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.


Now it seems Keef is managed by a team. It’s Dro, Mike and his uncle?
It’s always been a team. The thing about it is this: We are really managing everybody collectively. You got Keef. You got the whole Glo Gang. Fredo [Santana], he’s doing Savage Squad, which is separate. Right now, I am very hands-on with Keef because we are in L.A. He’s been out here doing his rehab for the last three months. I’m the hands-on dude right now, but at a time I might fall back. We always all working on things. One way or another. I’m really the one that handles the creative shit. The branding. All of those. Like approving looks or videos.

Keef’s been in rehab. He’s coming out sometime in February. How’s his mindframe right now?
His mindframe is, he had time to kind of sit. He’s out here in a completely different environment. His rehab is in a private facility in Newport, run by this dude named Warren. He handles all the big celebrities. He did Robert Downey, Jr. Whitney Houston. He’s doing his rehab at this place. In his backyard, when he looks out back, it’s the Pacific Ocean. The beach is right there. It’s the most beautiful thing. In the nighttime, you could just hear the water, the waves. The water just roaring at night. It’s awesome.

I’m glad he’s able to have these experiences being around different people. He got to hang out with Denzel Washington’s sons. He got to hang out with Laurence Fishburne. Like, real affluent important people have stopped by and chopped it up with him. It’s great to see the support and I think his mindframe...he’s 18! People forget that all the time. But I think he is assuming the role and responsibility more as far as having to be a leader of only of his circle. Kind of just thinking twice. He’s still spontaneous. He’s gonna do what he wants when it comes to putting up his Twitter posts and Instagram or whatever. He’s ready to get out of here, drop this album.

How has he progressed as a rapper?
I wasn’t as satisfied with what I heard. Bang 2 and Almighty So. They had their songs on there that I liked, but overall as a collective body of work I wasn’t satisfied. However, one thing that I think his fans and people have to keep in mind is Keef is an artistê. [Laughs] Not just an artist, but an artistê. He is that by all means. He is so fucking creative. So many people have just came and ran with his style, with the flow, the cadence, the voice. The beat selection. Everything. He stepped into an area that artistês step into, which is. “OK, I’ma try something different. I'ma come with something new.” Actually, what you are hearing on those projects, is him trying a few different things. Actually kind of hearing the creative process and as it moves forward. And now, with this new project Bang 3, I think people will hear his progression in addition to those elements that they wanted to hear from Finally Rich and Back From The Dead. That shit is all present in his new joint.

Do you view yourself as a mentor for Keef?
Definitely. It’s a mentor role for me overall. If Keef ain’t talking to me for a couple of weeks or whatever reason, it’s always known that I have a presence in his life and in his career. And he will call me or need my help for something or my advice. That’s a great feeling at the end of the world. This kid is one of the main centerpieces and focal points of society right now. It don’t matter if you are talking about rap. He has ascended the point of being a big rapper. He’s an icon in culture.