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April 19, 2019 9:18 am

Jewish Rapper Kosha Dillz to Host Passover Seders at Coachella

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Kosha Dillz standing in front of the pop-up tent for “Shabbat Tent” at the Coachella music festival holding grape juice and matzah. Photo: Provided.

Jewish rapper Kosha Dillz will host a number of Passover Seders during the second weekend of the Coachella music festival in California starting on Friday night, which marks the start of the Jewish holiday.

“This weekend. 6-8 Passover seders,” Dillz wrote on the Facebook page for the event, called Matzahchella. “We will do 4-5 of them. Each night. Then one on Sunday. There are 100,000 people at Coachella and plenty people would love to know about this!”

This is the second time the Los Angeles-based rapper is organizing such an event in California’s Colorado Desert in partnership with Shabbat Tent, a project described as “an oasis of chill based on Shabbat hospitality, mindfulness, and nourishment for the body and soul.”

Kosha Dillz told The Algemeiner on Thursday that he was expecting a number of people to join the Seders, and he was even trying to get Kanye West to attend. West is expected to host at Coachella a “Sunday Service,” a weekly performance he does that features a lineup of musicians performing with him.

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“I am trying to tweet [Kanye] and we even made a sign,” Kosha Dillz said. “I know some people in the ‘Sunday Service’ crew. I think we’ll bring it to him we will justr [sic] have to ‘wader in the dert’ a couple more parking lots.”

The 10-minute Seders, coordinated in collaboration with Rabbi Yonah Bookstein of Pico Shul in Los Angeles, are catered for people who would not typically celebrate Passover, the rapper told the website Hey Alma. He said, “The whole goal isn’t really to have a big thing, but to do something for people that didn’t plan on doing anything.”

The Seders will take place in a pop-up tent set up for Matzachella that can hold 20 people at a time. He said, “This is a story people will tell forever. Like, I did a Passover seder at Coachella!”

He also told The Algemeiner there would be Manischewitz grape juice for the guests and he was planning to lay out the traditional items used during the Passover Seder, including an egg, matzah, maror, charoset, parsley, salt water and a shank bone.

When Kosha Dillz performed in 2012 at the Paid Dues festival, which also fell on Passover, he converted his merchandise tent into an area for a Seder, according to Hey Alma. He also brought a bottle of Manischewitz for the festival’s headliner, Jewish rapper Mac Miller, who died of a drug overdose in 2018 at age 26. Rabbi Bookstein was at Paid Dues to run the Shabbat Tent and when he saw Dillz’s efforts to host a Seder, he put together a 10-minute Haggadah for the rapper’s Passover meal. They teamed up in 2016 to organize the first official Matzachella.

The rapper has always embraced his Jewish roots. In 2017, he curated an Ultimate Jewish Rapper playlist for Passover and his Twitter bio says “literally having Passover seders in the desert is lit. Lemme know if you wanna come to my seder (SAY-dare).” He also shared on Instagram a photo he took with Jewish actress Mayim Bialik this past Purim when he dressed as a kosher dill pickle. He told The Algemeiner that he enjoyed celebrating Passover.

“Passover is special to me,” he said. “I have been sober for nearly 15 years and come from a dark time of addiction, convictions, parole, and probation. Many people don’t know this because it isn’t the way I have portrayed myself. I come from a personal slavery. Coachella being in the desert and sharing it with Jews, especailly [sic] since before I got clean I wasn’t a fan of being Jewish…it is a special time. I love the holiday of Passover. We remember our slavery, we get out of it, and we eat.”

Kosha Dillz also revealed on Twitter that he would be releasing a new song, called “Exercise,” on the first night of Passover.

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