Peter Rosenberg: It was at least an hour until I made it to the main stage, and when I made it to the main stage I saw Ebro. He was like, "Hey, did something happen?" I didn’t know what he was talking about. He was like, "Something is happening." I looked at Twitter. I was going to look at my @s. I wasn’t even going to look at trends. When I went to the main page, I saw my name under the trends. I was like, "Oh shit." That’s how I found it was a big deal.
Ebro: I’m not looking at my phone. People had to tell me what was happening.
Mister Cee: It was so confusing. Us DJs were getting reports through Twitter and Instagram what was going on with Nicki, but we weren’t getting official word from Ebro or anyone in the back. The madness of her not touching down and the whole Cash Money pulling out and Wayne giving the order that nobody from Cash Money can get on stage. Flex then went into his rant on stage. Nothing compares to that madness.
DJ Khaled: It wasn’t even so much that with the stuff that was going on. It was so much going on backstage, and the schedules kept changing. At the same time, I felt like I’d rather just fall back. It wasn’t so much I was getting the political stuff, it was like, I’m confused at this point. I'm one of those guys in the game who want everyone to have love. I was really back there like, instead of rushing the set and scrambling last minute because there was so much going on backstage. Summer Jam you have to remember, you only have a certain amount of time on that stage, so I didn’t want to go out there and have my set cut off because everything was moving—the schedule was changing up. I’m not going to compromise what I put together. Nah, it got to be right. I was just trying to make it all love. I had shit up my sleeve that set and didn’t get a chance to do it. It was going to be another 2010 moment. It was one of them type of vibes. I had Future, I had MOP, I had Raekwon and Meth. Who else? Man, I had so people I forgot. I had so many people ready to come out with me, and the thing is I was in that 2010 mode, and it was going to be back to back with classics and my records. It was going to be crazy. But we didn’t get a chance to perform.
Ebro: We had planned for Nicki to have special guests. Nas was supposed to come out with Nicki and Lauryn Hill was supposed to come out with Nicki. So you were supposed to have Nicki, Nas, and Lauryn Hill on the stage at the same time, and that would have been a big moment. That was the plan. I already had Nas and Lauryn at the show. When Nicki didn’t perform Nas graciously did an impromptu performance, and Lauryn Hill came out and fucking shook the building. People was in there crying and shit. The Nicki Minaj incident lived on afterwards because of blogs clamoring for a headline, but in the moment in that building, we might have gotten 20 complaints from ticket buyers about Nicki not being there because they got Lauryn Hill and they got Nas. In their mind they were like, shit, Nicki wasn’t there, but we got Lauryn Hill.
Dennis Rivera: No matter what Rosenberg said, her fans were there to see her. She stopped her show for one guy. We were all excited to see her. The fans were excited to see her. She should have handled it differently.
Ebro: If you listen to the audio what he said wasn’t that serious: He didn’t like "Starships," so what? Everyone in hip-hop hated the song. The song was made for Top 40, it wasn’t for hip-hop. It wasn’t like a slight on her rapping ability. Nobody said anything about her rapping ability, her appearance, anything in her personal life, none of that, it was fuck that song.
DJ Enuff: A part of me wants to have Rosenberg’s back because I know what he stands for. I know the kind of DJ he is and the kind of music he represents with his radio show. At the same time, I understand Nicki. Here we are asking Nicki Minaj to perform at our own concert and one of our DJs kind of like throws a jab at her at the actual concert. I don't know. To me it’s a little bit of bad business.
Mister Cee: I understand her point, man. When you are one of the only key female rappers in this industry and you are one of the only key rappers period and you have someone saying something about you in a disrespectful way in your own hometown—this is her backyard, this is where she’s from. I think if someone said this at another concert somewhere else she wouldn’t have reacted as much, but this is her own backyard. I was mad at Rosenberg about it. I don't blame her for being upset. The only people that I kind of blame is management and the record label for handling the situation a little better so at least Nicki could have still been able to perform. At the end of the day, you are there for the fans. You can still say, "Fuck Hot 97," after you get off stage. There are more people there that paid money to see Nicki, than people who paid money for Hot 97. From a professional standpoint, I feel like her team and management should have gotten her on that stage and then deal with the consequences afterwards. She had every right to be upset.
Peter Rosenberg: There was no sense that, "Oh, this is going to cause a stir." It was literally, to use a wrestling analogy, a cheap pop. It was just playing to the crowd, that’s it. Yes, it was something I really felt, but I only said it because I was thinking about that crowd in particular agreeing with it. It wasn’t at all like something that felt seriously controversial. I’ve said way crazier things on stage before.
Ebro: Relationships are built on good and bad moments, and never once did we consider not playing Young Money’s music because of that moment or firing Rosenberg or not supporting Nicki. We knew it was a fucked up scenario, and we worked to fix it.