|Birth name||Rami Even-Esh|
August 26, 1981 |
Perth Amboy, NJ
|Genres||Jewish hip hop|
Rami Matan Even-Esh (בעברית: רמי מתן אבן-אש), better known by his stage name Kosha Dillz, is an American rapper.
Early life and education
Even-Esh was born August 26, 1981 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey to Israeli immigrant parents and was raised in Edison, NJ, spending summers in Kiryat Tiv'on, Israel. He rhymes in English, Hebrew, and Spanish. A graduate of Rutgers University, he was a member of the wrestling team and studied creative writing, which he has said helped to expand his writing skills. In his youth, he played the trumpet.
Even-Esh started rapping at the age of 17. For several years beginning in 1999, he was heavily involved with the freestyle battle rap scene at Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City. Other prominent participants were Mos Def, Immortal Technique and C-Rayz Walz. That same year, he attended an MF Doom concert at The Wetlands, and recalls, "That’s when I knew I loved the underground hip hop scene. That show and Braggin' Rights at Nuyorican Poets Café changed my life for sure."
He originally went by Kosher Dill, saying, "I was Jewish and I wanted something cool." He changed his name to KD Flow when he was in the battle scene because he was "ashamed" of his MC name's Jewish association. After some substance abuse issues and a stint in jail, he became Kosha Dillz, coinciding with a decision to return to his Jewish identity.
Kosha Dillz put out his first 12 inch, "Chainsaw Music," in 2005. In 2006, he appeared alongside Matisyahu on the song "Childhood" off the C-Rayz Walz album The Dropping. Two years later, C-Rayz contacted Kosha about collaborating. They released Freestyle vs. Written, an album on which Kosha rapped written verses, and Walz freestyled. Okayplayer stated that the album contains “witty, irreverent lyrics and candor.”
2009 saw the release of his debut solo LP, Beverly Dillz, recorded in Beverly Hills with local producer Belief. A lot of the LP was written "in socks on a couch." Okayplayer called the album “an interesting mix of danceable tracks and powerful rhyming” and "at times wildly original and entertaining."
Since 2011, he has been at work on a documentary, Kosha Dillz Is Everywhere, about his life as an Israeli-American Jewish hip hop artist. Along with Snoop Dogg and Drake, Kosha has a playable character in the basketball video game NBA 2K11. His song "Cellular Phone" was featured in a Bud Light commercial that debuted in 2012 during Super Bowl XLVI.
What I Do All Day And Pickle was released on July 15, 2016 on Oy Vey!, led by the single "Dodging Bullets" featuring reggae artist Matisyahu. The video for "Dodging Bullets" premiered on Billboard on June 28, 2016. What I Do All Day And Pickle peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart, number 42 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and number 50 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart.
Kosha has toured and performed with a variety of artists, including Ghostface Killah, Snoop Dogg, Matisyahu, Cage the Elephant, C-Rayz Walz, Yak Ballz and Aesop Rock. He won the 2009 Hot 97 "Summer Jam" Rap Battle at Giants Stadium. He performed at Sundance in 2009 and South By Southwest in 2010. He performed in 2011 on the Yo Gabba Gabba! Live tour. He hosted official showcases at South By Southwest in 2015, 2016 and 2017, called Kosha Dillz Presents: Oy Vey.
Kosha was honored as one of The Jewish Week's 2013 36 Under 36, an annual list of "young visionaries reshaping and broadening the Jewish community." He was also mentioned as #14 on BuzzFeed's 2016 List of Best Jewish Rappers: Passover Edition.
Kosha has said the majority of opportunities he's received in his career stem from wowing crowds with his freestyle ability, which eventually earned him notice from RZA of the Wu Tang Clan, with whom he has since recorded, on the 2010 track "Operator," also featuring Kool G Rap. RZA calls Kosha "one of the rawest Jewish kids I know, proving again that hip-hop comes in all shapes, sizes, forms and races." The Los Angeles Times observed, "Though he's a technically skilled rhymer, Dillz's greatest gift is his willingness to engage the crowd. He'll do goofball Russian dance kicks, crack jokes and single out individual audience members."
Kosha is influenced by Wu Tang Clan, Mobb Deep and jazz artists such as Herb Alpert. Growing up, he listened to Nas, Notorious B.I.G., Wu Tang Clan, Rancid, Green Day, Metallica, Pantera and "music in Hebrew."
|October 14, 2008||Freestyle vs. Written
(C-Rayz Walz & Kosha Dillz)
|November 10, 2009||Beverly Dillz||Modular Moods|
|November 5, 2013||Awkward In a Good Way||Murs 316|
|July 15, 2016||What I Do All Day And Pickle||Oy Vey!|
|March 15, 2011||Gina & the Garage Sale||Kosha Dillz World
/ Foundation Productions
- Chris Faraone, "MC pals' flows are Kosha," Boston Herald, August 15, 2008.
- Ed Guardaro, "Caught live at CMJ: Kosha Dillz," The Deli, October 24, 2011.
- Jeff Weiss, "Kosha Dillz opening for Ghostface Killah at the Roxy, reveals his 'LA Ish,'" Los Angeles Times, November 12, 2010.
- "Interview With Kosha Dillz," mtvU.com, September 26, 2011.
- "Kosha Dillz," UGSMAG, May 30, 2008.
- Jaime Owen, "Kosha Dillz Interview: SXSW 2010," Spinner.com, March 3, 2010.
- Rachel Ament, "Kosha Dillz: Rhymes of a 'Nice Jewish Boy,'" The Forward, October 16, 2008.
- Alison Isaac, "C-Rayz Walz and Kosha Dillz: Freestyle vs. Written," Okayplayer.com.
- "Kosha Dillz talks to Cut & Sewn," Cutandsewn.com, February 5, 2009.
- D.L. Chandler, "Kosha Dillz: Beverly Dillz," Okayplayer.com.
- "What does it take to make it in the music biz?" Jewlicious.com, July 24, 2011.
- "NBA 2K11 Release Party brings in Duck Down All Stars, Common, DJ Drama + More (Video)," URB, September 21, 2010.
- "Kosha Dillz - The Jet Lag EP," DJBooth.net. Accessed May 14, 2012.
- Jake Crates, "Kosha Dillz - Cellular Phone (Bud Light Rescue Dog - Super Bowl Song)," AllHipHop, February 8, 2012.
- Erika Ramirez, "Kosha Dillz, 'Awkward In a Good Way': Exclusive Album Stream," Billboard, November 4, 2013.
- Maxwell, Ryan. "Kosha Dillz New Album". Hip-Hop Kings. HHKMag.
- Lauren Craddock, "Kosha Dillz Teams Up With Matisyahu for Politically-Charged 'Dodging Bullets' Video: Exclusive Premiere," Billboard, June 28, 2016.
- Kosha Dillz chart history, Billboard. Accessed January 27, 2017.
- Erin Broadley, "Kosha Dillz Freestyles at Sundance, Unveils Tour Video," LA Weekly, January 20, 2009.
- PIX 11 Morning News, December 21, 2011.
- Chaz Kangas, "Kosha Dillz: He raps New Year's Eve At The Viper Room With Dirt Nasty," LA Weekly, December 30, 2011.
- Jeff Miller, "SXSW 2015: Oy Vey! Jewish Rapper Kosha Dillz Talks Israeli Politics, Getting Hacked by ISIS," Billboard, March 16, 2015.
- SXSW Schedule, March 17, 2016.
- SXSW Schedule, 2017.
- Chavie Lieber, "2013 36 Under 36: Rami Matan Even-Esh, a.k.a. Kosha Dillz, 31," The Jewish Week, June 4, 2013.
- "15 Best Jewish Rappers: Passover Edition," BuzzFeed, March 21, 2016.
- "RZA 'Operator' feat. Kosha Dillz & Kool G Rap," Okayplayer.com, July 7, 2011.