Editor’s note: In Tweets is Watching, Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.
The usually hyper-local Tweets is Watching takes a broader view of the world this week as we cast our Twitter-based questions in the direction of Kosha Dillz, who was born and raised just over the river in New Jersey. His top notch new album, Awkward In A Good Way, is out now via MURS’s 316 venture, and he’ll be showing some New York City love by hitting the stage at Webster Hall on December 8th. Ahead of that, here’s Kosha Dillz talking about dining with Gangsta Boo, his love of spoof rap troupe Turquoise Jeep, and his reaction to being anointed by the Complex media machine as the world’s most stylish Jewish rapper.
You’ve been tweeting a lot about the new video for “Where My Homies Be” with Gangsta Boo and MURS. How did the collaboration come about?
I actually met Gangsta Boo at a party in L.A., it was like a trap party in a warehouse and I went to go and see her play. We kinda hit it off and started talking after the show. We went out to dinner and basically because we were so different to each other we connected on a weird level. She had seen some of the stuff I’d done, like the BET cypher, and she decided to drop a verse for me. Then MURS, who I’ve known for a while, he wanted to get on the project ’cause he was like, “Oh, I need to get a song with Gangsta Boo.” Everyone was kinda stoked about Gangsta Boo.
Where did you go out for dinner with Gangsta Boo?
To Mel’s Diner in Hollywood.
What did she order?
She was with this one girl and they had chicken and I want to say they got some wings and ranch sauce, which is odd ’cause I usually get breakfast food ’cause I don’t eat meat outside the house unless it’s kosher, but it’s Gangsta Boo and she has her whole southern flavor.
What was that first conversation with Gangsta Boo at the party like?
She came up to me and said, “What do you do?” Just like that. I became shy and intimidated. We were talking about that later, I was saying I felt intimidated by her and she was asking why so I told her because she’s a strong southern woman.
So @complexmag has picked me as the most stylist Jewish rapper of all time. And to think Channukah… http://t.co/9DMarn7Zc4
— Kosha Dillz (@koshadillz) November 28, 2013
You were recently anointed by Complex as the most stylish Jewish rapper. Did you even realize you were in the running?
I did not know until I got a text message from Kyle Rapps in the morning. I don’t know if you know Kyle Rapps but every time he texts me it’s always Yung Something, like Yung Village Voice, and he was like Yung Complex. I was like what the hell? I’m the most stylish Jewish rapper? It was kinda of interesting. I told it to my barber who totally knows that I have no style whatsoever. I was always the worst dressed among my friends so to celebrate I went out and bought some clothes on Black Friday.
Also, People magazine just put me in their Instagram with the new clothes I bought as a celebration of my Complex accolade. It was kind of interesting.
Do you expect to see many more people dressing like Kosha Dillz now?
You know what? That would be nice but I don’t think so. There’s only a couple of ways to dress, you know? I think if you look at it most people dress alike and I do dress a little bit different. I think I go for the ex-athlete-turned-rapper look, the ex-convict-turned-rapper look, like somewhere in-between there or the two of them combined.
All I want for Hannukah is a @turquoisejeep show
— Kosha Dillz (@koshadillz) December 2, 2013
So I’m guessing you’re a fan of Turquoise Jeep?
Yeah, they’re the greatest. I toured with them last year. Do you know who Turquoise Jeep is?
I don’t, no.
Turquoise jeep has a legendary song “Lemme Smang It,” like you smang a girl, and also a song called “Fried Or Fertilized.” They’re actually playing [in New York] on Thursday at Brooklyn Bowl. I was like, “Man, all I want for Hannukah is a Turquoise Jeep show.” Every show is like 3-500 people and every show is really packed and everyone knows these dances they have and they’re kind of seriously not serious, like a guilty pleasure. Working with them was amazing. When people come to my shows it’s not like a lot of Jewish people running up to me; it’s always somebody like, “I know somebody whose cousin is Jewish and he loves you.” And the Jeep too, they have a lot of guilty pleasure fans but they’re just an amazing group. You really have to see it to believe it. I think Turquoise Jeep is legendary and now it’s Hannukah and there’s a Turquoise Jeep show.
Will you be partaking in the dancing?
Oh, yeah, they have all their own dances for the songs so I’ll be taking part. I plan on dancing.
What can people expect from your own show at Webster Hall on December 8th?
Something special. It might be my entire family on stage. My whole goal in hip-hop is that certain members of my family haven’t even seen me perform so I’m trying to get my entire family on stage with me at one time. That could happen! But also, I’m performing with the drummer from Thievery Corporation, Congo Sanchez, and my performance team is really dope and includes people who perform with Chad Hugo from The Neptunes and I rap in multiple languages and I spit some of the MURS lyrics to my song in the show. There might be some crazy guest appearances too. Most importantly, the energy level is insane.
You mentioned rapping in different languages. What’s the hardest language to rap in?
For me, I rap in Hebrew and Spanish too but I think other languages might be way harder than that. For instance, in Spanish, anything that rhymes with introduction/production/construction is the same thing, like introduccion/produccion/construccion. Also, it’s sort of the same thing in Hebrew. In one sense it’s difficult, but I call it the Lil Wayne effect ’cause he can be like, “Orange juice, upstairs, downstairs,” and if you do the same thing in Hebrew it sounds so much doper but you’re saying absolutely nothing and everyone thinks you’re a genius. But that’s kinda my whole purpose, to break it down to that level that we can do stuff that’s really simple and really dope and people can appreciate it. But most people don’t really care what you say. That’s what MURS told me, that most people don’t care what you say when you rap but that’s a whole other story.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 5, 2013