After 1 hour, 3 minutes, and 18 songs, one fact emerges in crystal clear form: Yorel’s lyrical and performance talent is pure. His approach is all about craft. You can feel the pride in every punchline setup and the catharsis in every unfolded rhyme scheme. He sounds like he’s a veteran at life, while his extraordinary lyricism and storytelling shines through every track on the album, ‘When Ink Turns To Blood’. In a world where trap music and mumble rappers rule the mainstream, Yorel returns with an introspective look into his thoughts, experiences and aspirations – both good and bad, from past to present – with a view to approaching the future.
Yorel first surfaced from Queens NY in 2006 with the album “Redemption”, which he physically plugged across the major cities of the world – from the US to Europe – and sold from hand to hand, long before online marketing became an option. In the process he touched the hearts of many with his story of pain and triumph surrounding the event of losing his uncle Leroy Homer, co-pilot of United 93 on 9/11.
However his vison of the industry at the time, induced Yorel to retract from its fickle mechanisms, to never release an album again. That was until the Covid-19 pandemic pushed the world into quarantine. Trapped with his gift in a small RV, with nothing but a pen, a pad, a mic, and a calling, his 14 year hiatus ended as abruptly as it started. Resulting in the luscious, soul-stirring and mind-feeding album, ‘When Ink Turns To Blood’.
Regardless of which side of the rap generation debate you’re on, there’s no denying the lyrical power of Yorel, which is evident from the moment you move through the ‘Intro (The Fan Call)’ and onto the track ‘Epiphany’ ft. Justin J. Moore & Dan Picknell. For Yorel, that aforementioned lyrical power comes across in the form of vivid storytelling, which on this track is cinematic-like.
‘Power’ ft. Nimiwari, is as close to what the title describes, in terms of performances, as is possible. Besides Yorel’s spiritually infused and thoughtful narrative, Nimiwari’s soulful crooning will make your spine tingle. ‘The Pen Is In My Hand’ balances moments of nostalgia and encouragement. The gravity in Yorel’s words is matched by the sound of the production. He shows dexterity in how he frequently switches his cadence and delivery.
From ‘Oreo’, to ‘One Step Away’ and ‘Gods & Devils’ ft. Ekaterina & Arianna Celaeno, the candid nature of the album continues to make it feel as if we’re invading Yorel’s most private thoughts and observations. But his honesty is intentional and it’s bound to deepen the connection between himself and fans. ‘Crossroads 2’ featuring Krayzie Bone & Justin J. Moore and ‘Lord Knows I Try’ ft. Olivia Swearington confirms the previous statement, as Yorel lyricism goes deeper track after track.
It’s fair to mention at this point, that the album features amazing melodic turns and ear-warming hooks. In fact every singer appearing on ‘When Ink Turns To Blood’, can be considered absolute stellar, bar none. Moving forward, it’s evident that Yorel is a god-fearing man, and finds strength in his faith, as this album is awash with spiritual references, not least on ‘Til I Can’t Fight No More’, and ‘Urban Desperado’.
Notwithstanding we ‘re moving towards the end of the album – From ‘Crackpot Jukebox’ to ‘Mr. Sandman’ ft. Jugga, Monkey & Danger, and ‘Scriptures & Mathematics’ ft. Jus’ Superior, to ‘One Life’ ft. EL, everything remains focused and passionate, as we keep getting Yorel at his most brilliant and profound with every track. By the time the final tracks, ‘Wings of an Angel’ and ‘When Ink Turns to Blood’ hit the decks, we already know that this is an incredible body of work.
‘When Ink Turns to Blood’ is easily one of the first must-listen albums of 2021, a deep offering from an emcee who works to raise the bar of his craft. Moreover, even though these songs mainly flex the power of Yorel’s pen and flow, the production work and features are equally up to the occasion. A deluxe 20 track version of the album will also be available on all platforms soon, while Yorel has another album out called “Pawns & Giants”.