The war of words between Chuck D and Hot 97 back in early June led to some heated exchanges between the hip-hop icon and some of the radio station’s most well-known personalities. One of the station’s most vocal defenders was host Peter Rosenberg, who dismissed Chuck by saying “no one elected you president of hip-hop.” Former station manager Ebro famously referred to the Public Enemy frontman as an “online troll.”
But yesterday, Rosenberg apologized on the air for any disparaging remarks he made about Chuck D. He explained how much Public Enemy’s music means to him, referencing the group’s 1989 anthem “Fight the Power,” and regretted his role in the negative exchange.
“It’s very real today,” Rosenberg said at the beginning of his “The Realness” segment. “My mom took me to see Do The Right Thing 25 years ago this summer. I love that movie. Now, as a ten-year old kid, I’m sure I understood a lot of it but I didn’t understand everything. The one thing that I know I understood even back then was the feeling of the song that was pumping through Radio Raheem’s boombox.”
“Now, that wasn’t the first time that I heard Public Enemy, but it was the first time that Chuck D’s voice truly affected me,” he added. “So to think that 25 years later I would have a voice in this culture that some people would actually listen to a little bit is truly a blessing and something I’m very thankful for. To have used that voice in any way to show what was perceived as public disrespect to the great Chuck D is something that I am truly regretful for. Chuck D is one of the main reasons that I’m so passionate about Hip Hop in the first place. He’s one of the main reasons that I seek out revolutionary music like Dead Prez or Immortal Technique or Homeboy Sandman. It is with that same passion that I felt the need—as I have many times before — to defend Hot 97 and Hot 97’s Summer Jam. That part was okay. Saying anything disparaging publicly towards Chuck D, that was not OK. For that Chuck, I am truly sorry.”
Chuck D has since tweeted his response to Rosenberg’s apology.