The Chevy Chase in question is not the film/TV star – no, it refers to the small town in the state of Maryland, where a very special DJ was born. That man is Peter Rosenberg, a DJ for the hip hop radio station Hot 97, New York (‘Where hip hop lives’).
In 2012 he had a very public fall out with a certain Nicki Minaj that called into question the difference between authentic hip hop and commercialised ‘sell out’ hip hop.
Here’s the Radiolab show notes:
From boom bap to EDM, we look at the line between hip-hop and not, and meet a defender of the genre that makes you question… who’s in and who’s out
Over the past 40 years, hip-hop music has gone from underground phenomenon to global commodity. But as The New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz explains, massive commercial success is a tightrope walk for any genre of popular music, and especially one built on authenticity and “realness.” Hip-hop constantly runs the risk of becoming a watered-down imitation of its former self – just, you know, pop music.
Andrew introduces us to Peter Rosenberg, a guy who takes this doomsday scenario very seriously. Peter is a DJ at Hot 97, New York City’s iconic hip-hop station, and a vocal booster of what he calls “real” hip-hop. But as a Jewish fellow from suburban Maryland, he’s also the first to admit that he’s an unlikely arbiter for what is and what isn’t hip-hop.
With the help of Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and NPR’s Frannie Kelley, we explore the strange ways that hip-hop deals with that age-old question: are you in or are you out?