The underground rap scene is often overlooked but it’s full of an overwhelming amount of vibrant personalities and endless creativity. These are rappers that are hungry — determined to make a name for themselves, not afraid to stand out. Amongst the sea of SoundCloud rappers are some Jewish rappers that are about to blow up.
Check out these rappers before they make it big so you can say you were with them from the start.
I’m starting off the list with the inspiration behind my decision to write this article: BLP Kosher. You may see his grills, beanie, and peculiar hair style and write him off as goofy, but the bars in his biggest viral sensations are beyond anything you could ever imagine. His wordplay is immaculate and his hilarious references and Jewish roots have helped him stand out in all the ways that matter.
BLP Kosher started off as a skater in South Florida but decided to give rapping a chance. While he may initially get attention for his hair — which actually has a lot of deep meaning to BLP — hip hop heads stick around after they hear his wild wordplay and insane flow. A lot of versus will go right over your head if you don’t listen close. One of my favorites from viral hit “Mazel Tron” is: “They want beef but that’s beyond me, that s—’s impossible.”
BLP Kosher was releasing a lot of incredible songs to his small fanbase the past few years, including “Jew on a Canoe,” “Iguanas,” and his crazy verse in a freestyle with fellow rapper Jew Sheisty (RIP). But he started going viral when he was chosen to rap with BabyTron in a Lyrical Lemonade music video.
You may recognize where they shot half the music video. That’s Canter’s Deli, a staple in Los Angeles. I wasn’t totally impressed with the place myself but I couldn’t help but scream in excitement when I saw Kosher there. What makes BLP Kosher so awesome is his genuine personality (you could see his humble and shy persona in a behind the scenes video for “Mazel Tron,” prompting fans to say “he’s just happy to be there”).
And part of his unique brand is his Jewishness. A lot of his songs have slick references to Judaism and Jewish culture, like when he says he shakes off the police “like a lulav.” He also references a sukkot when talking about shade in “Cheap Gas.” But his most popular and viral verse from his freestyle goes: “They think I’m soft because I’m Jewish, like a dreidel, I’ll spin your block. But it ain’t Hanukkah. I’m dressed in all black with my yarmulke.”
Complexity asked him about his decision to embrace being Jewish in his songs. He answered: “We just embrace it. Everybody’s a walking contradiction, but when I was young, I would be out and about every day, and I wouldn’t really be Orthodox or observe Shabbat. I was just a typical jit from South Florida on his skateboard. That’s all I really cared about, but I would still pray and look out for little signs from God.”
At the end of the day, it’s all about being true to yourself, said BLP Kosher.
I had the luck of seeing BLP Kosher when he had a one-night show at The Roxy in Los Angeles (a show he referenced in his song “Kosher Certified” with Certified Trapper). Even though BLP Kosher was very, very (VERY) late, I could feel the overwhelming hype from the crowd of Jewish 20-something year old guys around me who knew every word — even for unreleased songs. He had a lot of energy on the stage and you could really sense his passion for performing and gratitude for his growing fanbase.
Mark my words — BLP Kosher is going to blow up. And remember, you read it here first before XXL Magazine.
Not to be confused with BLP’s Dreidel Gang, Jake Offenheim aka Yung Drediel, is another up-and-coming rapper that isn’t afraid to make Jewish references in his catchy singles.
Offenheim has been making music since 2013 but only recently decided to try his hand at rapping under the name Yung Dreidel. He released a song called “Ness Gadol” that is all about Hanukkah — but not in the way you may be thinking if you’re used to Matisyahu or Maccabeats.
“I’ve always been a big rap fan and I think that there is a hole in the market for ACTUALLY good rap songs that have a Jewish theme,” Yung Dreidel explained to Lost Tribe. “Just because it’s about a Jewish holiday doesn’t mean that the song needs to be lame or cringey.”
Yung Dreidel used samples from Jewish Essentials – Hassidic Woodwinds, which you can hear echoing in the background as he raps. This was a way for listeners to feel the Jewish influence without it being slapped across their face.
Expect more songs from Yung Dreidel in the near future — we’ll be the first to let you know.
Kosha Dillz has been on the scene a while but he’s just starting to get some traction. If you recognize him, that’s because he’s part of the main cast for Wild n’ Out Season 18 on VH1! Fans of the show — and battle rapping in general — were surprised when they heard Kosha Dillz’ cutting, smart insults and slick flow, but anyone who knows Dillz knows that’s nothing new.
Kosha Dillz has been in the entertainment world for five years, touring with Matisyahu and Wu Tang Clan’s Rza. He’s been part of a ton of hip hop music festivals, including the BK Hip Hop Festival, Rock the Bells, and Vans Warped Tour.
Through it all, Kosha has remained true to himself and his roots. You’ll often find him creating uplifting music about Judaism and acceptance. He also isn’t afraid to stand up and fight against antisemitism, creating powerful songs on the subject including one lashing out at Kanye West.
I can’t get enough of Aharoni-Gal aka Nunu. While I was doing research for an article on Israeli pop star Noa Kirel, I came across Nunu and was instantly drawn to her unique style and edgy lyrics. Her colorful music videos and eye-catching outfits caught my attention but her catchy songs got her onto my Spotify immediately.
Nunu grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel where she later attended Highschool Alef of Arts. She was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces as a jazz singer to a course that combines studies for honorary music students at Rimon Music School along with army service in a military band.
Her first single came out in 2021, called “Banim,” which means Boys. At the start of 2022, she released a cover of “Adoni.” A few months later, she opened for Maroon 5 when the major pop band performed at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv. She released “Cute Boy” in June last year in honor of Pride Month — and this song is so catchy I’ll never get enough of it.
Her debut album came out in July of 2022, “Status.” I expect her to skyrocket from here thanks to her catchy K-pop-inspired songs and mesmerizing performances.
Are you a fan of Lil Dicky? If you want more satirical yet fire rap songs to listen to, check out Hoodie Allen.
Steven Adam Markowitz is a rapper, singer, and songwriter who initially wrote for Google. He eventually quit to pursue music full-time. His first official EP was All American, which debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 in 2012. He released an album in 2014 called People Keep talking.
Hoodie Allen never really blew up but he has continued to release singles that are equal parts silly and catchy. His latest song, “Vroom” with Connor Price, has been getting high praise from fans and newcomers alike.
“I used to listen to your song ‘You Are Not a Robot’ for so long and now I started to listen to Connor Price and now you too are making music together. Its great to see!” one fan wrote on YouTube.
So there you have it — keep your eyes on these up-and-coming Jewish artists. You’ll see, they’re about to make it and you’ll be there with them for the entire journey. As BLP Kosher once said: “They gon’ love you at the top, but it’s about what’s under it.”