Yitzchak Jordan (Also known by his stage name Y-Love) is an orthodox Jewish rapper.
He used to attend occasionally at a baptist church when he was young, but later converted to Orthodox Judaism.
Born to Black and Puerto Rican parents, he found understanding for his early stirrings of faith from his maternal grandmother, Clara Lopez. Named after the matriarch of a Jewish family that once gave her father a job, Lopez had served as a “Shabbos goy” as a child, and wasn’t shocked when Jordan donned a kippah to observe Passover. “As I started separating myself from the rest of the family, she acted as my interpreter,” recalled Jordan, in an interview with the Forward. Soon after that, as a child, he began to give his Jewish classmate his lunch money in exchange for teaching him Hebrew.
Now Y-Love's music fills that role, translating his faith into freestyle rhymes and danceable beats for diverse audiences. Y-Love’s devotion to music is tempered by a religious fervor that precludes him from performing on Jewish holidays or until 72 minutes after the Sabbath’s end. An early fan of heavy metal and punk rock, he first became interested in hip-hop while studying in Israel. At Ohr Somayach yeshiva in Jerusalem, Jordan met a fellow student, David Singer, and the two began memorizing Talmudic texts via rap. “I called him Y-Love, because it has a double meaning, like the question, ‘why love?’” Singer remembered. Singer said he advised Jordan not to hide his identity or try to pass as a Yemenite Jew. “I always tell him, part of your genius and your beauty is that you don’t have to fit in,” he said.
Ohr Somayach was also where Jordan met his manager, Erez, known professionally as DJ Handler. A college radio hip-hop connoisseur, Handler was awed by the ease with which Y-Love mixed verses of English, Yiddish, Hebrew and Aramaic. Y-Love's lyrics are described as being about "individuality, spirituality...love and against materialism."
In keeping with Jewish tradition, Y-Love starts each morning with the prayer of Shacharit, the first of three Jewish prayers he makes during the course of a day.
Y-Love won the 2006 Jewish Music Awards award for Best Hiphop, receiving more votes than Matisyahu in internet voting. Y-Love is also Director of the Clicks of Hope Foundation , a nonprofit organization founded in response to a cry for help on MySpace.com in 2006 to benefit victims of violence and abuse and to promote Jewish religious outreach.