His affinity for both hip-hop and wrestling is something of a conundrum â€“ what one man could love the true aesthetics of hip-hop and the melodramatic theatrics of professional wrestling? Easy, Peter Rosenberg. The radio veteranâ€™s colloquial pedigree is exhaustive â€“ having interviewed the likes of ?uestlove, Raekwon and 50 Cent, Rosenberg has cemented his spot in the hip-hop community with his off-the top yet provocative approach.
Rosenberg currently calls New York Cityâ€™s famed HOT 97 home where he hosts the â€œReal Late with Peter Rosenbergâ€ show every Sunday. Heâ€™s also something of a satirist â€“ his web videos â€œThis is Why Duke Sucksâ€ and â€œThrow Some Cheese On Itâ€ had Internet fruit flies hungry for more of â€œthe real.â€ Like Radio Raheem to Bed-Stuy, Peter Rosenberg is New York Cityâ€™s voice of the streets.
â€œIâ€™ve had some interviews with porn stars where Iâ€™ve learned some interesting stuff and gotten some interesting offersâ€
Format: How did you get your start in radio?
Rosenberg: Like everyone else â€“ college radio. I did a show for years at WMUC in College Park, Maryland and just worked my way up.
Format: Youâ€™ve interviewed a variety of hip-hop artists, ranging from 50 Cent to Little Brother to Ghostface Killah. Whatâ€™s your most memorable moment?
Rosenberg: Probably that second 50 [Cent] interview â€“ the one on YouTube. I wasnâ€™t prepared and it was my worst interview, but probably the one that the most people saw. It was a great learning experience.
Format: Conversely, whatâ€™s the weirdest thing someone has shared with you off radio?
Rosenberg: Weird? I mean no rapper has ever tried to get in my pants or anything. Iâ€™ve had some interviews with porn stars where Iâ€™ve learned some interesting stuff and gotten some interesting offers, but nothing crazy from rappers.
Format: How is this experience at HOT 97 different from working in D.C. or at XM Satellite Radio?
Rosenberg: Being at the biggest hip-hop station in the world is unlike being anywhere else. The magnifying glass is huge, as is the power and responsibility. Itâ€™s a lot of fun, but it comes with some pressure.
Format: How do you try to make your show different from other hip hop-focused radio broadcasts?
Rosenberg: I just do me. I play the music that touches me and I run the show that I have always ran since I was pretending to do radio shows in my room as a kid. The show is completely pure.
Format: To what extent do you believe radio is a dying medium?
Rosenberg: To no extent. Radio as we knew it may be dying, but as far as being a medium that has a ton of influence and plays a huge role in peopleâ€™s lives â€“ it will always be there. People get something different from radio, [whether] satellite or terrestrial, than they do from their iPods.
“It was hands down the best of the Jay-Z remix projects, no diss to Danger Mouse who is ill, but The Grey Album doesnâ€™t hold a candle to Kevâ€™s when it comes to pure listening value.”
Format: You executive produced one of many Jay-Z remix albums, The Brown Album â€“ a project that people said you take credit for â€œcoming up with.â€ Whatâ€™s the story behind that?
Rosenberg: [Laughs] Umm â€“ I came up with it. I called Kev and said, â€œHey I got these acapellas, weâ€™re doing The Brown Album.â€ He resisted at first, but we convinced him to do it and it turned out to be a classic. It was hands down the best of the Jay-Z remix projects, no diss to Danger Mouse who is ill, but The Grey Album doesnâ€™t hold a candle to Kevâ€™s when it comes to pure listening value.
Format: Do you have anything in the works now?
Rosenberg: Oh I have a lot in the works, including The Low Budget Album, a few mixtapes, a lot more web content, and hopefully new radio shows.
Format: Aside from rappers, youâ€™ve interviewed a healthy mix of wrestlers as well, from Bret Hart to Booker T. What was that like?
Rosenberg: Wrestling is an art that I care deeply about and that brings me a ton of joy so interviewing the best ever like Bret Hart and Ric Flair is an honor. Booker and his wife, Sharmell, were incredibly cool and fun to talk to. I love interviewing wrestlers and it will always be a big part of my personality and my life.
Format: If you were a wrestler who would you be?
Rosenberg: Thatâ€™s such a tough question. I have to say in terms of wrestling ability, personality, and money making, it doesn’t get much better than â€œStone Coldâ€ Steve Austin. That guy was an absolute monster. From his music, to his matches, to the stunner â€“ the guy was just so exciting.
Format: When your career is over, how do you want to be remembered?
Rosenberg: As someone who never compromised himself. I want people to say: â€œThat dude did exactly what he wanted to and he made it work and people loved it.â€ Or Iâ€™d settle for, â€œHow did that fat fuck always have such a hot girl on his arm?â€
More Info: http://www.rosenbergradio.com/
“Being at the biggest hip-hop station in the world is unlike being anywhere else. The magnifying glass is huge, as is the power and responsibility.”