One of the most prominent elements of Israel’s lively and growing hip-hop scene is Coolooloosh. The band takes its name from local slang—it’s a word some Jerusalemites use for celebration and joy—and the group’s combination of hip hop, rap, jazz, and funk is bound to elicit smiles.

The front man of the six-member group, Joel Covington, was born in Baltimore and goes by the name Rebel Sun. As part of a series of interviews with artists and writers in Israel, Nextbook spoke with Joel about Coolooloosh, the trouble he had gaining legal residence in his adopted homeland, and the differences between hip hop in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Coolooloosh’s new album, Elements of Sound, will be out in mid-November, but you’ll get a preview in this podcast.


Photo: Ronen Lalena.