The idea of “real hip-hop” is still a topic of discussion among purists. For years now, there have been plenty of predictions that hip-hop is “dying” but as we see, that couldn’t be further from the truth. We recently chopped it up with Peter Rosenberg, who recently released his debut album Real Late, about the state of the culture and the future of hip-hop.
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Rosenberg reflected on his infamous “real hip-hop” comments at Summer Jam that led Nicki Minaj and Young Money to pull out from their performance. It was “Starships” that was at the center of criticism but even Rosenberg admitted on Ebro In The Morning that he didn’t think that particular Nicki Minaj song was at fault for the commercialization of hip-hop as a whole.
Rosenberg explained that he no longer thinks that hip-hop can ever fade away, even as it grows more popular. However, there was a particular moment when he did. The Hot 97 personality said that the first time he went to a Mac Millershow, he thought that he was witnessing the death of the culture as he knew it.
“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,” he explained, though he acknowledged that he was wrong about his perception at the time, especially since Mac Miller’s later work became an entry point for many to discover solid hip-hop acts.
“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***,” he admitted. “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.”
Despite his jaded attitude, he said that hip-hop in its purest form remains as healthy as ever. “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.’”