November 14, 2018

‘No You Can’t’ keep Kosha Dillz down: A review of his new LP “What I Do All Day and Pickle”

Kosha Dillz wastes no time yanking the listener into his world of the 'indie-artist-hustle' with the first track on his new LP, “What I Do All Day and Pickle” (available to stream at the end of this post).

The track, “No You Can't,” produced by Yuc Beats, tackles the constant battle of independent artists and content-producers to find paying gigs.

Lines like “You wanna book me, but ain't got no budget?” are not-so-subtle digs at the power-players in the industry who want the art, but don't want to accept it as a legitimate service worthy of pay.

While the title track (“What I Do All Day”) is actually one of the weaker songs on the album, I believe the weakness lies more in the collaboration with Flynt Flossy than with Kosha's own talent.

Kosha's mastery of flow is most apparent in the tracks produced by Curtiss King (“Varsity Blues”, “Beneath the Wound” and “Hola Chaverim”).

“Varsity Blues” is an anthem for surviving the uncertainty of youth and making it — relatively unscathed — into adulthood.

“Beneath the Wound” is perhaps Kosha's most honest track. In it, he tackles, among other things, his desire to be noticed, and the frustration and anger he feels (towards everyone from internet journalists to label execs) who won't give his music the attention he thinks it deserves. The pain is real, and King knows how to highlight it. 

My favorite track is “Hola Chaverim Shalom Amigos” which is a collaboration with Nina Dioz. The rapping is legit, and the fluidity with which the two artists move from English to Hebrew to Spanish and back again is lyrical, unique and fun. If I walk into a club in L.A., this is the kind of song I want the DJ to start spinning.

Although his single, “Dodging Bullets” featuring Matisyahu has gained a fair amount of traction in the pop world, it feels more like a Matisyahu song featuring Kosha Dillz. It's good, but it's not Kosha. 

And while at times Kosha's style can feel a bit derivative of rapper Mickey Avalon, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Good art builds on existing art. 

While Kosha hasn't quite fully harnessed his voice (collaborations aside), it's clear that he's comfortable with who he is and the message he's broadcasting: I'm a rapper. I'm Jewish. I'm proud of my identity, and anyone who has a problem with that combination can get lost. 

The final track, “Krakau,” is the most explicitly and unapologetically Jewish track on the album. It's simultaneously a eulogy for relatives lost in the Holocaust and a plea to keep the memories of the Shoah alive. 

Overall, this album is well-produced and contains more than a few gems. Kosha Dillz is clearly a man on his way up.