YL – Biography, Career and Discography

YL, a 27-year-old rapper from New York, is not only known for his skills on the mic but also for his talents behind the boards. He produces beats, engineers, and creates mixes for London’s renowned NTS Radio. Additionally, he collaborates regularly with his crew RRR (Real Recognise Real).

YL draws inspiration from a host of legendary artists from New York City, including AZ, Ghostface, Raekwon, Nas, Jada, Styles P, and others. These influential figures have shaped his style and sound, contributing to his unique blend of classic and contemporary hip-hop.

Early Life and Career Beginnings 

Dylan Lora, born in 1996 and raised in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, is better known as YL. He combines elements of Golden Era hip-hop, ’90s street style, and contemporary drill to forge a fresh and unique sound. Approaching his 28th birthday in 2024, YL’s musical journey began with exposure to ’90s legends like The Diplomats and Jay-Z, courtesy of his older brother. As his musical taste evolved, YL found inspiration in Nas, Jadakiss, and early Eminem before venturing into MCing himself.

During his high school years, YL and his friends started making music together, laying the groundwork for what would become his label collective. Initially named Regularrr, symbolizing their departure from the ordinary, the group eventually streamlined their name to RRR, standing for “Real Recognize Real.” This collective, which has been intertwined with YL’s brand for over a decade, includes collaborations with rapper Starker and producers Zoomo and Noface.

According to YL, RRR began as a casual endeavor among friends rather than a formal music collective. Originally, YL served as the group’s cameraman, documenting their daily activities. However, encouraged by a friend, he transitioned into rapping himself, leveraging his proximity to music and access to a friend’s studio for recording sessions.

YL experimented with various iterations of his stage name before settling on the abbreviated “YL.” Early recordings under monikers like WHY-L, Thee WHY-L, and Thee YL showcased his potential, despite an evolving style and voice. Projects such as RidinBack and L.I.I.T. reflect his experimentation with different flows as he honed his craft. Initially known as “The YL,” a nod to the first three letters of his name, Dylan, YL eventually streamlined his stage name, dropping the “The” to keep it concise.


YL has been hopping over beats for at least a decade, tracing back to his first mixtape release in 2011. In approximately 2012, YL crossed paths with Starker at a basement party in Queens. Reconnecting through mutual acquaintances, the duo embarked on a musical journey together, culminating in the release of their inaugural full-length collaboration, “Lo.Ceasar,” in 2015. YL expresses that his partnership with Starker has flowed effortlessly from the start.

The year 2016 marked a turning point for YL’s career, buoyed by a series of impressive mixtapes entirely produced by Roper Williams. While YL exhibits versatility over any beat, he feels most at home over Roper’s productions. The duo’s knack for crafting smooth samples meshes seamlessly with YL’s buttery flow.

In 2017, YL unveiled “Open 24,” a 13-track album offering listeners a glimpse into the evolution of his sound. While still showcasing his trademark bravado, the lyrics on “Open 24” exude a sense of spontaneity and freedom.

The subsequent year saw YL, Starker, and fellow RRR member MID embark on a brief tour of Japan, where they recorded the aptly titled “Made in Japan.” Reflecting on their time in the Land of the Rising Sun, YL fondly recalls their month-long stay in July 2018.

Zoomo entered YL’s orbit in 2018 after the New York rapper connected with the North Carolina producer on Instagram. Quickly establishing himself as one of YL’s go-to collaborators, Zoomo became an integral part of the RRR collective. Over the past few years, Zoomo’s production and Starker’s guest verses have become staples in YL’s musical repertoire.

In August 2020, YL dropped “Born Again,” widely regarded as a standout project in his discography. Produced by Zoomo, another fixture in the city’s music scene, the album boasts twelve tracks featuring soulful beats complemented by YL’s effortlessly delivered bars.

Since the release of “Open 24,” YL has been on a prolific streak, delivering no fewer than a dozen solo projects. In 2021, he treated fans to “ADAPTATION,” an album featuring samples from the Spike Jonze film of the same name, providing insight into his current creative mindset.

YL’s versatility shines as he continues to broaden his circle of collaborators in recent years, including Filipino singer-songwriter EYEDRESS and Jersey Club-inspired producers Subjxct 5 and Tony Seltzer. His November 2021 project, “Soda Club,” showcases production from Subjxct 5 and Seltzer, fusing nostalgic sample-based beats with the energetic vibe of modern drill. This fusion has recently gained mainstream attention through Lil Uzi Vert’s 2022 single “Just Wanna Rock.”

In November 2022, YL, Starker, and Zoomo independently released “RRR: The Album,” a collaborative effort highlighting the trio’s undeniable chemistry and camaraderie.

Looking ahead to his next full-length project, “Don’t Feed the Pigeons” in 2023, YL plans to merge the sounds he has been exploring in recent years: sample-based loops and Jersey Club. He envisions this project as one that will both satisfy his loyal fan base and attract new listeners to his music.


YL’s fashion sense has become as noteworthy as his lyrical prowess in recent times. In 2021, he caught the eye of fashion enthusiasts when he was selected to feature in advertising campaigns for two high-profile luxury streetwear collaborations based in New York City: Awake x New Era and New Balance x Aimé Leon Dore.



2013 – RidinBack

2017 – Open 24

2018 – Friendfafriend

2018 – Babyman

2019 – Sunday Holiday

2019 – Left on Red

2019 – Smoke

2020 – Alone Time

2020 – Born Again

2020 – Lo. Ceasar 2

2020 – Jesus Is My Homeboy

2021 – It Never Entered My Mind

2021 – Adaptation

2021 – Soda Club

2022 – Soda Club Deluxe

2022 – In Memory Of

2022 – Lo.Face

2022 – The Hills Have Eyes

2022 – RRR: The Album

2023 – Don’t Feed the Pigeons

2023 – Don’t Feed the Pigeons Deluxe

2024 – Diamond Collection


2011 – Step Brothers the Mixtape

2011 – The Birth of Him

2011 – L.I.I.T. Living in Interesting Times

2013 – Ali Bet the Masterpiece


2015 – Lo.Ceasar EP

2019 – Feelin’ Life

2019 – Knuckleheads EP

2020 – That Was Then

2020 – Days Run Away

2020 – Man of God

2021 – Silent Dedication

2021 – ’03 Blackout!

2021 – The Lightwork EP

2023 – Gone by Tomorrow


2016 – Silent Movies

2016 – True Blues

2016 – Tell Coach I Gotta Ball

2017 – Not Today

2020 – Henry Wings

2020 – Temporary

2021 – 360

2021 – Spectre

2023 – Illusions

2023 – Back on the Wall

2024 – Blink of an Eye

2024 – Boyz 2 Men

2024 – Fast Break