Rosenberg was born and raised in Chevy Chase, Maryland, to a Capitol Hill staffer father and public school teacher mother, and he attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.< He describes his upbringing as "a very jewish, upper middle class, regular suburban life." He was introduced to hip hop by his older brother, and has also cited popular songs such as "Parents Just Don't Understand" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince as early influences. Visiting his grandparents in Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York, US, he was influenced by radio shows hosted by DJ Red Alert and Marley Marl. He obtained his first set of turntables at the age of 14 years.
In the summer before his freshman year at the University of Maryland, Rosenberg started hosting a late-night underground hip hop show, From Dusk 'Til Dawn, on campus radio station WMUC-FM. His initial DJ name was "PMD," an acronym for "Peter From Maryland" (a name given to him by Marley Marl while winning a contest on Marl's radio show). After graduating from college, Rosenberg performed as a DJ at a variety of radio stations in the DC area, including WPGC, WHFS and on talk radio at WJFK-FM. He began making online parody videos, which were seen by the soon-to-be program manager of New York's Hot 97 Ebro Darden, and these led to his 2007 hiring at the radio station.
Rosenberg hosts the weekday morning show, The Hot 97 Morning Show, on Hot 97 from 6 to 10 a.m. Ebro and Laura Stylez. They play contemporary hip hop and R&B tracks, interview musicians, and discuss music, relationships, sex and race in a straightforward style. He also hosts Real Late With Rosenberg on Sunday nights on Hot 97, and he and Cipha Sounds co-host the podcast Juan Epstein, which has featured guests such as Jay-Z, Eminem, Rick Ross and Pusha T. Hot 97 is the most listened-to hip hop station in New York City and Rosenberg has said that he dreamed of being on the station as a child.
Rosenberg is also known for supporting and introducing the public to up-and-coming New York rap artists. He was the first media personality to interview rapper Earl Sweatshirt after he returned in 2012 from a nearly two-year hiatus in Samoa. In an April 2014 New Yorker piece on Rosenberg, he explained: "Since I have a foot in both worlds, an artist can play me three tracks, and I can go, ‘This one only hip-hop heads like me will appreciate. This one could be big, but it’s corny. But this one could reach a lot of people, without you sacrificing who you are.’"
After becoming mayor of New York City in 2014, Bill de Blasio's first appearance for the traditional Friday morning mayoral radio appearance was a phone interview with Rosenberg and Ebro on The Hot 97 Morning Show.
Since 2009, Rosenberg has hosted a YouTube series called Wrestling With Rosenberg series where he has interviewed professional wrestlers including WWE Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and Jesse Ventura.
On December 19, 2009, Rosenberg served as a guest commentator for Ring of Honor's (ROH) Final Battle 2009 pay-per-view. He has also appeared for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).
In late 2013, he began co-hosting a podcast called Cheap Heat with Grantland wrestling journalist David Shoemaker.
In February 2015, he appeared on WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin's podcast.
Rosenberg hosted Hip Hop Squares on MTV2 for both of its two seasons. The show, which aired from May 22, 2012, to December 18, 2012, was based on the tic-tac-toe game show Hollywood Squares. It featured a rotating cast of rappers, DJ's, comedians, and sports and TV personalities as the nine squares on the board.
Rosenberg is the host of Noisemakers, a hip hop interview series that began in 2008. Past guests include Nas, DJ Premier and Diddy. Interviews take place primarily at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan. The series has been described as a hip hop version of Inside the Actor's Studio.
In June 2013, he began hosting a new original video series on Complex TV. On The Process, he interviews new and established hip hop artists about their songwriting approach. The first episode's guest was Raekwon. Other subjects include Prodigy, Schoolboy Q, Azealia Banks, Future and Goodie Mob.
Rosenberg throws an annual summer concert, Peterpalooza, in celebration of his birthday. The first took place at the Best Buy Theater in Manhattan in 2012, and featured performances from Odd Future, Raekwon, Asher Roth, Nitty Scott and Smoke DZA. The second, at Williamsburg Park in Brooklyn in 2013, featured performances from Schoolboy Q, Meek Mill, Odd Future, Fabolous and World's Fair.
After Rosenberg implied on the small stage at Hot 97's Summer Jam 2012 concert that Nicki Minaj's pop single "Starships" was not "real hip-hop", Minaj, the concert's scheduled headliner, withdrew from the concert. Rosenberg declined to apologize, clarifying that his comments were not meant as an attack on Minaj, and that she is "inherently hip hop… it’s just that 'Starships' is definitely not." Minaj was replaced on the bill by Nas and Lauryn Hill.
On May 28, 2013, nearly a year after the dispute began, Minaj appeared as a guest on Rosenberg's Hot 97 morning show. The two made up, with Rosenberg apologizing and noting that he doesn't have anything against Minaj personally. Minaj allowed that in hindsight, she should not have canceled her performance, but she was miffed at the time due to her lack of familiarity with Rosenberg. A week after appearing on Hot 97, Minaj joined 2 Chainz at Summer Jam 2013, performing two songs with the rapper.
Rosenberg has released two official mixtapes. The first was What's Poppin' Vol. 1 in 2011, more than half of the rappers on the tape were from New York. Artists include Action Bronson, The Kid Daytona, Skyzoo, Raekwon, Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown, J. Cole, Odd Future and Sugar Tongue Slim. In April 2013, he released his second official mixtape, The New York Renaissance, with new music from A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Flatbush Zombies, Troy Ave, Smoke DZA and others. He voiced the intro for Rick Ross's 2012 mixtape The Black Bar Mitzvah. He also made an appearance on the track "Sincerely Yours" from Little Brother's sophomore album The Minstrel Show.Mixtapes
What's Poppin' Vol. 1 (2011)
The New York Renaissance (2013)
Rosenberg is Jewish and married to sportscaster Alexa Datt. They live on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, New York, US. In regard to his affection for hip hop music, Rosenberg stated in an April 2014 interview: "I will go toe to toe with almost anyone in terms of knowledge, trivia, and love of this music."