YoReL is the professional name of veteran New York City Hip-hop artist Jason Yorel Wilson. Back in 2006 the rapper was hustling his album “Redemption.” He travelled the world, spreading his message and selling his record on the streets, connecting with his fans on a personal level as he told them his story of pain and triumph surrounding the event of losing his uncle Leroy Homer, co-pilot of United 93 on 9/11.
He was reaching a worldwide audience. Then, just as his star began to rise he disappeared from the spotlight. Disillusioned by a music industry he viewed to be morally corrupt, he retired. This unexpected exit from the world of music further fed his legend and earned him the nickname “The Exile Child.” He remained silent for 14 years, never planning to record again. However, the events of 2020 and the unexpected downtime provided by lockdown inspired Yorel to give it another go.
“When Ink Turns to Blood” is the brand new album from YoReL, released worldwide to all major streaming services on May 21, 2021. The 17 song album finds the rapper in top form with a smooth and confident flow. Throughout the record he mixes old-school lyrical skills with modern production and a wide range of musical styles. The record slides from soulful Gospel tracks like “Wings of an Angel” to classic New York Boom Bap Hip-hop on tracks like “Urban Desperado” and the Cypress Hill-style “One Step Away.”
Lyrically YoReL explores the rewards of righteousness and the folly of the faithless. The rapper’s faith is a prevalent and frequently recurring theme on the album. YoReL spreads the good word with clever wordplay, old-school Hip-hop skills and earnest conviction. He lays down some schooling on hard rap tracks like “Power” and “Gods & Devils” and he sings God’s praise on the closing quartet of soulful testimonials; “Scriptures & Mathematics,” “One Life,” “Same” and “When Ink Turns to Blood.”
Interspersed through the record are a handful of secular rhymes that are also a lot of fun. YoReL raps an ode to interracial romance on “Oreo.” He drops a fantastic old-school freestyle on “The Pen is in My Hand,” which even includes a nice shout out to the legendary Slick Rick. And “Mr. Sandman” is a classic roundtable freestyle ensemble rap featuring guest emcees Jugga, Monkey and Danger. It’s a treat for any fan of real Hip-hop.
The new album “When Ink Turns to Blood” by YoReL is the sound of a seasoned professional who knows exactly the message he wants to send, and exactly how to send it. It’s an excellent Hip-hop album that keeps one foot in the present and the other planted firmly in tradition. Listen to the record in its entirety below. And check out the video for “Epiphany.” You can also hear the song “Mr Sandman” on the Deep Indie Beat playlist. Follow the links below the video to connect with YoReL and get in on his mission.