When Ink Turns to Blood is a new album from hip hop artist, Yorel. He’s a seasoned musician, having been active in recording and releasing music for decades, going back to when artists would tenaciously market their CDs and cassettes to people directly in person. One interesting bit of trivia is that YoRel is the nephew of Leroy Homer, famed co-pilot and one of the heroes of Flight 93 on 9/11.
This album is simply epic. It contains a whopping 24 tracks, practically qualifying as an anthology. He doesn’t cut any corners either. The songs are all full and rich with prime content. There are also a plethora of guest artists, including iconic rappers like Krayzie Bone, who appears on the track Crossroads II. That particular song is inspired by the legendary Bone Thugz jam, Crossroads (which was probably my favorite hip hop single of the 90s). Crossroads II was made to pay respects to Yorel’s late father. In case you’re wondering, the song definitely lives up to the original, both in terms of musical quality and spirit. The vibe matches 100%.
One of the main singles from this album is Epiphany (feat. Justin J. Moore and Dan Picknell). Powerful and brimming with melodic goodness, the song blends elements of hip hop, R&B and pop. There’s a catchy musical chorus that almost sounds like alternative music. The rap verses are delivered with personality and the lyrics contain some choice lines (“maybe the slave ship was a space ship“). It’s an impressive single that combines serious themes with an approachable, enjoyable presentation, and the songwriting is excellent.
Other songs on here are a bit on the lighter side. Oreo is a fun, casual and slightly humorous track that’s “dating” related. However, even here Yorel demonstrates just how professional his vocal delivery is. He really has a great flow. It’s no wonder these other well known artists are eagerly willing to collaborate with him. There’s so much material on this release it’s difficult to do it justice in a brief review like this. It deserves an essay or even a dissertation. Bottom line though is that it’s all top tier, and there is enough variety to suit your mood and musical tastes, whatever they may be. When Ink Turns to Blood is classy, sincere and lyrically substantive. This is low-key one of the best hip hop albums of 2020.
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