This guy has had one hell of a year, dropping a lot of music, doing shows left and right, making cameos when he can and meeting old fans and new ears. I’m not sure what Kosha Dillz means when he called his album Awkward In A Good Way, does he think he feels awkward in the hip-hop field? Does he feel his writing style and flow are awkward? Or are his songs a bit strange? I’m a fan of his and I like his approach so as always, I’m open to whatever he throws out and I try to figure things out.
I’ll say this first and foremost: the two opening tracks on this album were not to my liking and I started to wonder if Kosha was changing his style a bit for this project. “Let Go” and “Tupac Gone Fishing” could be considered catchy and what he is saying is not what I had problems with, it’s the instrumentals. They sounded a bit lackluster to me and Kosha is not something I would considered lacking in anything in terms of his music. Fortunately, things turned around in a major way with cut 3, “What’s Goin’ On Upstairs”, which perhaps was at the right time too because I didn’t want to go through this release being disappointed. That allowed me to reevaluate the opening songs, which I would do afterwards.
What makes Kosha Dillz work for me is how he writes in a way that isn’t demeaning or where he is constantly “tooting his own horn” too much. He sounds like an everyday guy talking about every day things, not afraid to use a bit of humor but also not fearful of establishing points and morals to his stories. He is a storyteller in the Rakim and Slick Rick sense, but very much in his own way. By the time I got to the halfway point, I didn’t hear anything awkward at all. I thought “this is the Kosha Dillz that I like listening to.”
With the album being released through MURS’ label, it makes sense that he shows up here, not in just one, but two different songs, each one very different from one another. “Where My Homies Be” also brings in Gangsta Boo to help out, although I’m going to be perfectly honest, I felt her verse was a bit on the pointless. I understand creating something in the costume of the song, but had another female rapper been a part of the song, or if Gangsta Boo’s lyrics was done by someone else (female or otherwise), I might have liked it more. MURS rocks it though, as he also does in “We Are Different”.
As far as my favorite song, the honor goes to “Wavy”, which is done over a Timbaland/Missy Elliott-type beat complete with different percussion and double speed drum breaks heard sporadically, and it fits in nicely with Kosha and his style, or it can also be said that Kosha manipulates his style to fit in with the song, it fits both ways. A song I thought I wouldn’t like by title alone ended up being a personal favorite too, the album closer called “In Da Club”. I had assumed that it would be Kosha’s attempt at doing a club joint, and it wouldn’t particularly be a bad thing. In this case, he speaks of what happens in the way towards the club and what generally happens when one comes back home. In truth, it’s a song that shows the club as not a place of seduction and passion but just a building, and Kosha’s approach in parts of the song comes off as if he’s saying “yeah, here I am, big deal”. It’s a low key approach to what people would expect in a song with a title like that, but it ends the album perfectly.
Maybe this album is awkward in a good way because it doesn’t go in a direction one might expect in hip-hop. This is Kosha Dillz, and he doesn’t necessarily go in a specific direction either, any expectations will lead to finding something else. Even if you’ve known of his music, you’ll find something new about his compositions here.