Anthony Hill, better known by his stage name YZ, also known as Umar Sa'id Ihsan, is an American rapper, singer, song writer, DJ and entrepreneur from Paterson, New Jersey. He is best known for being a pioneer of conscious hip hop.
His career begin at age 17 when he and DJ Tony D opened a company called Two Tone Productions in Trenton, New Jersey. YZ and group members G-Rock and DJ Tink released the single "I am Who I Am"/I'm Bad" (1989) on Trenton independent label Rockin' Hard Records. YZ then acquired half of the company Diversity Records also in Trenton, NJ. YZ released the maxi single "In Control of Things"/"Thinking of a Master Plan" in 1989 on Diversity Records. He and business partner Timothy Baylor would go on to sign the hip hop group Poor Righteous Teachers (PRT). Because of conflicts with Tony D, the man responsible for producing PRT, Diversity and PRT would sever ties before the release of their first single.
YZ signed a deal with Tuff City in 1990. That same year he released his first LP, "Sons of The Father". He released his second project, YZ EP, in 1991 on the same label.
YZ signed with Livin' Large/Tommy Boy/Warner Bros. in 1992. That same year, he released the single "Return of the Holy One". In 1993, YZ released his second full-length LP "The Ghetto's Been Good to Me".
Between 1994 and the present YZ has released numerous projects independently including his LP "The Legend of Floyd Jones" in 2007 and his latest full-length LP "Muad'ib" in 2011.
YZ is the CEO of Blackworld Entertainment, a record company and management firm. Blackworld's roster consisted recording artists Daddy-O of Stetsasonic; X-Clan; Tray Chaney; Met Bronson; Ozara Ode; Jeni Fujita, producer-artist Bobbie Fine; and producers King Midas and DJ Cozmos. Additionally he was a broker for Stic.Man of Dead Prez and the managing Consultant for the record labels NREG (Nappy Roots Entertainment Group) based in Atlanta and Team Maverick/700 Block, based in New Jersey.
YZ is also former CEO of Seven Twenty Sound Co. ("720"), an artist management company based in NYC with partners Manny Morad, Abe Gabbay and Pee Wee Kirkland. 720's roster consisted of 8-Off the Assassin, aka Agallah; Urban Thermo Dynamics; a group featuring Ces, DCQ, and Mos Def; Terminata; Legion of Dume; One Step Beyond; Maya Degorgio; Baby Chill, aka #9; and NewChild.
YZ expanded his entertainment empire by getting behind the scenes of the television and radio world. He is the creator, executive producer, and host of the TV show Comin at Ya Live and the Internet's first hip-hop talk-radio show The After Thought.
- 1990: Sons of the Father (Tuff City Records)
- 1993: The Ghetto's Been Good to Me (Livin' Large/Tommy Boy/Warner Bros. Records)
- 2002: YZ Presents the Legend of Floyd Jones (Reservoir Records)
- 2009: Muad'Dib (Blackworld Entertainment)