(AllHipHop News) This week, Rick Ross released his highly publicized and controversial new mixtape project, The Black Bar Mitzvah. Its cover art pictures Rick Ross in the middle of the Jewish Star of David, adorned with fur and designer shades amidst a black and gold themed titling.
Ross has yet to comment on his faith; however, from whathe says in the intro of the project, the title appears to be a play on the common Jewish stereotypes of wealth and helping fellow members of their faith succeed in life socially and financially:
"Don't put me on Forbes no more, my n*gga. If I'm not next to the Maloufs, or Tony Wynn, or them n*ggas that own Vegas. Don't put me next to these lil' broke n*ggas, n*gga. F*ck n*ggas happy with 10 million, my boat was 12 million n*gga [laughter].
"Black Bar Mitzvah, Black Hebrews, all my Jewish partners, all my business endeavors. Open your minds. We gettin' mo money, we owners now. Follow the code, we on the road to riches. P*ssy n*ggas gotta wave now, when I look in they direction they gotta wave now...[laughter] I love it!"
Be it a compliment, joke, or simple nod to those of the Jewish faith, Jewish rappers Shyne and Kosha Dillz spoke with AllHipHop.com separately about their views on the title and premise behind the project.
Kosha Dillz has represented his Jewish heritage through Hip-Hop in many ways, as he even had a Shabbat tent at the Paid Dues Festival, since the festival coincided with Passover this past year. In addition, Kosha frequently raps in Hebrew and is a practicing Jew with frequent contact with his Rabbi.
On Monday, Kosha Dillz spoke with AllHipHop.com from Washington, D.C. while on RZA's "The Man with the Iron Fists" tour.
"I do make Jewish raps, but I also just rap and happen to be Kosha Dillz. People may not understand every bar that I spit, but people do understand what I'm representing and that I'm representing some sort of heritage. Like in the BET cypher, I rap in Hebrew because I want that to be felt," Kosha Dillz explained.
"It's so crazy because it's a good title, just in general. I just met Rick Ross because I was at the BET Hip-Hop Awards in the front row, and I said what up to him. I had my yarmulke on, too, so I just thought it was crazy how he said peace to me, then a day later...Black Bar Mitzvah.
Said Kosha Dillz, "One, I think it's a play that Jews get money, which kind of just permeates that stereotype. Also it's cool in the sense that other Jewish kids that are listening to Rick Ross that didn't want to have anything to do with the holidays that just passed will now think it's cool. I spoke to my Rabbi about it, and we were just thinking it's kind of crazy, because when I started, everyone was like, 'Why is he doing that?' And then slowly but surely, being Jewish is becoming cool, and now I think there may be a larger acceptance in certain communities.
"Like oh yeah, Rick Ross reps for the Jews. Whether it's superficial or not, it still has an effect on the way people are perceived. We are here to share our culture, we get busy, we go this and that. Hip-Hop was invented by Black culture in the Bronx, so we are blessed to be contributing back and forth, so kudos to Rick Ross. The only thing that I am sad about is that I didn't have a song on the project."
Shyne, on the other hand, took Ross' title personally, saying it was "sarcastic," and that Ross had been mimicking his moves in the game for some time now.
"I felt he was being sarcastic or being - like, I didn't really understand what he was trying to say, like he's not Jewish, I thought he was Muslim. Anyone can be Jewish, it's a faith, it's not a race, but I never heard him proclaim his affinity to Judaism. All of the sudden, I come out with a record a few weeks ago with Pusha T called "Meyer Lansky," and then he comes out with Black Bar Mitzvah. It's like, nah, get off mine. I feel like he jockin, know what I'm saying?" Shyne explained.
"You can look at him on his YouTube saying how much he loves Shyne, and how he think my albums are classics and all that. It's natural for people to be influenced by other people, and if he was anybody else, I would take it as a compliment. But what he stands for and represents disgusts me. Ya understand? It's not the occupation. I known many descent people who were correctional officers, but none of them would become a rapper and start talking about thug life and gang life, you understand? If they did I would say they are disgusting as well," Shyne remarked.
"So that's the problem, it's a matter of OK, if that's what you did, you should be rapping about reformation, rehabilitation, you should be rapping about getting kids off the streets. Rap about what you know. He goes too hard with the whole dope boy lifestyle, the whole Scarface thing. He's like Donnie Brasco, he's like Ice T from New Jack City, and that's pathetic, man. It's really outrageous that we live in a culture where he thinks it's OK. Again, I've known many of C.O.s, but it's about integrity. How does Sammy the Bull come out and talk about being a gangster? If you a C.O., rap about girls, be a backpack rapper, but how you gonna rap about gang life?"
At the time of print, Rick Ross has yet to comment on the project.