:

Before Shyne became religious and Drake started making hip hop, Y-Love took the world by storm as the first black orthodox Jewish rapper. With "See Me", Y-LOVE departs from both the ultra orthodox world and the underground aesthetic of hip hop, Y-Love demolishes the scene with "The Takeover" featuring TJ Di Hitmaker, his upcoming single release. The club-friendly tracks on See Me are influenced as much by rap vet Chuck D as by new artists like Major Lazer and Nicki Minaj.
Responding to Erez's assertion that Y-Love "departs from both the ultra orthodox world and the underground aesthetic of hip hop", I asked him for clarification. Did that mean that Yitz no longer affiliated himself with ultra Orthodox Judaism? What about his political leanings, which manifested themselves very strongly on his debut LP This Is Babylon? Could we expect the same social consciousness that we were treated to with the first album?
Erez forwarded my response to Yitz himself, who took the time to kindly answer my questions with the hope of clearing some confusion:

I apologize for the delay in getting back to you.  I wanted to chime in with answers to these questions:
Do I consider myself part of the Orthodox community?  While I do believe in all of the tenets of Orthodox Judaism -- Orthodox Judaism is still "my religion" in that respect -- I don't consider myself part of the Orthodox world, in that I don't have the shtetl worldview and political leanings of most of the community.  I do still consider myself religious but I am far too progressive of a person to consider civil rights and other modern innovations to be bad things.
The new album will have less political overtones than "This is Babylon", but I'm currently collaborating with other artists (AWKWORD, the Guggenheim-winning video artist KASUMI, St. Louis rapper Tef Poe, among others) on a political EP to put my political views out there.  Far from sleeping on the progressive tip, I've decided to focus my political ire on a release further along in the future.
All the best!
While some of his comments concerning the religious community are open to discussion, this is not the time for it. Instead, I'd like to thank him for getting back to me so quickly and giving me a thought out response in lieu of a pre-fabricated sound byte.

Y-Love is a talented artist whose messages of unity are universal.

Enjoy the album!

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