Celebrating Hanukkah – Hip Hop Style
Jewish rapper Kosha Dillz is once again teaming up with Matisyahu for his Festival of Light Tour. An annual event, Matisyahu’s Festival of Light is a collection of tour dates dedicated to celebrating Hanukkah. Known for being “awkward in a good way,” Dillz is excited to bring his version of hip hop – known as “dif hop” – to the Festival of Light stage this year. We recently caught up with the rapper to get his take on celebrating Hanukkah through hip hop and what it takes to light up the stage during the Festival of Lights.
JMag: Why was it important to you to join Matisyahu’s Festival of Light Tour?
Kosha Dillz: I have been rapping with Matisyahu as a guest for eight years. It’s been forever since we have collaborated, but this will be my first time as an opener, and my album, Awkward in a Good Way, just came out. So I guess timing is everything, and it’s sort of a miracle that I am still here on this earth doing this rap thing. I got a lot of buzz with this record and it’s my best work, so it’s only right that it’s happening.
JMag: Will you be doing anything special on-stage to celebrate Hanukkah during the Festival of Light?
Kosha Dillz: Yeah. I’ve got all kinds of tricks up my sleeve. So does Matisyahu. You ‘ll just have to come out and see us to find out what happens. I’m trying to get Flex Mathews, my boy from DC to have a Bar Mitzvah every night. He is the honorary Jew of the crew. So, basically [you can expect] a live Bar Mitzvah every night. We need a couple strong peeps to lift him up on the chair on stage.
JMag: What are the pros and cons of touring during Hanukkah?
Kosha Dillz: I think the pros are that you are working during the holiday season. The only cons of it are… well, not everyone even knows its Hanukkah. You always feel extra celebratory.
JMag: Your newest album is called Awkward in a Good Way, and you’re known for being just that on stage. What is the most awkward thing you’ve ever done to pump up your fans during a live show?
Kosha Dillz: I occasionally bust out Russian dance moves. Sometimes people bring pickles to eat during the show. People like to watch other people do things. “Awkward in a Good Way” is a movement for all the weirdos that never fit in anywhere. My whole life I was never really “Jewish enough” for certain kinds of Jews, or never “hip hop enough” for the hip hop kids, and never “college enough” for the college kids. During my show, everyone is doing something weird. No one really fits in: Black people. White people. Rabbis. Models. Barristas. Exactly how I like it.
JMag: Have you ever tried JDate?
Kosha Dillz: Yeah, I have gone on some good dates. It’s a good tool to use if you go on tour, because you can always meet someone on the road and maybe something sparks.
JMag: Do you have any advice for JDaters?
Kosha Dillz: Ladies: No selfies. Fellas: Always pay the first time. If it doesn’t work out, at least you practiced not being selfish. If it’s awkward… good.