Step Aside Punk Rock, It’s Time For Hip-Hop And EDM To Shine
While Warped Tour is traditionally known to be a punk rock music festival, the travelling tour never seems to forget other beloved genres that still fit in with the mix of high intensity punk songs about not trusting women, to soft serenades about a first love. In years past, Warped has successfully seen the likes of DJs and producers like Crizzly, Big Chocolate and Antiserum, to rappers like G-Eazy, Wax, MC Chris and Watsky.
This year’s line up is no exception. And thanks to an awesome rapper who appreciates his Queen City supporters, The Charlotte Sessions was able to attend this year’s Warped Tour to bring you the best highlights of the the all day music festival along with some exclusive on stage footage from our new Warped Tour friend.
Kosha Dillz (Edison, New Jersey)
Punk & alt rock fans wandered about the PNC Music Pavilion to see their favorite bands perform. But I had a different agenda in mind; to catch all the cool hip-hop and electronic music artists scheduled to perform at the Warped this year. Last year when the Charlotte Sessions was originally a hip-hop radio show, New Jersey rapper Kosha Dillz had sent me a few tracks off his album, Awkward In A Good Way. So when I noticed that the Jewish rapper from Edison, who kicked that awesome freestyle on Team Backpack and rapped in Spanish and Hebrew was going to be in Charlotte, I figured why not give it a shot and reach out.
The PNC Music Pavilion was packed. Everywhere you looked someone was holding a $13 beer 24 oz beer in their hand, kids dragged their parents along to the next thrilling set of loud crashing drums and obscene lyrics, and from all corners of the pavilion grounds fans eagerly waited in line to meet their favorite performers. After studying the schedule for several minutes I figured out where the Beatport stage was located. When I arrived at his tent, Kosha Dillz was meeting and talking with a few fans who seemed really excited to catch his performance, scheduled to start in 45 minutes. I was greeted by the 33 year old rapper who seemed excited to be playing for his Queen City supporters. Known for blending in a multitude of languages into some of his lyrics, I had a feeling that Kosha’s performance was going to be a unique and exciting experience. He introduced me to his buddy Flex Matthews, a New Yorker who frequently works with Kosha Dillz on stage, sometimes as a hypeman, and sometimes spitting lyrics of his own, but more importantly as a companion on the grueling 44 show tour. Flex was certainly born to perform.
I walked with the guys as they went around the area holding up a giant sign that read “Kosha Dillz 1:15”; also there were several pickle posters carefully placed around the Beatport stage which also seemed like a good choice as far as grabbing people’s attention goes. As show time was approaching, I followed the guys backstage as they were grabbing props to prepare for the show. I was soon introduced to Kosha’s drummer, JT, who also performs with other artists like Warped Tour artist MC Lars as well as rapper Weerd Science.
A small but dedicated crowd of about 50 to 60 people were gathered up to catch Kosha Dillz live as he kicked off his set with the intro to his album Awkward In A Good Way called “Let Go.” I haven’t seen many live rap performances that incorporate a drummer, or any live instruments for that matter. Usually just a DJ, the beats, and the rapper. It was refreshing to see this unique aspect of a hip-hop show. As soon as the beat dropped, JT’s drums went into full swing and the crowd couldn’t help but nod their head to Kosha’s dope rhymes.
More people started coming up to the stage to catch the New Jersey rapper known for including content related to Jewish culture in his music. A particular song that drew a lot of attention to the Beatport stage was Kosha Dillz’ single “Span-Hebrish” where Kosha shows off his multilingual abilities. Jumping back from Spanish, English, and Hebrew, Dillz didn’t have any problems keeping the crowd’s attention from start to finish. The other secret to this catchy rap single is cowbells, lots and lots of cow bells.
Kosha Dillz performed a few other songs from his extensive catalogue, including Tupac Gone Fishing, and as well as one of his more popular tracks Hangin’ Out, which was saved for the finale, the crowd had grown to at least a hundred people by that point. But the most interesting part of Kosha’s performance had to be when he brought MC Lars out to join him and Flex in what they call, the Freestyle Freestyle, where the rappers asked members of the crowd to place objects on stage for what was an unexpected performance talking about the different objects in sight. Gripping a perfume bottle in his hand Kosha said, “Trust what I trust, the perfume bust, and every time girls wink, guess what I blush.” As Flex held on to a Batman Snapback he shouted “Imma stay on the comic big quote you best believe, I’m from the 80s Batman was a part of the Justice League.” Sporting an original gold and diamond Nintendo cartridge chain, it was MC Lars’ turn “But that’s okay, I’m always stackin gouda, (picks up figurine off the ground) shout out to my favorite religious icon it’s the Buddah.” It was AWESOME. Maybe because it was different, maybe because nobody expected it, but one thing is for sure, the crowd loved it. Shout out to Kosha Dillz, Flex Matthews, and JT for including me in this crazy experience. Who knows what’s in store next for everybody’s favorite Hebrew speaking, rhyme slingin, pickle eating (pause) rapper. Watch out for the videos on this performance coming out on ours and Kosha’s Youtube channel soon.