1. Tell us about your craziest touring experience?
Once coming from a show at the Fox Theatre with Hiero and Blue Scholars in Boulder, Colorado, my car got hit by a drunk driver in a snowstorm. Ironically, he said I’d cut him off during the snowstorm and tried to blame it on me. It turned out the driver was at the sold out show where I had opened for Hieroglyphics and Blue Scholars. They said “hey that’s kosha dillz from the show.” My car survived and I made it to Salt lake City.
Another time I got deported fromm the UK on my birthday, only to end up on stage at Rock The Bells in DC three days later, and five days after that in the studio with Rza. If I didnt get deported, I wouldn’t be where i am today. Seriously.
2. What type of college class would you’d most want to take and why?
I always liked creative writing. At Rutgers where I went the teacher asked us what grade we thought we should get. I said I think I should get an “A” and I got it. My A.D.D. kicked in heavy during college and thats why I took Creative Writing. It helped expand my skills in writing and in being an MC. I also loved hebrew class and spanish class because understanding and speaking other languages is the best feeling in the world.
3. What city in America is the most fun to visit and why?
I am a big Boulder, Colorado fan. Something about Boulder is very powerful and magical. Maybe something with the mountains and free rule regulation with dogs in public places. Breckenridge is even better because the shows are always fresh and you are two miles above sea level. I have made a lot of connections to the people there. Burlington, Vermont is also great and then you have cities like Austin which are real artist driven. I judge cities by coffee shops. So if you have a good coffee shop, you are high in the ranks. But nothing is beating South Lake Tahoe though because that’s where I’m at RIGHT NOW.
4. What’s some of the best advice you were ever given?
C Rayz Walz told me that if you don’t like it you can always quit. I was at the time complaining about paying dues. That was 5 years ago. I am still paying dues now. The purpose of the advice was to shut up and be grateful, because thousands and thousands of dollars will go in and come out and shows will be played with people there and not people, and one day …maybe just one day….it’ll all crack for you. This is not a job if you really love doing it. Most people I know hate their jobs.
5. What’s in heavy rotation in your MP3/CD player right now?
I dont even have a mp3 or cd player. I do have a tape deck in my car that works. I have been listening to the Tennis tape i got in Omaha, Nebraska and I bought some self help tapes and I stay with a Madonna tape on me. I just downloaded some of my friends’ music on my mac. Always my friends. Always. Since Im a writer as well I look for new hip hop music on a daily basis. So in short I’ll bump 10 random artists in a week that I meet all over the US in my travels, because I use that to connect to my surroundings.
I definitely listen to my friends and fellow MCs. My homie, brother partner Flex Mathews (DC) has his first album coming out so im stoked. Kyle Rapps got some really big stuff coming. Split personality (NJ), Deca (NY). Pig and Pat(utah), and Grimm image and Verbs (la) and you know everything Shemspeed, a jewish music collective and label that I ride with daily. All this music is in my inbox right now…mtvU maybe doesn’t know these dudes…but just like people don’t know who the hell I am, its my favorite activity to be discovering new music. Every day I’m downloading new kids’ music and collaborating with friends. But I still am a fan, especially when I meet the people at a show or festival. I really banged the Rawth EP with Asher and Nottz and I am excited to listen to Little Dragon and Childish Gambino and Mac Miller. He is the illest Jewish rapper right now, so you know im down with it. As far as anything out of the country – Sweatshop Union from Vancouver and Nina Dioz from mexico, because I am touring with them soon. Of course I’ll be heavy on Israeli tunes since I’ll be there this winter. I was a big fan of Kreayshawn and was front row at the secret show in NYC. I don’t front, I get in the front row. As a artist and a fan we need to be there. I learned that from Homeboy Sandman.
6. The last good book you read or TV show you’re addicted to?
I have been reading this blue book. I dont get to watch much TV. Right now I just watched the VMA’s and Tyler the Creator just won, so I’m happy about that. I’m addicted more to getting on TV than watching it. I love watching the news, but one guy told me that the only news on TV is bad news. You never get to hear the good news unless you are out in the world seeing it or creating it. MTV really has some great programs. I am from the 732 Jersey so I support The jersey Shore. Before I rapped, I was at seaside pumping my fists and not giving a F#$K about life.
7. What’s the first concert you ever saw – how was it?
I remember going to a punk show where I moshed when I was 14 and I banged my head so much my neck hurt. I went to a MF Doom show in 1999 at wetlands with Sage Francis, Cage, Yak Ballz, Louis Logic, Ill Bill, Necro…it was so sick…and these guys got beat up with mic stands. That’s when I knew I loved the underground hip hop scene. That show and Braggin Rites at Nuyorican Poets Cafe changed my life for sure.
8. What are three items you can’t live without on tour?
1. I def need a phone on tour. I gotta be able to text while I drive 8 hrs. I know its illegal but when youre are on the open road for 357 miles on one road, I need to communicate.
2. I need my meds. Thats self explanatory 🙂
3. Fruit and veggies, my mom always wants me to be heatlhy. I need to keep some sort of healthy vibes. I am not trying to be a fat rapper.
9. Who are your major musical influences?
My friends. I gotta say that. After Rock The Bells though, I do realize that I am heavily influenced by Mobb Deep. I realized I knew all the words to that, and of course Wu Tang was essential in my growth as an Emcee. I love Herp Albert and anything jazz. Since I played trumpet when I was younger and my Dad bumped Chubby Checkers and Jerry Lee Lewis, I always loved that swing. Since I was a club kid in NYC and NJ, hitting up soundfactory in the am, that whole fist pumping and techno stuff def influenced a lot of my music too.
Any random messages or tips you’d like to give to mtvU watchers?
Stop clicking on the same bullshit you see over and over again. College is about new opportunity and new challenges. If you never heard of me, spread that to someone else. And also encourage the next man to put you up on something new as well. If we don’t challenge and hustle out there, we are going to be stuck with the same shit. Find the shit that resonates with you because its out there. I am tryin to do music no one has done before, representing me. I wouldn’t want to to do anything else except that.