Kosha Dillz Pays Tribute to Fellow Jewish Rapper, the Late ‘Musical Genius’ Mac Miller
Kosha Dillz wrote a tribute to fellow Jewish rapper Mac Miller on Friday, the same day the latter was found dead in his San Fernando Valley home of an apparent overdose at the age of 26.
In the piece, published by Variety, Dillz, whose real name is Rami Even-Esh, talked about his friendship with Mac Miller, born Malcolm James McCormick, and those who will miss him. Dillz wrote, “While today the world lost a musical genius, a mother lost her son before the biggest holiday of the Jewish year,” referring to the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
Dillz also noted that he once spoke to Miller about him possibly performing in Israel, and Miller “lit up at the prospect.” Dillz said, “I’m sure his mother would’ve approved.”
Dillz and Miller met at a concert in Chicago in 2009, where Dillz said he gave the late rapper “my first-ever piece of merchandise — a T-shirt that said ‘Oy Vey All Day.’” Miller later came out with a song called “Oy Vey.”
Miller, whose mother is Jewish, had a Hebrew tattoo on his arm and proudly discussed the role Judaism had in his life. Miller told a publication in 2011 that he was raised Jewish, celebrated the Jewish high holidays and had a bar mitzvah. He once jokingly challenged a claim by fellow Jewish rapper Drake that he was “the best Jewish rapper.” Miller called himself “the coolest Jewish rapper,” and then suggested that he and Drake collaborate on a Hanukkah song.
Dillz said in his tribute, “I always felt that Mac and I had a similar style, and I was happy that he embraced being Jewish, as there wasn’t really anyone at the time trying to make Judaism cool.”
Dillz, a recovering addict, also talked in his tribute about addiction in reference to Miller’s long history with substance abuse. Miller was open about his addiction, wrote songs about his daily drug usage, struggle with mental health, and how he longed for sobriety.
Included in the Variety article was a video Dillz filmed with Miller years ago, in which the late rapper wished fans a happy Passover, and remarks by Rabbi Yonah Bookstein of Pico Shul in Los Angeles, who said in memory of the rapper: “Mac Miller’s tragic passing will lead all of us to pause and reflect about our life direction. That something good can come from this tragedy. And we can dedicate our lives to good and healthy choices and lifestyles, and improving the world around us through spreading light and love.”