Peedi Peedi: Extra Husky Part One

The chances of getting offered a major recording contract without spitting one bar seem like zero to none but Pedro Zayas surprisingly beat those odds. Formerly known as Peedi Crakk, Peedi Peedi got scooped after a chance meeting in 2002; proclaiming himself “Prince Of The Roc” after quickly getting comfy at his new Roc-A-Fella Records home. Known for his rapid fire flows and irregular cadence, Peedi gained instant notoriety with show stealing features and his own quarterbacked State Property posse cut “One 4 For Peedi.” Ask him now though if diamonds are still forever, and you might get a mixed reaction from this Philadelphia bull.

Five years later, the dynasty has split up, friends eventually turned foes, and still no debut album. In what Peedi considers his “livest interview of his career,” covers all bases in a two-part look at Philadelphia’s next possible star. We discuss his come up, the inner workings of the in-house meltdown at the Roc’ and who’s on his list. Just be glad it’s not you. So let’s start at the beginning, how did you get into rapping?

Peedi Peedi: What’s crazy is I never really thought I was nice when I was young. I didn’t want to rap in front of n***as, because I didn’t know what n***as would think. I used to write in school, I think I started writing when I was probably about 11 or 12 years old. I used to keep it myself and my partner which is Freeway’s cousin, Indy 500 he used to do the beatbox for me when I used to spit my little raps. And he always was telling me “You should spit, Crakk!” Then slowly, I started battling n***as in school, battling n***as coming from home. I used to battle n***as on the corner and s**t like that. And after a while, I was murdering n***as everywhere I went. That s**t stopped being coincidental. I wasn’t losing nowhere. Everybody was asking to bring out the Puerto Rican n***a; talking about me. I used to rap fast as s**t – like the Fu-Schnickens and s**t. So when you started rapping, you rhymed really fast, when did it evolve to that switched up broken flow that you are known for?

Peedi Peedi: To be honest with you, I never had a particular flow. Like I would say this is my flow right, or I’m going to use this flow right there. I never had one particular flow. So I just ride the beat. So when Freeway started bubbling, you were actually locked up right?

Peedi Peedi: Yeah, I was booked and it was crazy, like everybody was telling me like “Your man is out there f**king with them [Roc-A-Fella] boys.” I’m listening to the radio like. “Get the f**k out of here.” Around the “1-900-HUSTLER” time, I came home and Freeway started introducing me to Beans, Sparks and Oschino; so I start connecting with them. I used to see Beans driving around in a Bentley, and Beans used to be like “That’s Free’s homey.” So how was it like spitting for Beans that first time? He was like the Mayor of Philadelphia then. Were you nervous?

Peedi Peedi: [For] some odd reason, I wasn’t really nervous rhyming for Beans. I was more nervous rhyming for [Jay-Z]. It was easy to rhyme in front of Beans because when I spit and start talking that North Philly s**t, he could relate to it. So as soon as I start spitting he automatically started getting excited. I could see the look on his face. So I heard that word got back to Dame about you shortly after right?

Peedi Peedi: I just did a track called “How Many N***as Going To Ride For Me” with [Oschino and Sparks] and they took it up to Dame Dash. They weren’t in New York; they were in Miami working on the soundtrack to State Property. While they’re working on that, they called me telling me that they let Dame hear the joint, and he liked me, but they couldn’t do anything until they got back because they were working on soundtrack. The next day Sparks called me and was like, “You know what Crakk, if you can get a ticket out to Miami, you can stay with us,” because Dame gave all of them their own apartments out in Miami. So I called my management and told them what Sparks just told me and they called me back in five minutes and were like, “Pack your bags,” and I was on the next plane out to Miami. This is the first time I’ve been on a plane [in my life]. That’s the first time I’ve been out of North Philly. What was Miami like?

Peedi Peedi: [The first] night they had to go to the studio and when we get there, the whole State Property [is] there, and Dame playing pool. I’m not trying to be all in his face, so I just do me. Beans calls me over to him and he introduces me to Dame. So Dame is like excuse us for a second, and he takes me out in the hallway. Dame is like “Listen, I heard the song you did with O and Sparks and when I heard the s**t I’m wondering why the f**k you aren’t down with me? If you don’t mind, my n***a, I would love to make you part of my family.” I couldn’t believe it; that blew my head off! So that was your first day in Miami?

Peedi Peedi: Yeah, that was my first day in Miami; I just got there! So I got in my first video for Beans “Think It’s A Game.” That was fun as hell. Anyway I get back home and I still can’t believe it. I get with my management [FNL Management] and I tell them we need to bust a move real quick. I gave Dame their number and Dame contacted them. I didn’t even have a lawyer, so I got a lawyer. So my lawyer calls me and is like, “[Are] you ready? I think you may want to sit down. I just got a contract in the mail from Roc-A-Fella Records, and they just sent 65 G’s for you so come to my office right now.” It was unbelievable; it was like winning the lottery. That must have felt like a million dollars to you.

Peedi Peedi: N***a what? I Gucci’d my aunt the f**k up. I blew [10,000 dollars] out the gate on the way home. I went straight to the jeweler and went straight bananas. Like on the drive home, 10 g’s just vanished!. Right after you get signed, you dropped “Fall Back” which gets hot on the East Coast. What did Roc-A-Fella tell you in regards to your project?

Peedi Peedi: They didn’t tell me s**t! They told me to go to Baseline Studios and just record. I did the “One 4 Peedi Crakk” joint, and they weren’t really f**king with it a Roc-A-Fella. Me and Cam’ron had a nice little relationship and he wanted to that song over. He was like, “I want to do that with you, so give me that beat, like I’m do that shit over.” So the first version of “One 4 Peedi” has Cam’ron, Juelz and Beanie with you?

Peedi Peedi: Sparks was on it too, but they took his verse off there. Check it, when I laid it I seen Cam’ron at Baseline Studios. It was everybody, Cam’ron, Dipset, State Property, the whole s**t was together. I laid my verse and [Cam’ron] was like, “Yo, I’m going to lay my s**t, just leave the beat in there, I got you.” So I leave and I go to the hotel, and the next day, I come back he already laid his verse and Juelz got on it too. I was flipping. I liked the s**t, but I let Jay hear it and he was like, “Nah. Yo, take them n***as off that s**t.” So it was Jay-Z who nixed Cam and Juelz off the song?

Peedi Peedi: Nah, I’m bugging. He didn’t say take Cam off that s**t, he said to take Juelz off of it. He wasn’t hating; Jay felt Juelz didn’t do his thing on there. And when Cam’ron heard that Jay took Juelz off the s**t, Cam was like “Yo, Crakk, you my n***a and I f**ks with you, but I got to take my verse off there too.” How did you feel about seeing the original version of your song on the same mixtape where they were going so hard at Nas?

Peedi Peedi: At the time, it was none of my concern. I was just happy he put my joint on his mixtape. Check it though, I go to pick up the copy and go take it to Miami with me. And to keep it 100% with you, because this is the livest interview I’ve done, this is around the time Dame was trying to make Cam a vice president. When I got to Miami, and Cam called me again; he was like “Yo, you know Dame is making me a vice president, and all my crew f**ks with you. If Roc-A-Fella bulls**tting around with you, you got a spot over here with the Diplomats. So if they playing with you, you can come over there with Dipset.” He was saying that he could get me out my contract with Roc-A-Fella and everything. So Dame offers Cam the VP spot at the Roc, to me that’s when all the tension between Dame and Jay was obvious. What was your perspective on it?

Peedi Peedi: I really didn’t have any say so about it. I was like the newest n***a there, so I didn’t have no leeway to say anything. I just had to play my position; I let the bosses handle that s**t. There was a lot of tension, I don’t think Jay appreciated what Dame was trying to do. Jay kind of went astray when Dame started pulling [in] the Diplomats and Cam’ron and all of that. So then you got on Freeway’s single “Flipside” which was a big hit.

Peedi Peedi: That’s when my s**t really started to get popping. That joint hit the radio and they wanted to do a video. They were like, “Yo Crakk, you better get ready and do some pushups!” Then you get locked up, right?

Peedi Peedi: I got caught with the hammer, and I was already on the run. So they hit me with 23 months, but I only did eight months of it. I had to go into county for eight months, so that paused my career. But when I get home I automatically get on Beans album [The B-Coming]. So when you got back home did you notice any changes within Roc-A-Fella?

Peedi Peedi: Yeah, I had a talk with [Memphis] Bleek one day. I didn’t know anything. Bleek was like “You don’t know, they about to break up.” He was like “Beans didn’t put you on and tell you?” I said, Nah, he was telling me they were about to sell the company. I don’t know the specifics of what went down, I just knew that the s**t was about to crumble and I had to get it together before it’s too late. Then just like he said, it happened. Dame came at me with an opportunity asking me if I want to stay with them [Dame Dash Music Group], but at the time I wasn’t happy with them. I wasn’t happy working with Beans or Dame. Why?

Peedi Peedi: I didn’t think he was conducting the State Property movement right. I didn’t think he was doing it fairly. It was no-one getting paid of none of that. Him and Dame were just making money off the clothing, and the movie, and the albums. But they weren’t cutting any checks for us, and I wasn’t feeling that. So let me get this straight, you weren’t seeing a red cent from the clothing ads, or the movies?

Peedi Peedi: Not a red cent! Even though I wasn’t in the movies, how about the rest of the team? Them n***as didn’t get paid from them movies. I was still f**king with Beans as my homey, he still my man, but as far as business wise it wasn’t looking too good. I just wasn’t feeling it.

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