Jewish rappers aren’t too common, but there are people in the music industry who have made a name for themselves embracing both rap and Judaism. While embracing his Jewish roots, Kosha Dillz swiftly combines his different influences to create an experience for his audience.
Dillz, whose real name is Rami Matan Even-Esh, has gone through a few different stage names over the years. Whether you know him as Kosha Dill, KD Flow, or Kosha Dillz, his love of rap has stayed consistent. Born and raised in New Jersey, he initially didn’t want his rapper persona associated with his Jewish heritage. All of those name changes were his way of distancing himself. But now he’s embraced his Jewish roots and is even known for rapping in Hebrew. His name is even a nod to Judaism. Kosher food is food that “complies with the strict dietary standards of traditional Jewish law,” according to Healthline.
But rap isn’t the only plan he made for himself. Although he did drop out initially, he went back to school and has a degree from Rutgers University.
Kosha Dillz takes his life experiences and throws them into his music. His songs cover everything from feeling outcasted in college to his issues with drugs and the law. It was those same issues with drugs that forced him out of collegiate wrestling, a sport he loved growing up. Doing drugs, dealing drugs and jail time didn’t change his change anything about him wanting to fit in. In fact, in his TED Talk, he spoke about wanting to spend even more in jail so he could have more credibility with other prisoners. It’s almost like his mindset was if I’m going to do anything, I’m going to be the best at it.
But now, Kosha Dillz has sober for over 11 years and is using his sobriety to influence his music. And he credits freestyle rap for saving his life. He ended up freestyling for RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan at one of RZA’s shows in 2009. RZA was so impressed he told Dillz to get on stage and perform for the audience.
In that same TED Talk, he says that freestyle is “a way of life. You just think and you have to make the best of situations at any moment.” When it mentioned all the years he was sober, he clarified that he doesn’t know what will tomorrow will bring. So freestyling has not only changed his life into a more positive experience for him but seems to have changed the way he lives.
Kosha Dillz x Grit Daily
Kosha Dillz is on tour right now, but you see him tonight in Miami. He will be performing tonight at the Grit Daily Live Miami Art Summit After Party. The event is hosted by JADA and focuses on understanding “expression, identity, and the gritty side of art and business.” This is a chance for event-goers to uncover a deep aspect of the art world today. Spend some time with art industry creators and journalists so be sure to get tickets.