Jewish rapper Kosha Dillz battles antisemitism in new Kanye West diss track

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Kosha Dillz explains the importance of authenticity and standing up against antisemitism.

 KOSHA DILLZ  (photo credit:  Will DeVito)
(photo credit: Will DeVito)

After Kanye West’s antisemitic comments, Jewish artist Rami Even-Esh, a.k.a. Kosha Dillz, is fighting back against Jew-hatred in West’s first language, rap.

Even-Esh released his new single “Death Con 3” on Friday, named for West’s October 9 comment when he warned, “I’m going death con 3 [sic] on Jewish people.”

Warning: Song contains graphic language. Viewer discretion is advised.

“Anti-antisemitism bars,” Even-Esh begins the rap before he challenges each of West’s antisemitic claims. “Screw the media, banks, I own none of that.”

Between refutations of tropes, Even-Esh throws barbs at West over everything from his supposed 2024 presidential run to his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian.

“Screw the media, banks, I own none of that.”

Kosha Dillz

Reluctant to diss, but Ye went too far

While Even-Esh came swinging hard lyrically, he was initially hesitant to make the rap, he told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. He had never made a diss track and had been content not to. His first thoughts were toward reconciliation but was inspired by how people close to him had spoken up. In particular, some of the rap lyrics were inspired by blogger Miranda Lapides.

 KOSHA DILLZ  (credit: Clifton Prescod) KOSHA DILLZ (credit: Clifton Prescod)

“I’d rather have not made the song because it’s not like he invented the wheel of antisemitism,” said Even-Esh. “But because he’s so rich, he just feels like he’s saying what he wants,” and “It’s sort of unleashing the floodgates of what everyone else has already kind of thought.”

I always like doing the Jewish stuff because hip-hop is about representing yourself and just being authentic.”

Kosha Dillz

Authenticity as a Jewish rapper

The music also has personal importance to the Jewish rapper, who said he was recently going through personal challenges.

“I’m going back into the music and really trying to dig deep and just be authentic of what I feel,” Even-Esh said about his exploration of his craft. “I might make a comical song or do a funny freestyle but I always like doing the Jewish stuff because hip-hop is about representing yourself and just being authentic.”

West, Even-Esh said, was not being authentic and was regurgitating antisemitism.

In “Death Con 3,” the Jewish rapper attacks the inauthenticity in politics when it comes to antisemitism. He dismissed the Right-Left political divisions and told The Post how malicious political actors were engaging in antisemitism and using Jewish friends as shields.

Even-Esh said that he hoped the song would help Jews feel empowered, and called for them to look past religious differences and unify in the common identity of Jewishness.

Jewish identity is important to Even-Esh, who wrote on Tuesday he had taken the pseudonym Kosha Dillz because in the past he had been ashamed of being Jewish and wanted to force himself to be involved.

“I’m going back into the music and really trying to dig deep and just be authentic of what I feel.”

Kosha Dillz

Kosha Dillz's hustle

As Kosha Dillz, he was “the first guy to wear a kippa” on the Wild ‘n Out rap and comedy game show, and had a hit Hanukkah song with Nissim Black. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Even-Esh performed on the street because there were no more shows and concerts. On Tuesday, he performed at Bald Fest in New York, with entrance fees donated to Holocaust survivors.

The new song has been warmly received by rap fans but he’s also seen some support for West.

In a final word on antisemitism, Even-Esh noted that “It’s popular right now to fight antisemitism but let’s see how popular it is when someone gets attacked and people like Kanye apologize and another war breaks out with Hamas.”

Kosha Dillz's brother Eilon Even-Esh, a former Israeli special forces soldier and US marine captain teaches self-defense to Jews. More can be found out here.