It’s always great to see someone that’s on his or her grind. Nowadays it seems like it’s more of a necessity as opposed to a rare feat, so let’s hear from someone who is definitely not a stranger to the world of hustling: Peter Rosenberg of Hot 97’s assistant- “hip hop” Mike.
Everyone has a past so before you got into this position, what were you doing?
Before working with Rosenberg I was cutting hair at a barbershop in Brooklyn. I was also working at a pizzeria and a pharmacy, all at the same time. Just trying to pay rent and put gas in the car pretty much. Always been a jack-of-all-trades.
How did you get the opportunity to be Peter Rosenberg’s assistant and how long have you been in this position?
This one’s actually crazy. I’ve been his assistant for maybe five years and it all started with MySpace. I grew up listening to the Hot 97 mixtapes so when MySpace came out I sent everyone that was on air a message. I basically said how much I love music and wanted to work doing whatever I could just to be around the people I was listening to everyday. Rosenberg actually wrote back and told me not to give up on my goals and to figure out exactly what I wanted to do since I was so young (about 14/15).
As I got older I would constantly call the station trying to win tickets and was able to get passes for Rock the Bells a few years. I guess luck was on my side because Peter hosted the festival and we would always run into each other. Even though he remembered me and I’d ask to work, he’d push me to go to college focusing and on broadcasting in the hopes of being offered an internship. I tried unsuccessfully at college and dropped out three times, I’ve never been a fan of school! So I went back to working and luckily ran into Rosenberg again at Rock the Bells. I told him I tried college and hated it but begged him to let me work. This time he told me to email him to see if there’s something he could do.
I emailed him but got no response for weeks until one day when he hit me up asking if I was free to give him a ride and talk some more. He had a party to do and told me to bring some hot chicks if I wanted. The next day I was at my friend Joey’s apartment in Brooklyn and was about to go meet Rosenberg in my mom’s hoopty with no chicks. Joey said good luck but asked me if I could drop off something to his sister on my way. She was there with her friend so naturally was like “y’all want to come to a party with me?” They agreed but on the condition that we take a new car his sister’s friend had just gotten. What luck right?! Rosenberg got in the back of the new car after seeing the girl driving, looked at me and literally said, “I fuck with you”. The rest is history.
What was/is the best thing Peter taught you?
Literally everything that guy does I learn from. Watching Peter and his brother Nick I’ve learned to carry myself a certain way and to respect everyone no matter how big or small in addition to always paying attention to detail. I’ve also learned there’s a lot more to life then running around the streets and how it’s important to set and achieve goals. Pete’s taught me to DJ and clean music for the radio as well as how to produce and host shows. Honestly, I could go on for days about all the things I’ve learned from him, his family, and everyone around him.
What was/is the best thing you learned on your own through this experience?
I’ve definitely learned how to get things done without having to be asked. This job keeps you on your toes a lot and Rosenberg constantly has a million things to do so I learned early that anything that needed to be done, I just do. Whether that meant having clippers ready to cut his hair, taking the phone at his birthday show, or delegating who gets what tickets without bothering him, it’s got to be done.
What do you hope to do for others while you have this platform?
No matter what I do or wherever I go, anyway I can help people I always will. Whether it’s giving a haircut, teaching the studio boards or supporting their music I’ll always do what I can. We have an incredible team here at Hot 97and I feel like there’s still so much to learn. I think no matter what Rosenberg and I will always be busy working on new stuff. So far I’ve been given so many opportunities and I’m curious to see what the future holds.
Lastly, if you could give some advice to those who want to be assistants to the star(s), what would you tell them?
Work hard and surround yourself with people you want to be like. For example, if you put yourself around 10 people in radio, you’re bound to be the 11th. Also, it’s important to always do the right thing by people in general and always go above and beyond what’s expected of you. Bottom line: personally and professionally, just be a good person and work hard.
Follow Hip Hop Mike on IG @HipHop_Mike