I first heard about Kosha Dillz a couple years ago when he got on stage during my friend’s band’s set and gave an impromptu performance. Since then, Rami Even-Esh, aka Kosha Dillz, has done some big things. He’s performed on BET’s 106th and Park. This summer, he won the Hot 97 Summer Jam Battle at Giants Stadium. Now, he is on tour with Matisyahu. Needless to say, things are looking up for Even-Esh.
Yesterday, Kosha Dillz released his first solo LP, Beverly Dillz. With a mix of humor, some irony, great rhymes, pure talent and a touch of Hebrew, Kosha Dillz is proving to the hip-hop world that he should be taken very seriously.
Even with his busy schedule, Even-Esh was able to answer a few questions for us about his album, his vision and his career.
MyJewishLearning: I love the new album. How long did it take to make? Is the final product what you expected it to be?
Kosha Dillz: It took about three weeks to make. But recording wise? I guess it’s really a whole life time to make one.
Tell us about your name, Kosha Dillz. On the one hand, it’s creative but are you ever worried that you get boxed in to just Jewish music?Â
Nope. Jews just became receptive to my music in 2007 and 2008. I grew up in the 90s emcee era of NYC. I’m sure it’s easy to think one way for a name. People are people. To this day I have garnered more people that are not Jewish as my fans than actual Jews.
What do your family and friends think of your career choice? Did it take a lot of convincing to show that you were serious about this?Â
Yes. I used to get arrested for a lot for knucklehead stuff and come home all lost and drawn out. To convince my parents I can actually do this as a living was tough. But I finally started changing and getting my stuff together. Just the other day, my mom bought tickets to Atlantic City for the big show at the Borgata. My mom’s only seen me once in this jam band performance for a private party and enjoyed it. But this will be her first time seeing me on the big stage. I’m really excited about that. Last person to come will be my brother Zach. Excited about it all I must say. It’s taken years, but I guess my job is a lot different then your typical Jewish career.
Has it been tough getting respect in the hip-hop world? What have you had to done to prove yourself as legit?Â
It’s tough for anyone, especially being white. Especially being Jewish. Especially being weird. Especially being openly patriotic for my own country. But so what? Hard work and persistance beats any amount of money, fake attitude, and hate. If you keep going, you’ll keep winning. Being a great emcee helps, and I push myself better every day, thank God.
You’ve opened for the RZA (from the Wu Tang Clan) and you’re currently on tour with Matisyahu. Did you ever imagine you’d get this far? And what’s it like to perform for a non-Jewish audience?
I mean, these are crowds I’ve always performed for. The only time it’s all Jews is if I’m rapping at a shabbos table.
Trying to channel my guidance counselor alter-ego, where will Kosha Dillz be in five years?Â
I will be on top. And on tour most likely. Family? I hope so. I just hope I’m still surrounded by great people where ever I am.