When I first came across the identity of Kosha Dillz, I made the unsafe assumption of thinking that this guy would be something of a “nerd”. Most of hip hop is not used to a male of Jewish descent with strong religious values and cultural pride this side of Matisyahu. However, after this elongated conversation (over the internet, no less) I noticed how my preconceived notions were defied. Truth be told, I made a blunder. This was a man reformed from him societal mistakes. After making such mistakes, realizing his true worth to society, his family, his culture, and to hip hop, Kosha Dillz went from negative to positive. Now, it’s all good. With an album in tow that features his written rhymes in contrast to C-Rayz Walz’s freestyle rhymes, now it’s the time for hip hop to recognize!
First of all, how are you feeling man?
Ehh….woke up from a nap!! Thats grrrrrrreat!
Word? What has you taking a nap already?
Well, we went out to celebrate some personal triumphs in my life. Me myself, Aba and my Moms. So the brunch had me catching some Zzz’s. “Aba” is Dad in Hebrew.
Aba? Wow…that’s hot. I learn something new everyday. Care to tell me about the personal triumphs?
Well usually before I go out on tour we try to get together and have an outing. I just got out of “the system” after nearly 6 years. Early release… and Im not talking about my record! This time I’ll be out west for 3 weeks.
Playstation 2? I’m the NBA JAM video game national champion. 6 years.
Are you serious?
No i’m just kidding. Part of my story involves rehabilitations incarcerations parole and probation…now its just vacations you feel me bro?
Seriously? Man, what has happened with you?
Well I went down a typical path of trying to fit in to places i don’t fit in…lets just say…the sad thing is…you actually go to those places and you suffer consequences first. They don’t kick you out! “The system” takes you in with open arms and they have plenty of room. The sad thing is you might not realize it right away (like myself) and they continuously extend your membership. Along with membership dues.
Are you referring to jail or society as a whole?
Im talking about “the fit in” club. Not “the fitness” club. I think hip hop should separate it as so. These are the protocols of hip hop/rap. The revolutions that are televised.
So basically, you are telling me that you did a lot of dumb illegal things to be with the in-crowd?
Well you know. I hate to say it becuase i don’t want an interview to go back on peddling ____and moving ____ and hlding it ______ and thinking its cool to put the ______on and stick _____ other ______ dealers. By filling in the ______
That’s true, but as an interview, it’s always good to have the reader understand that they can choose better paths.
You will see how boring that story is. Maybe by reading this interview people will see how corny street life is and how unnecessary it is. That’s what I look at it as. You can fill in those blanks with whatever you want. I did it all. I choose not to glorify it.
So, you did the crime and paid the time?
Exactly. Its a sad story. Today I heard the president of MADD (mothers against drunk driving) got arrested for _______ driving.
LOL… how interesting is that.
Yeah. So basically I continued to repast crime after crime and was extended and have filled out many a travel permits and answered to many searches. Finally, I don’t have to fly home on tour to get a travel permit signed again just to go back on TOUR. I think i can even tour Canada now (I hope). Unfortunately rappers think that it is interesting (crime and hip hop). They think it gives you street credibility, so I choose not go into specifics.
Well, that’s a great thing to hear. And this interview has been great thus far….and I haven’t even gotten into my questions yet
See what i’m sayin’… that crap gets you off topic.
“Me and C-Rayz don’t really like each other, honestly. But we learned a lot from this project.”
What are your earliest memories of hip hop in your life/household?
Oh my God… you know my brother was a break dancer. That was before he was a bodybuilder.
Break dancer? Bodybuilder? What is it that he hasn’t done?
Yeah. He made a million. He is doing that now with his online books. Go to combatgrappler.com . Right there, you will see what he does. He makes people champions. Gotta support ya know? His name is Zach Even-Esh. undergroundstrengthcoach.com. We’re all independent hustlers! What can I say?
That’s beautiful. So, your brother got you onto hip hop? who were your favorite artists growing up?
Well I don’t think it was him. I found this out yesterday. But, it planted the seed. I used to watch old school bike videos with him. They had some funky beats in the background. the first CD i bought was Originoo Gunn Clappaz Da Storm. But in middle school, Method Man was big. I really listened to Rancid, Green Day, Metallica, Pantera, Smashing Pumpkins, Blind Melon. I had that first Method, but didn’t get into rap as much. Remember that lil bumble bee girl in the video??
Yeah, I remember her.
Hahaah! Word. I really didn’t get into hip hop until I heard it at dances. I mean I listened to Cotton Eyed Joe in middle school, that lil bar mitzvah jump off. Ace of Base was hot back then.
My music selection was weird… like me!
You just made your album with C-Rayz Walz. How did you guys link up?
I knew C-Rayz since 2000, late 99′ from the NYC battle scene. I bought the Prelude from him for 5 bucks when i was… hmmm… 18 at Demeraras in NYC. Yeah man, it has been long. But I dont remember what a happened to that cd.
Someone borrowed it and didn’t give it back.
Either that or I don’t take care of my Cd’s so well. So yeah, C-Rayz. is legendary in NYC and when he says jump, people jump. I always knew that about him. He is insane… literally. And he beats everyone and freestyle all his interviews. He beats everyone. His past life is similar to mine… except his _______ are different. He is Stronghold. They are like the NYC crew that is more hard body than anyone. You see lots of them: Life LONG, C-Rayz, Poison Pen, Immortal Technique… they were basically running the battle scene. Back then when it was good emcees, you know everyone from our battle era (which I might have been the last one who crept in) makes a living off this music. Everyone puts out records, from Pack FM, Poison Pen, Immortal Technique, C-Rayz, Life LONG, Vast Aire, Yak Ballz… anyone I know from that era makes music and DOES it. I was influenced by that scene. I got to say the time hip hop changed my life was in November ‘98. DJ BLOWOUT!
(4:48:41 PM): DJ Blowout?
Turntable Annhilists (brother of DP ONE- GI JOE is in that crew) umm… killed it. Eminem and Royce da 5’9, Mr Lif, Planet Asia, Kalediscopin’, Saafir–Smart Bombs.
LOL… man, you sure remember some abstract and underground songs. With record sales lacking for SOME artists, how do you keep yourself financially stable?
I do shows, I tour, and I also present packages of cultural value to universities. I do public speaking forums inspirational speaking.
How did you get into that?
Well my boy Kyle said “Yo man you should be doing Jewish events!” and next thing you know I made a few calls. Then I made a few hundred more. I got a call from this one guy… Adam Davis. He booked me with Remedy and I got paid more than ever. So I was like “Oh word! I like this!” This started a whole different perspective on music and started getting great responses doing the same music. For not so typical crowds… and well… began CARVING MY NICHE so they say.
So, what you are telling me is that you did your music and started speaking for Jewish events?
Yeah. Then I started just coming in like that since a year and half ago. I stopped working regularly.
Damn, wish I could do that.
That’s whats my bro does: niche strength training. I can’t be the hardest, bestest rapper. I am trying to make music that moves people and leads people. That was cool back then… to improve emcee skills. But now I have a different agenda. I been avoiding who I really was for so long. Trying to fit in… etc… etc… I feel support from my own people. Trust me, Jews know whats up. They party… they know hip hop… they know lyrics.
Explain the inspiration behind the song “Calouses of a Hustler”
Well it has to do with the state of music within myself and my situation in life. Where I came from. Not to sound cliché, but I really find inspiration when I write real facts in my music… it makes the rhymes schemes different and improves my life, for one. Two, it helps my ability to make a banging song. Plus, we recorded this song last summer 07. Its about rhyming to calm youself down for hours before an overdose. Trying to connect to G-D.
Its about showing yourself and demanding respect in a scene where half the people front and you have to be quiet in certain situations to win in the long run and when to say “You know what? I’m done. I don’t need you even though you might be bigger than me. I’m gonna ex you out and take my chances.” My saying “kick rocks”, I have not really gotten a lot of support from many emcees, but the ones who count do. The ones who don’t still watch for me and I continue to help people regardless. I’d love to see everyone succeed, but now I’m more about family. Me and C-Rayz don’t really like each other, honestly. But we learned a lot from this project. Cuz we both are in the Rut. At times, we can kinda break off and take a distance from each other.
LOL @ you not really liking C-Rayz.
But resurface and its all good. But we gotta banging album together. Its more hate and love. We are very similar in our journeys .So real people have to work together. There is a mutual respect for each other, and he is a powerful voice, in terms of representing for me in a totally different community. Like I said: when C-Rayz says jump, people jump.
True indeed. Has your religion played a part in your music?
How much of a part?
Well, my first name was KOSHER DILL. Than it was KD FLOW. When I was battling, I was ashamed of KOSHER, ya feel? Ashamed and fitting in. Then I went through lots of trials and tribulations. My first 12 inch was KOSHA DILLZ: Chainsaw Music/ b/w Hairy Chest 2 Hollywood. It was released in 2005.
“Holiday” was another dope track. What made you put that one together the way you did?
Well, it was concept album. He answered off my writtens, so it basically calls out the lame facts of holidays. 4th of July scream “revolution” in hip hop, yet the same people lighting off fireworks. Basically mad people like scream “OBAMA!”, but half of them wont vote, you feel me? 4/20 is Hitler’s birthday and you smoke weed? Lemme find out your jewish…
Hahahaha! Right! Kentron Da Mastodon hooked up the production, and it was very dope I might add. How did you guys link up?
I met him at a show in Virginia. Ava von Suicide through it. They brought me and C-Rayz down. I started promoting beats for him and then eventually I had an idea to do this album and his beats have grown in 2 years. He puts in work. Seriously, he is the best dude out right now in my eyes. As far as up and coming talent
Wow, that’s a bold statement to make. Can I print that?
Sure! He makes a classic hip hop sound with lots of horns.
So, what do you have planned on the horizon in the near and distant future?
I leave to Seattle on Tuesday, on tour with Yak Ballz while simultaneously touring With SHi 360 from Israel performing in the day time shows. We just a happened to cross tour paths so it was convenient to jump on 5 or 6 shows with him.
Well, that’s pretty much the interview right there, man. You gave me a lot of insight.
Word man. Ya know I really hope people get our record out August 26th, 2008.