×

What the World Needs Now Is a DJ Khaled-Netta Barzilai Collaboration

If politicians can't forward the peace movement, maybe music can, writes rapper Kosha Dillz.

I’ve recently become infatuated with Netta Barzilai, the Israeli singer who won the Eurovision competition, held last week in Portugal, with her #Metoo inspired song “Toy.” It was the first time in 20 years that Israel had taken the top prize in the global contest, after dominating in the final years of the 1970s.

Of course, celebrating that winning moment back then, like now, comes with its own challenges. Namely, the seemingly unsolvable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As an Israeli-American hip-hop artist, analyzing, debating and thinking about it is a constant, and nowhere more confrontational than on social media.

Earlier this week, I clicked on DJ Khaled’s Instagram and noticed a post which included the Dome of the Rock, the Muslim holy site in Jerusalem. The missive, which read: “praying for my people x praying for peace x praying for all my families, praying for everyone #world peace,” had much more interaction and engagement than his other posts. Last I checked, it was approaching 7,000 comments. I then hopped over to Netta’s Instagram, where she had amassed nearly 6,000 comments responding to her post-win show of gratitude, in which she wrote, “My beloved Israel, this victory is yours. … Do not forget that thought creates reality, and do not stop rejoicing and demonstrating strength and unity to each other and to the world.”

Both posts offered gratitude and prayer, and both comments sections turned into an instant war zone. Wrote one commenter to Khaled: “It’s ok to say the word Palestine… We’ll respect you more.”

The current protests on Israel’s border with Gaza, in which more than 60 people have died, including 50 noted Hamas terrorists, are the impetus for the online clash. Watching the news reports, the coverage seems lopsided, but also familiar: the world is yet again turning a microscope onto a tiny corner of the Middle East.

As an Israeli, I’m frustrated; as an artist, I’m hopeful. I pose a possible solution: That DJ Khaled, who’s arguably one of the most successful hitmakers, of Muslim descent or otherwise, to emerge in recent years, and Netta Barzilai, who’s riding a crest of good will and positive vibes, combine their powers and collaborate. Maybe a remix of “Toy” or a brand new track?

Easier asked than done, and no doubt both artists wouldn’t want to risk “alienating their fanbase,” a favorite phrase of anyone with a following.

As artists, we like to believe that music heals. So could we work together and respect one another for the greater good of humanity? As fellow rapper Matisyahu, who has himself reflected deeply on the Jewish religion and the state of Israel, led us in song to believe: maybe “One Day” there will be “no more war and our children will play.”

Instead of arguing over who’s right and who’s wrong, we need to offer tangible solutions from the music community. Organizations like Tune in TLV and Ramallah Music Export which are trying to helping local Israeli and Palestinian artists take their art beyond their physical borders, are a good start. Now let’s do the same and get beyond the comments section to something that’s constructive, and maybe even inspiring.

Rami Even-Esh performs under the stage name Kosha Dillz. He has created songs like “No More War” and Dodging bullets with Matisyahu and is also performing on the final Vans Warped Tour this summer. His most recent song, “What I do All Day,” has absolutely nothing to do with Middle Eastern politics.

More Music

  • Liam Gallagher and Son shopping at

    Cannes: Screen Media Buys 'Liam Gallagher: As It Was' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Screen Media has acquired North American rights to Charlie Lightening and Gavin Fitzgerald’s feature documentary “Liam Gallagher: As It Was.” The film follows the former Oasis frontman as he finds himself on the periphery of the rock ‘n’ roll world after years spent at the white hot center of the music world. Screen Media will [...]

  • AMERICAN IDOL - "218 (Season Finale)"

    Adam Lambert Does Double Performing Duty on 'Idol' as New Winner is Crowned

    A new “American Idol” winner was crowned Sunday night, but not before Adam Lambert returned to the stage for the season finale for a pair of performances that included his new single and a duet with eliminated contestant Dimitrius Graham Sunday. The show concluded with Louisiana teen Laine Hardy showered in confetti as he was [...]

  • Beyonce Emilia Clarke

    Emilia Clarke Worried Beyonce Would Hate Daenerys After 'Game of Thrones'' Final Season

    After eight seasons as the Mother of Dragons, “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke has a lot of celebrity fans. But the most impressive? Probably Queen Bey. In a New Yorker interview posted after Sunday night’s series finale, Clarke revealed that she met Beyonce at an Oscars after-party hosted by the musician and her husband, [...]

  • Zia McCabe, Brent DeBoer, Courtney Taylor-Taylor,

    Concert Review: The Dandy Warhols Need No Confetti at 25th Anniversary Show

    When the Dandy Warhols released their first album in 1995, the year’s bestselling record came from Hootie and the Blowfish. Suffice it to say, a lot has changed in the music industry and the world since Courtney Taylor-Taylor and Peter Holmström met in Portland, Oregon and decided to form a band. Yet on Saturday night [...]

  • John Mayer Madonna

    The College Dropouts: John Mayer, Madonna Among Music Stars Who Didn't Graduate

    It’s commencement time at colleges coast to coast, which means seeing successful musicians at podiums receiving honorary degrees — among them, Justin Timberlake at Berklee College of Music and Jon Bon Jovi at the University of Pennsylvania. But the music world is full of stars who never matriculated and still managed to come in at [...]

  • ‘Hitsville: The Making of Motown’ Acquired

    ‘Hitsville: The Making of Motown’ Acquired by Showtime for U.S.

    Polygram Entertainment, Universal Music Group’s film and television division, along with Capitol Music Group, Motown Records and Fulwell 73 announced today that “Hitville: The Making of Motown” has been acquired by Showtime for release in North America with plans for a fall premiere, and Altitude for theatrical release in the UK and Ireland. The feature-length [...]

  • Dimitri Vegas

    Dimitri Vegas Talks 'Rambo V: Last Blood' Role, Working With Sylvester Stallone

    Dimitri Thivaios, better known as dance music’s Dimitri Vegas, is taking his skills beyond the DJ booth, picking up a major film role in the forthcoming “Rambo V: Last Blood.” The Belgium-born Thivaios, who headlines massive EDM festivals like Tomorrowland with his brother Michael (they perform under the banner Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike), has [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content