Y-Love, known for years as the world's first African-American Orthodox hip-hop artist and now the first artist to come out of the closet before an album release, is no stranger to the progressive political arena. These past few years have been an intense journey for Y-Love, since his last release, he’s lived on both coasts, and been involved with social justice movements including #blacklivesmatter and the movement for LGBT equality. His Judaism has evolved - a few times - though he identifies as "off the Derech"/ex-ultra-Orthodox, he’s still as proud and connected as ever. These past few months have seen American nightmares come to life, and the dystopian political landscape has energized artists (as all oppressive times do) to create and spread messages of hope and solidarity, and Y-Love is no exception.
When Y-Love released his first mixtape in 2005, the world took note of the first African-American Orthodox hip-hop artist. Called a "crossover success" by the Jerusalem Post for branching out from the ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community to which he converted in 2000, Y-Love made waves in 2012 when he became the first hip-hop artist to come out of the closet as gay before an album release.
Y-Love's writing has been featured in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Advocate.com, and the Jerusalem Post, and he is a contributor to both Huffington Post Religion and Gay Voices. He is also a noted writer and pundit in the Jewish world. He blogs for Jewschool.com and Jewlicious.com and attends conferences worldwide where he speaks on his unique perspectives as a Jew of color in music.
In addition to his music, Y-Love is a prolific web programmer in the world of advertising. He’s worked on campaigns for Dr Pepper, Honda, and Calvin Klein -- as well as the website for the NYC General Assembly for Occupy Wall Street.
Y-Love's coming out announcement debuted at #1 on OUT Magazine's Out.com and was front-page news on CNN. Y-Love is listed as an "Up and Coming Out-and-Proud
LGBT rapper" by Russell Simmons' GlobalGrind. The world’s first black "Jewish MC," Y-Love has been featured in hundreds of forums including Conan O'Brien, USA Today, XXL Magazine, The Australian, and Italy's La Repubblica. He is also the subject of a new documentary entitled "Y-Love" debuting nationally later this year.
In these times, when hate and division has become a macabre new normal, we all still need to remind ourselves: we are all human and still need to release and have fun, and we can all enjoy a good party, though, and the release of Y-Love’s upcoming single produced by Diwon, ’Rock Like Me’ is just that - a fun collab with the legendary Doodlebug of Disable Planets and Nissim, to make everyone feel uplifted and get moving...While we get down to work at making this world a better place.