Idris “Peeda Pan” Abdul Wahid has worn many hats since managing Chicago’s recent success story Chief Keef. Peeda got into the music industry as a rapper who participated in cyphers in the streets of Philadelphia and Chicago. Later on in his career, the 32-year-old hung up his mic for good and moved out to Miami to take advantage of the nightlife by hosting exclusive parties. While building his name in the scene, he saw a few rappers from back in Chicago that were bubbling and ready to burst into the mainstream. One of them was Keef, who was gaining traction from his “Bang” video. Peeda was sold on Keef’s talent and immediately wanted to connect with him.
Peeda’s been with Keef since the first time he watched “Bang”‘s intense video posted back in August 2011. “Nobody was putting bangers in their videos like that back then,” he says of “Bang.” “Niggas was scared. ‘Yo, if I put guns in my videos, I’m gonna get locked up.’ He didn’t give a fuck.”
That rawness he found in Keef was something Peeda banked on when plotting to transform him into hip-hop’s most explosive prodigy. Supported by a legion of fans similar to his age, the 18-year-old teenager has put out a major label debut, Finally Rich, worked with Kanye West, and has sparked controversy for his feuds with other rappers. If that doesn’t sum up Keef’s likability, then add his Instagram and Twitter feeds, where fans find him posting things he does like with his unfiltered personality.
Currently, Peeda operates Keef’s Glo Gang, while members of Glory Boys Entertainment have branched off with their own independent labels. For the future of Keef and his boys, Peeda believes they are ready to take over the game and to continue expanding into a bigger conglomerate. Just moments after finishing up a meeting with Crooks And Castles, he discusses meeting Keef for the first time, Keef’s rehab stint, the progression of Sosa as a rapper, and being a mentor for the young rap icon.—Eric Diep
XXL: How did you get your start in the music industry?
Peeda Pan: Initially, I was a rapper myself back in the day. I grew up in Philly; even there I came up just doing cyphers and shit like that. I was real heavy in the scene. I grew up between Philly and Chicago, so when I was in Philly I be spitting with cats like Cassidy. This is back when I was 15 or 16. I be in Chicago, you catch me in Chicago in a cypher with Lupe or somebody like that. Again, this is from a young age. I was already one of those young cats that was already into the music and developing an ear, which I am using now to take out and use as my criteria for what good music is.
How did you meet Chief Keef?
I first just stumbled on him. I was living in Miami doing parties. The music shit was just calling me. At the time, there was a lot of artists that were starting to pop in Chicago like King Louie. I just started to do my homework on who else was starting to make a name for themselves. Sosa’s name came up a few times. This is before anyone knew who he was. “Bang” was out, the video, it was maybe like 10 or 20,000 views. Something like that. No one really knew. I stumbled on this video. I watched this video for like an hour straight. I just sat there. Out all those views that shit had, I might have had 1,000 of them. I just sat and it was to the point where my girl was like, “Yo, what the fuck is wrong with you nigga? What are you doing?” She thought I was watching a porno or some shit. I was just stuck to the screen. From that moment, I really believed in him.
You moved from Miami to return to Chicago. How did you get in contact with him?
I reached out to him through several other people. Then a good friend of mine, Dro, called me. Now this is crazy because I didn’t call Dro. I reached out to all these other people. Dro calls me and says, “Yo, I got an artist. I need your help with him because I know you know what to do.” And listen, my right hand to God. I said, “Is his name Chief Keef?” He said, “Yes.” And that was it. That’s all I needed to see. It’s funny because sometimes you are looking for something and it comes to you anyway. It’s inevitable. That’s kind of the situation that took place. When I see signs like that, when I am looking for something and it comes to me from a whole other direction, there’s no question. This is what I need to be allocating my time towards [and] my energy. I was looking for something new to start working on. It made all the sense in the world to me.