There are benefits to your news network not hosting a presidential debate. Just look at NBC's "Meet the Press" host David Gregory. Instead of fully focusing on politics, Gregory engaged in a hip-hop tweet-a-thon during Monday night's New Hampshire debate, inspired by those "this-or-that" questions CNN's John King was asking the Republican field.
"So in the '90s there was this rap group called Black Sheep and they did a song called 'This or That,'" Gregory explained to Yeas & Nays, rapping a few bars of the song. "So I just started having fun with that idea of comparing them with a Tribe Called Quest — similar genre, early 90s, you know, that was the beginning era of gangsta rap, but these guys were different."
Gregory had tweeted "question not asked in this or that: Black Sheep or Tribe Called Quest. Who gets the reference?" And the flood gates opened. His Twitter followers tweeted back lyrics, Gregory started tweeting lyrics by Special Ed, another hip-hop artist and NBC's Chuck Todd eventually relented that he would never be able to beat his colleague in hip-hop trivia.
Growing up in Los Angeles, the veteran broadcaster listened to artists like the Sugar Hill Gang, Kool Moe Dee and others.
"A lot of suburban white kids like me were into that stuff," Gregory said, though noting that he was never really into the "nasty stuff."
As for Monday night's off-the-cuff lyric-fest, Gregory considered it a success.
"The thing about social media, too, is that you realize the more personal is sometimes really the better," Gregory said. "They don't expect to hear all that stuff from me, it's not like I'm going to do a segment on early 90s rap on 'Meet the Press.'"