Self-Titled ‘Jewish Nerd’ Takes Over Early Mornings on Hot 97


This morning on Hot 97, two new D.J.'s debuted in the place of ousted morning host Miss Jones. The 7 to 10 a.m. slot is filled by a rebroadcast of "Big Boy's Neighborhood Morning Show" from Los Angeles. So for original New York content, you're going to have to tune in earlier — and get used to a voice that's out of the norm for the hip-hop station. D.J. Peter Rosenberg, a self-proclaimed "nerdy Jewish kid" from Chevy Chase, Maryland, will be hosting the 5 to 7 a.m. slot.

Don't expect to hear any more racial humor like the "Tsunami Song" debacle that got Miss Jones fired in the first place. Rosenberg is "really liberal and speaks his mind," he says, but he is all about tolerance. "Hip-hop should be about doing righteous things," says the 28-year-old host, who's more into meta-nerd self-deprecation than cheap laughs. "I want gay people to be able to listen to my show and not be afraid of what they might hear." With his Nuyorican co-host, Cipha Sounds, on the other mike, the show's certainly got a few bases covered.

Rosenberg moved to New York in June 2007 to deliver shtick every Sunday night on Real Late With Peter Rosenberg. It's a persona that failed him in D.C., where Rosenberg bided his time shooting YouTube parody videos ("This Is Why Duke Sucks," "Throw Some Cheese on It") and D.J.-ing at a McDonald's after getting fired from talk radio. ("I'd sit in the booth with my laptop, set up an iTunes playlist, hit return, and girls would come steady talk to me. And I'd get paid," he says. "It wasn't that bad. If it was like, 'Hey, we want you to D.J. while you work the fryer,' then I'd feel bad about it.")

Now, he's getting laughs at paid nightclub appearances by mocking his "Jew-fro neck hair." The duo already has a built-in fan base from their Internet-radio show, "Juan Epstein." And they're known in the hip-hop world — click above to watch Busta Rhymes ask for his autograph and introduce him to Lil' Wayne. Once Rosenberg gets used to living in New York, there won't be much wrong with this self-titled nerd's life. "I wouldn't mind moving to the Upper West Side," he told us. "I want quiet … I never realized I liked it until I moved here." —Monica Herrera

Related: Hot 97 Outsources Its Talent [NYM]