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Thu, 01.05.1978

Yitz Jordan, Hip-Hop Artist born

Yitz Jordan

*Yitz Jordan was born on this date in 1978. He is a Gay, Black, Jewish hip-hop artist.

An Orthodox Jew, Jordan was formerly Hasidic and is better known by his stage name Y-Love. Jordan, an only child, was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, to a Christian Ethiopian father and a Puerto Rican mother. He occasionally attended a Baptist church.

Jordan first became interested in Judaism at age seven. He started wearing a kippah at 14, observed Shabbat, converted to Judaism around the turn of the millennium, and studied at a yeshiva in Jerusalem. As a youth, Jordan was a fan of the conscientious rhymes of KRS-ONE and Public Enemy's Chuck D.

He is a web developer, activist, and entrepreneur. Jordan rhymes in English, Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic, Latin, and Aramaic, often covering social, political, and religious themes. Career After moving to Brooklyn in 2001, Jordan began performing at open mics around the city as Y-Love. He received a measure of criticism from the local Jewish population for also being a member of the hip-hop community. He is also a web developer and activist. Y-Love released his first mixtape in 2005, DJ Handler Presents Y-Love.  

This led to an award for Best Hip Hop Artist at Heeb's 2006 Jewish Music Awards. He teamed up with Yuri Lane to record the acapella album Count It (Sefira) a few years later. The vocals-only offering can be listened to by Orthodox Jews year-round, including the period between Passover and Shavuot, when it is not permitted to listen to musical instruments. In 2008, Y-Love released his first solo full-length album, This Is Babylon.  XXL said the album "balances Jewish spirituality with party rhymes and political commentary to spread Y-Love's message of global unity." His 2011 E.P. See Me (produced by Diwon) debuted as a "New and Noteworthy Release" on the front page of the iTunes Hip Hop page.

The music video for the E.P.'s single "This Is Unity" was called "Awesome" by URB. In May 2012, Jordan came out; he still identified as an Orthodox Jew. However, by 2013, he proclaimed himself off the derech. In the Fall 2014, Y-Love appeared in a documentary called Punk Jews.  In June 2020, he became the chief product officer at Tribe Herald, a news site for non-white Jews. Y-Love generally comes up with his rhymes through extensive freestyling. "You freestyle and wait until something hot comes out," he says.  The Jerusalem Post called Y-Love a "spiritual, rapping guru" who is "front and center in a trending hip-hop revolution."

He was named to The Jewish Week's 2009 36 Under 36, an annual list of 36 notable Jews under 36. "I'm using hip hop to elevate," Y-Love stated. "That's what I'm about." Y-Love uses strong Jewish themes in his lyrics: "We know that the Book of Psalms was written using the types of musical instruments which were contemporary to King David's day. Today, we have digital equipment."

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