Famous Jewish rappers include Drake, the Beastie Boys and Matisyahu. Another name may someday be added to that list: Kosha Dillz.
Kosha Dillz, neé Rami Even-Esh, released his first rap album in 2005 and has been extensively recording and touring ever since. According to his website, he played 125 shows last year, or about one show every three days—less than he did in 2009.
Kosha Dillz will perform at MacMillan House tomorrow night in an event sponsored by the Bowdoin Hillel.
Hillel Social Director Samantha Siegel '11, who helped organize the event, describes Kosha Dillz's musical style as "grass hip-hop."
"He has very lively, upbeat music and funny lyrics," said Siegel. "Part of his image is identifying himself as a Jewish rapper connected to Israel, so in some of his music he raps about Israel and Judaism. He also has other music that's completely unrelated."
Kosha Dillz's talents have enabled him to form partnerships with many well-known artists. This past summer, he toured with Snoop Dogg and played Hot 97's Summer Jam at Giants Stadium. He has performed with Wiz Khalifa, Wu Tang Clan, Matisyahu and Nas.
One of Kosha Dillz's more unique accomplishments is appearing as a video game character in NBA 2K11.
On his website, he stated his excitement: "I'm a true hustler. They loved my work ethic and 2K Sports hit ME up to participate in the most epic thing ever!"
In a similar vein, Kosha Dillz contacted Bowdoin Hillel in 2008 to discuss the possibility of a performance. Siegel has been in contact with the rapper for the past three years trying to set up a concert.
"He's never come to Maine before, so he was interested in coming here and meeting with students here," said Siegel.
After Hillel received enough donations that made the performance financially feasible, Siegel set up the concert with Kosha Dillz.
"He's a funny guy," said Siegel. "People shouldn't expect a super-serious rap star."
Students have been eagerly looking forward to the performance.
As Sam Shapiro '14 put it, "He's a Jewish rapper. Why wouldn't I be excited to go?"
The performance fits with Hillel's goal this year of reaching out to the larger Bowdoin community, beyond its Jewish base.
"This year we're making a big push to host more secular events than we have in the past," said Hillel Co-President David Gruber '11. "We're always trying to find a balance between secular and religious events and appealing to both sections of our membership."
Saturday's party does not have an explicit theme, but the atmosphere will be focused around Jewish spirit and culture and can be enjoyed by the entire campus.
"[Kosha Dillz] is a very personable, nice guy that likes to talk to his audience," said Siegel. "His music is good to dance to, good to sing to. I think it's a good event for all people, not just if you're Jewish."
The party will also cater to those who are excited to hear a live performance and celebrate in a cultural way.
"You can expect some pickles on the snack table," said Gruber.
Hillel plans to host another large campus-wide event this semester and is looking into getting a Jewish speaker, possibly through Bowdoin's Harry Spindel Memorial Lectureship, an endowed fund used for lectures relating to Judaism. The Spindel Lecture was given last year by Ruth W. Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service, and in 2009 by popular author Jonathan Safran Foer.
The up-and-coming rapper and DJ will perform at MacMillan House tomorrow night at 9:30 p.m.