Peter Rosenberg Talks New Album, The Idea Of "Real Hip-Hop" & Jay-Z's G-Check
Witty, bold, and at times contentious, media personality Peter Rosenberg has been a staple on HOT 97 for the past decade-plus of his career. His presence has echoed on FM frequencies across the Tri-State area during the peak hours of the morning. As a true-and-tried hip-hop head in its purest, grimiest form, the Maryland native has cemented himself in New York culture, not only through his daily banter with Ebro Darden but largely because of his Sunday night Real Late show. From 12 a.m. to 2 a.m., TikTok-friendly anthems, radio politics, and top 40 hits are obsolete, and the underground grittiness of New York City, and anywhere else for that matter, finally gets its time to shine on the same radio station that once served as a pillar for that very sound that Rosenberg champions during his Real Late slot.
"Mornings are about talk," explains Rosenberg over a Zoom call with HNHH, adding that the morning timeslot isn’t necessarily for music but for familiarity to their audience. "They're not tuning into me Ebro and Laura in the morning to hear the music we play. They're there to hear the conversation, to feel like we're friends, and they have good entertainment and company on the way to work or whatever it is they're doing. It's easy to kind of lose focus on music."
As a result, Rosenberg’s debut album, Real Late is an homage to his roots as a DJ, rather than his status as a personality. The intergenerational connections made within East Coast rap’s ecosystem put Rosenberg’s ears back into a position as a curator; pairing legends with up-and-coming acts with an emphasis on ‘real hip-hop,’ whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Image provided. Photo credit: Natalie Amrossi"I find it interesting that it seems like we're told constantly that ‘real hip hop’ doesn't have a place on commercial airwaves etc. but then J. Cole drops a straight-up hip-hop album and it's the most listened to s*** in the world. So, I’m like, it's not that real hip hop isn't it. It's that people want familiar artists," admits Rosenberg. While Jim Jones and Method Man have very well become household names, especially in New York City, Real Late isn’t meant to cater to the morning audience who’ve found a familiar comfort in Rosenberg's voice every morning.
"Now, listen, I don't think my records are going to get a whole lot of commercial play, but I think that there are so many dope underground artists right now bubbling, that the project serves -- it's a great time to kind of put everyone in one place and draws a bunch of eyeballs to it, hopefully, at once. That was sort of the goal," he says.
Ahead of the release of Real Late, we caught up with Peter Rosenberg (a.k.a. asuper fuckin’ dude right now, according to Busta Rhymes) for an in-depth conversation on his new album, the return of Summer Jam, and that time Jay-Z G-Checked him.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
HNHH: How does it feel to be on the other side of the interview table right now?
Peter Rosenberg: It’s cool, man. Now that I’m getting in the swing of it, I’m kind of getting used to talking about your own shit all the time. One of the things I’ve worked on over the years in becoming a better person is not talking about my own shit all the time. I work with two people: Ebro and Micahel Kay, who will be quick to say shut up and stop talking about myself. So, to now be back in a spot where it’s like, “Hey! Talk about you, what’s going on?” It’s both cool and also at times, a little weird. But I gotta tell you, I love the project so much, that I am pretty psyched to go through the press part of it because I love it. I’m really proud of it. It’s as proud as I’ve been about anything so I’m excited to talk about it.
You announced this project a few years ago, it's finally out this June. Talk to me about this album and putting it together throughout the pandemic. How has the process been for you since announcing it?
I announced I was gonna do an album a few years ago but when I announced an album, I wasn't picturing this album. I was picturing something else. Then, I got sort of thrown off track. I started, I unstarted, I got divorced. All these things happen that's sort of like just put it on the back burner. You know when you go through a tough time where you feel completely unsettled and really out of sorts, as I did, you sort of try to find the things that can help you find your legs again, you know? I know it sounds kind of cheesy but ultimately when you go through something so personal, you need to kind of dig deeper into yourself to be like, ‘what else is there here?’ Because we're so defined by things like relationships and whatnot that a change like that can really throw you offline and it did for me. I can't speak for everyone, some of these celebrities out here if you see them next week with someone else. I'm a very emotional person so it really took me through a loop and I leaned back on the music. Like, what brought me to the dance? What brought me to New York? You know, s***, I met my ex-wife DJing! Like, I was that. Before anything else, I was that. I was always that. From the time I was a pre-teen, I was the music guy. It's easy to sort of get caught up in the professional part of it, the talking on the radio, the being funny, the sports, the wrestling, all the other things I love. But, who brought you to the dance? You know hip-hop brought me to the dance and I lean back into it and then during COVID, it was a real lifesaver. It really helped me. Starting to think about this kind of help get me on my path.
How did putting together this project help you fall back in love with the type of hip-hop music that drew you into the culture, especially after dealing with something as heavy as your divorce?
Yeah, I'm as dialed in now as I've been in years. Because when you start doing mornings, like, mornings are not really about music. Mornings are about talk. You know, these days people have Spotify, people have Apple, Tidal. They're not tuning into me Ebro and Laura in the morning to hear the music we play. They're there to hear the conversation, to feel like we're friends, and they have good entertainment and company on the way to work or whatever it is they're doing. It's easy to kind of lose focus on music. On top of that, we're playing the most commercial records which are not typically my speed. So, it's not so much falling out of love, it's just you kind of forget that was was my original purpose. I always have my Sunday night show Real Late to keep me grounded but there was even a couple of years where like I was doing it but I wasn't terribly inspired to do it. I wanted to keep doing it because I knew it was important. I felt a certain sense of responsibility but I wasn't doing the work that was needed to really find the music and break the artist.
Before the album got made -- because when the album started to get made, I was already in a pretty good space. What really was the beginning when I was not in a great space was just starting to play the new artists on Real Late and my boy Mark, he was putting me on to artists and he got me reinvigorated. He was like, “bro, all these dudes f*** with you. All these dudes want to get on the radio. They’re all hungry they all have their own little following but they're not getting any love from a commercial outlet.” I was like “Oh, word? Really?” So I started digging into these artists. It helps to get a bit of a filter. I'm 41, you know? I've lived a lot of life over the last 15 years. I’ve had mad jobs. I'm not on Soundcloud. So it helps to get a bit of a filter and have someone who's like, ‘Check this out.’ And I'm okay admitting that. You need that. The only way to stay on point in this game as you get older -- if you have jobs and you have a life, you have kids, whatever you have -- there is no way to be up on every movement happening in hip-hop. Hip-hop has gotten entirely too big for that to be possible. If you were to go back in 2000 to 2001, I knew everything going on everywhere. That has kind of become impossible, and I have accepted that my true hardcore knowledge base probably ends sometime in the 2000s. Then after that, it's the stuff that you know. And the stuff that you're aware of. You can't catch everything, there are too many movements. If we were to look up all the artists with a million plays on Spotify, we'd be here all day. It would be endless.
I feel like this project is arriving at a perfect time when we’re seeing New York lyricists thriving beyond their underground following. How do you feel about the state of lyricism and grimy boom-bap production at this current time? Your ear for that sound, specifically, is particularly fitting for a project this relevant.
You know, I think the timing is just right. You know, hip hop -- everything goes through ebbs and flows. You know, I find it interesting that it seems like we're told constantly that ‘real hip hop’ doesn't have a place on commercial airwaves etc. but then J. Cole drops a straight-up hip-hop album and it's the most listened to s*** in the world. So, I’m like, it's not that real hip hop isn't it. It's that people want familiar artists. They want people to know how to make good songs. Then, it seems like there is a place for that. Now, listen, I don't think my records are going to get a whole lot of commercial play, but I think that there are so many dope underground artists right now bubbling, that the project serves -- it's a great time to kind of put everyone in one place and draws a bunch of eyeballs to it, hopefully, at once. That was sort of the goal. That was sort of like the thing I wanted to happen. If I have a song -- which I do -- with Ghostface Killah, Crimeapple, and Jim Jones, three different fan bases get exposed to different things. You know, if you do that with pop acts, it's cool but all the fans might know all the artists, anyway. In this case, though, they're going to be Ghostface fans who have never heard Crimeapple, but guess what? If you love Ghostface, you really might f*** with Crimeapple. And Crimeapple fans may be younger and have not really realized how ill Ghostface is or they don't realize how good to work Jim Jones is doing right now. So, I think the album works in a way where you really can get in different hip-hop fans, different generations, different interests, and hopefully, do something really positive for all of them.
Image provided. Photo credit: Natalie Amrossi.How do you think that compares to the mixtapes you dropped in the earlier parts of the 2010s? New York Renaissance really highlighted a lot of dope, underground New York talent. How did making Real Late compare to making those two mixtapes where you're also highlighting artists? I mean, at the time, I think they were a little bit more palatable than say, Crimeapple would be now, but the intent is the same.
Yeah, for sure. You know, when New York Renaissance came out, Joey was popping already. He was starting to go. Rocky and Ferg were starting to go. Bronson was definitely going. Zombies -- all of them had a thing going at that time. There are similarities but this is a different sort of curation. Don't get me wrong, I care deeply about that project. I wanted it to do well. It did feel somewhat similar but when you say -- the words that change everything, or when you say “my album.” For whatever reason, when you say the words “my album” in 2021, it still rings differently for people than when you say “I have a mixtape coming out.” Because mixtape implies that any douchebag with dual cassette -- for the old school references, for you -- any douchebag with a dual cassette boombox or a playlist, can make a mixtape. When you say the words “my album,” you’re sort of volunteering for scrutiny to be like, “analyze this project as my body of work that I'm putting together.” Even though a lot of people still don't understand what that means.
The level of curation is certainly different. You know, the difference is I didn't have vets on that tape. I have like bonafide vets on this tape. And also, the new artists that I have on this tape is even newer. They’re even earlier in their career. Then, there's some in the middle, right? Like, Roc Marci is established and successful. You know, Westside Gunn is -- I don't want to see the household name but he's becoming a real star. So, there are stars on this tape, for sure. And then there are established guys in the middle, like, you know, your Willie The Kid’s who have been around for a minute, but over the last few years have been building the credibility and sort of the momentum. So, similarities and differences but I definitely feel a difference putting this out. I definitely feel like I'm staking more of my reputation on this.
At the top of the tape, on “Real Late” with Vel The Wonder, you got Busta Rhymes saying, “Rosenberg, that’s a super fucking dude." How did you identify the right voices for each record by pairing these OGs with these up-and-coming names?
I mean, ultimately, that's the whole thing, right? Ultimately, the way that you are judged on the project is how you selected beats and the artist you selected for said beats. To me, I can't be judged for -- I can -- the level of connections that I had. Who were you able to get? Well, that's great, and that's important, too. Obviously, I wanted to be able to get whoever I could, but ultimately, what did you curate?
When Khaled made “I'm The One,” he could have had Quavo, Justin Bieber, and Chance The Rapper on the song and had it be absolutely s***, but “I'm The One” was done just right. The result was a smash. Obviously, it's a very different kind of song that I'm making with my project but you know, it was just ear. I got that beat from Graymatter, the one that Method Man just rhymed on. I got that Graymatter beat and I was just like, ‘yo, imagine f**king Meth dancing on this sh*t.’ That’s it. And I said to other people, like, I said to my girlfriend and I was like, ‘Can you hear Meth on this?’ The little keys, chimes, and whatever he has in there and I'm like, ‘What? that would sound f***ing crazy.’ And I hit Meth. Two days later, I get a ‘Yo, what's your email?’ Those are the magic words, ‘Yo, what’s your email?’ That’s it right there. You’re waiting for those words. Then, I heard his verse and I was like ‘Holy s***.’ Like, I had made some progress already on the project for sure, but I think the Meth verse was... People about to take this f***ing album serious. Like, once I heard that, I was at this point -- I haven't heard one person hear that Meth verse and not go, ‘Okay.’ Like, everyone reacts the same way. He sounds so good. By the way, he always sounds good. Like, Meth sounds great but -- I took a lot of pride in that because, yes, Meth sounds great because he's Method Man and he always sounds great but it's the right f***ing record for Method Man. For Graymatter, the producer, it's a dream come true for him. You know, I get to hit him back like, “Ayo, Meth is on your record,” and he's like “What?!”
I was watching the Nicki Minaj interview you did a year after the whole Summer Jam incident. Despite your criticism towards “Starships,” you said that you didn’t believe that song was to blame for hip-hop’s commercialization but that we would be seeing it become commercialized in the future. Looking at your comments back then and just the state of the culture now, do you feel more confident where it's going to go in the future, or do you think that it will trend towards becoming absolutely synonymous with pop music?
I think the only risk you run is that it continues to break down into more genres. The real s*** is never going away. As the great KRS-One said, “The real hip hop is over here.” And where is over here? Everywhere. I'm joking, but it really is. Real hip hop is not going anywhere. There's always going to be ears and eyes for the real s***. The question is, will it be considered when you say hip-hop or will hip-hop be inherently damaged by the amount of pop that is in there? So when people say, “I love this hip-hop song” and when you hear that hip-hop song, it sounds like, for example -- I’m not saying this as a diss, I’m a huge fan -- It sounds like Doja Cat and SZA, like that record, which is basically a pop record, even though, Doja Cat can rap her ass off. That is a pop record and you're all “Hip-hop, right? Like this?” And you’re like, “No, no, no.” That has hip-hop elements, but that’s not a hip-hop record. That’s a pop record with hip-hop elements. There is the risk that you always end up having to form these sub-genres then, right? Like there's trap, there's underground, there's L.A. underground, there's this, there's that. You run those risks but I don't think the music being made is at risk. I really don't.
I thought it so many times that hip hop was on the verge of death. You know, like, I really have. When I went to my first Mac Miller concert and I saw all these white kids and a white rapper, I'm like Oh My God, and I talked to Mac about this. White rapper, white kids. Oh my God, what's going to happen here now. I had no idea what Mac was gonna turn into at that time. I had no idea that Mac, for a lot of those kids, would end up being sort of their entry into really good hip hop s***. Maybe not all of them. Some of them just went and liked pop, I'm sure, afterward but some of them got into Vince Staples, some of them got into Earl Sweatshirt, got into Odd Future. So, I've had all these moments when I'm like, “The state of hip-hop is so bad. What are we going to do? Nicki Minaj makes a song called ‘Starships.’ Now, that song is considered rap. That's not really rap.” I guess I'm at a stage now where I'm thinking like, ‘Yes, words used may be different, and those who don't know may get things wrong, but ultimately the well-being of Beats and Rhymes, as it were, I think is healthy.’
"I thought it so many times that hip hop was on the verge of death. You know, like, I really have. When I went to my first Mac Miller concert and I saw all these white kids and a white rapper, I'm like Oh My God, and I talked to Mac about this. White rapper, white kids. Oh my God, what's going to happen here now. I had no idea what Mac was gonna turn into at that time. I had no idea that Mac, for a lot of those kids, would end up being sort of their entry into really good hip hop s***."
Cassidy Sparrow/Getty ImagesYou’re not from New York, but you hold a pretty prestigious place within hip-hop culture and New York culture. A lot of the criticism surrounding Andrew Yang is that he is not a true New Yorker. I know you joke about not being considered a real New Yorker, but you mentioned the responsibility that comes with your position on HOT 97, especially on Sunday night. From your perspective as someone who has previously dealt with the “not a real New Yorker” dialogue, what do you make of the criticism towards Yang?
There’s so many different versions of the not-being-a-real-New-Yorker conversation. In the case of Yang, for example, there’s clearly some racial elements being included here, as we saw with the Daily News. And then there’s also just some bad answers. There’s just -- politicians are just such cheeseballs. And Yang is a nice guy, man, but some of his answers are just... I love de Blasio as a guy. De Blasio is a nice guy but he’s out here wearing a Nets jersey, Knicks hat, Red Sox hat. Politicians just do dumb s*** so often in terms of really connecting with New Yorkers.
Now, I know there are people out there when they hate on me, the Cheeto-dust-on-the-fingers- f***ing-Youtube-commenting-no-date-having losers, who spend all their time being like, you’re not even from New York. And it’s like, listen, I’ve been coming to New York my entire life. I moved here in my 20s, I’ve been in the city ever since. The music I grew up on even when I lived in Maryland, while I loved all hip-hop, was very New York-centric. And I’m committed to being supportive of New York artists, both legends and new artists.
The irony is that when I got to HOT 97 and started doing Real Late -- that Busta interlude that’s on the album that I cut up for the intro, that was the first time I met Busta Rhymes in like 2008. And the reason he saying, “Peter Rosenberg is a real super fucking dude right now,” that whole thing. He said, “He‘s the only one on the motherfucking FM frequency that’s still playing that holy, sacred and pure, filthy, under the nail real hip-hop s***.” So yes, I’m not from New York, but the way I made my name here with the people who really are the ambassadors of the culture, with the real gatekeepers of the culture. The way I was able to win some favor, and not all, but some and some appreciation, was that it took me, a nerdy backpacker, coming to New York to get on the radio and really go hard playing the classic s***.
Now, that doesn’t mean no one did it. Mister Cee was doing mixes. Enuff plays great s***. DJ Camilo plays great s***. There were DJs who played s***, but it was my whole thing. My whole thing was, I’m on from midnight to 2 a.m.. I pick what I want. Well, on this random night you’re hearing nothing but Mic Geronimo, Lost Boyz, Royal Flush. I’m just gonna live doing a certain sort of thing. Oh, Busta Rhymes put a mixtape with Dilla? No one else is even playing these records from the Dilla mixtape? I’ll clean them myself and I’ll play it.
So what advice would you give Yang, if you had the chance to speak with him?
Stop running for mayor. I do not feel Andrew Yang, at all. I feel like he runs his campaign as a game show. Stop. I get it, you’re a nice guy, you’re smart, you have money. You ran for president so everyone knows your name now. If he doesn’t run for president, there’s no way he’s in the conversation for Mayor. He runs for president he’s got incredible name recognition now people are legitimately considering him. He’s not in my top 3 candidates for Mayor. I say that really thinking he’s a nice dude.
Politics are hard because it’s one thing to diss a rapper’s album, but politicians, when you’re not into them, you have to diss them as a candidate, which is... how do you not take that personally? He’s a nice guy, likes wrestling, he’s done our show. I like him, but this is not it in my opinion.
When he was asked what his favorite Jay-Z song was, he didn’t really refer to “Encore” by name and referred to it as a duet which leads me to believe he was introduced to the song through the mash-up with Linkin Park. What’s your response to that?
I’ve never listened to the Linkin Park project. While I don’t hate “Encore/Numb,” that’s what it’s called, right? I don’t hate it anymore. I’ve grown to have some level of appreciation for it. I’m not trying to diss Linkin Park. I never had any f***ing interest in that project. No, if that’s your favorite Jay-Z song, you wack as f*** as a Jay-Z fan. You’re not a Jay-Z fan. If that’s your favorite Jay-Z song, you’re not a Jay-Z fan, period. Now, who cares? I am tired of us asking politicians what rap they’re into. The bottom line is, the reason it’s a huge mistake is he needs to learn to take himself seriously enough, and other politicians do too, to be, like, ‘Honestly, I’m not talking to you about my favorite rap song. I don’t care’. All it did was get Kamala into trouble. It always gets these politicians into trouble, and I feel like we’re always asking it of people who are not white. Like, white politicians don’t seem to get asked as often “what’s your favorite rap song?” You get someone who is not white and it’s like, “We gotta know if you like rap.” I don’t understand. I didn’t care if Kamala Harris liked Tupac. It was irrelevant to me. By the way, she’s like a 55-year-old politician, you really think she’s listening to Tupac? She is listening to the O’Jays. Like, c’mon, this is silly. And who cares? But, that being said, if we’re gonna play the game, if you say you’re a Jay-Z fan and the first thing you name is the Linkin Park s***, I have an update for you: you are not a Jay-Z fan.
"I’ve never listened to the Linkin Park project. While I don’t hate “Encore/Numb,” that’s what it’s called, right? I don’t hate it anymore. I’ve grown to have some level of appreciation for it. I’m not trying to diss Linkin Park. I never had any f***ing interest in that project. No, if that’s your favorite Jay-Z song, you wack as f*** as a Jay-Z fan. You’re not a Jay-Z fan."
Jeff Hahne/Getty ImagesI wanna revisit the moment Jay-Z G-Checked you if you’re allowed to speak about it. I don’t think you mentioned what he said to you exactly. Are you allowed to speak on that now? Has enough time passed that you’re allowed to?
Let me put it this way, if I were to say what he G-checked me about, it would be fantastic for my album promo and it would get more conversation than anything else that I do, but I wouldn’t do that. I already felt like we said too much. I wasn’t even gonna say that much. That was Ebro’s idea. He has a better relationship with him, at least at the time, So I was like “I’ll leave that to you.” Jay felt that I spoke out of school about certain things. I thought I was saying things in jest. He just wanted to correct me on those things, even though, in my mind, I was being sarcastic.
That’s one of the hard things about radio, though. Sometimes, you’re just goofing and having fun, the way you would with your boys, and then it’s on the radio or it’s on Youtube or whatever, and people hear it and they’re like, 'what?!' And you’re like, 'What? I was just messing around.' You can be talking about an artist’s song and you’re like, ‘that song sucks,’ and you love the artist but you thought that was the shitty song of the album. Everyone knows that song sucks, but they still don’t like hearing that.
"Jay-Z felt that I spoke out of school about certain things. I thought I was saying things in jest. He just wanted to correct me on those things, even though, in my mind, I was being sarcastic."
In this case, I was making a joke about something. I told a series of sort of things I was like, “What about this? What about that? Huh?” and he just wanted to be very clear about the fact that what I said was not true.
It’s still one of the greatest moments of my life. It’s one thing to meet artists, it’s one thing to interview artists. I really felt sort of honored he called to correct me on something. I did actually really, really appreciate it. He’s Jay-Z, man. Yo, I introduced myself every time I met Jay-Z to the point where he was like “Hey! I know you, stop saying your name.” I was like “I’m sorry, I keep saying my name. I’m just me.”
Without being too self-righteous, I would like to think that the one thing that separates me from some other people who do this job is that I wouldn’t actually lie like that.
I think you might have the only Drake and Kanye West interview known to man, even though Kanye wasn’t really trying to be interviewed. What’s it like watching a moment like that in retrospect? You know, especially since the past 3 years of their respective careers have been vastly different than what was happening in 2009 and 2010.
Well, when I watch that moment, all I feel is awkward for myself. I’m just like 'what the?' I was so awkward. I was so new. I was so green. And, me and Kanye just have weird energy. I love Kanye so much musically, that I’m ready to get over all the dumb shit he’s done recently. Like, immediately. I seriously empathize and sympathize with his divorce. I wish him the best. I’ve had to roast him many times, ‘cause I thought all the things he said and did politically were stupid. And I thought they were really problematic and disagree wholeheartedly, but I love Kanye musically so much that I’m ready to move on from that.
That being said, no matter how much I love that new music, him and I, our energies, it just doesn’t work. We had one interview with him, the Juan Ep interview, that was good. Any other time we’ve interacted, he’s either dissing me or it’s awkward. He thinks I’m dissing him -- and I’m not saying he’s ever had any thought of me whatsoever. I’m not saying it’s something he consciously thinks about. Our energies just don’t gel. I don’t know why because I love his music. I paid money for his tickets. He’s one of the only artists I’ll hand over money to go to the shows to see Kanye. I don’t know. It’s just always awkward.
"[Kanye's] either dissing me or it’s awkward. He thinks I’m dissing him -- and I’m not saying he’s ever had any thought of me whatsoever. I’m not saying it’s something he consciously thinks about. Our energies just don’t gel. I don’t know why because I love his music. I paid money for his tickets. He’s one of the only artists I’ll hand over money to go to the shows to see Kanye. I don’t know. It’s just always awkward."
WATCH: Peter Rosenberg interviews Drake and Kanye in 2009How is that on radio, though? For radio, you’re doing the whole interview live, so when you have guests that you don’t gel with, the public is still witnessing the conversation unfold. How do you work through those moments on-air in front of everybody?
You have to decide what you want your approach to be. Like, do want to just keep trying your best to make it work? It depends. Do you feel offended? Do you feel like you’re being disrespected? There’s always a certain level of ego in it, too. Do you just say, ‘Fuck it. I’ll get ‘em next time. I’m not too into this?’
But it is an interesting dynamic that exists in radio. People get weird when mics go on. Sometimes, it’s someone you have a great relationship with. I consider Wale a friend and he once showed up in a weird mood. You can look it up: “Rosenberg Wale awkward interview.” It’s the most awkward s*** in the world. And, I didn’t do anything. We never really talked about it. He showed up in a weird fucking mood to do press. He’s doing press and he’s doing my show and it was just fucking weird, even though we are legit good friends and I care for him. It was just a weird f***ing day. Yeah, that dynamic is a strange one but it’s also one of the wildcards that make interviews interesting. You don’t know what you’re gonna get on a given day.
My final question for you is about Summer Jam. How are you feeling about the return? Big announcement this morning. We’re back in action, people are getting vaccinated. How are you feeling about it?
"I consider Wale a friend and he once showed up in a weird mood. You can look it up: “Rosenberg Wale awkward interview.” It’s the most awkward s*** in the world. And, I didn’t do anything. We never really talked about it. He showed up in a weird fucking mood to do press."
Excited, man. Just the definition of going back outside, you know? I think it could be a really cool moment. Like, it's an opportunity for something really cool ‘cause everyone's been away for so long. It’s been so long since people have been to concerts. Even by the time we get there, most people wouldn’t have been to a concert. It’s an outdoor concert so people can feel safe. And then, you think about it, there's a lot of people have dropped meaningful music since the last time there was a Summer Jam. I'm super excited about it. I hope it's ill. I don't even know anything about the line-up or anything but I hope that it turns out to be a really ill line-up because I think people are going to be ready to be outside. So it's an opportunity that I really hope to take advantage of but I'm excited.
The festival stage has always been like the host to some of the best like underground artists and with the release of your project, I'm wondering, who would be your ideal lineup for the festival stage?
I mean, if it was my festival stage, it would be everyone from my album. It would be headlined by Griselda and Roc Marci, and then under that, I have Flee Lord, Crimeapple, Stove God Cooks. You know, basically all the up-and-comers from my album, Willie The Kid, Jay Nice, Eto. I would so some sort of Real Late set with everyone from my album, headlined by Griselda. To me, that would be fire. But at the same time, I wouldn't mind getting to do a Summer Jam set with the legends from my album, too. ‘Cause it would be kind of crazy if I came out with Dipset, Wu-Tang, The LOX. That would be kind of crazy, too. Either one would be awesome. Let's hope other people feel the same way because that would be something.