Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV’s “Drink Champs,” which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly “Drink Champs” episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.
Peedi Crakk made his second appearance on “Drink Champs” this week and kicked it with longtime friend N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN to talk about his tumultuous journey. Making his entrance in the game as a late addition to the State Property lineup, Peedi quickly made a name for himself with his distinct delivery and fluid flow. Standout showings on State Property’s Chain Gang album and a heavy buzz on the mixtape circuit boosted his stock even further, granting him an invitation from JAY-Z to join the revamped Roc-A-Fella stable following Hov’s split from Dame Dash. However, a string of set backs, including beef with his former benefactor turned foe, would put the Peedi’s future as an artist in question and on the brink of obscurity. Having decided to dead any and all beef, pick up the pieces, and move forward, the rapper is currently back in the swing of things, touring with the rest of State Property while preparing to finally make good on his potential.
To help give fans a recap of the conversation, REVOLT compiled a list of seven things we learned from the Peedi Crakk episode of “Drink Champs.” Take a look at them below.
1. On How Each Section of Philly Has Its Own Flavor
One topic that arose during Peedi’s visit with the “Drink Champs” was the distinction between different sections of Philadelphia and how the residents are all unique in their own right. “To give you an idea, West Philly from North Philly would almost be the equivalent of driving from Manhattan to Brooklyn,” Peedi explains. “It’s close enough, but you ain’t walking, the separation is further enough for niggas to be different here. It’s a West Philly nigga, and then it’s South Philly niggas, and it really means something. To somebody else, Philly niggas is Philly niggas. But to us, ‘That’s a South Philly nigga,’ or ‘Yo, that nigga from West [Philly].’ It’s a big difference.”
2. His Introduction To Hip Hop
When asked what led him to become involved with hip hop, Peedi credits his uncle with introducing him. ”My uncle, he was around, [he was] about a teenager,” he shares. “So, as I’m a kid, he’s running around the house, going to high school and shit, and he’s listening to all of the dope shit. Buying all of the sneaks, the Patrick Ewings and all of that. So, I’m absorbing what he’s doing. You know how it’s like your big brother [influencing you], my uncle was like my big brother. So, I’m listening to Run DMC shit and Slick Rick and all of that. So after a while, I got my own radio and he would start lending me tapes.”
3. His Earliest Rap Influences
While rap captured Peedi’s attention, the idea of it being a viable career path wouldn’t become real until he witnessed a crew of rappers from his neighborhood enjoying success. “This is one of the main reasons I think that made me feel a little bit that I could do it myself ‘cause before it was just niggas on TV,” Peedi explains. “I was like, ‘Yo, I like that, but I don’t think I can do that.’ All of them niggas is from New York, nobody’s from Philly. I’ve never seen a real rapper in person. It was like they wasn’t even real people to me until it was some group called Tuff Crew from North Philly. They had a bit hit, “My Part of Town,” and they was right from my hood. So, when they got signed, they all bought all these Suzuki Sidekicks and that’s when they was the shit. The little box joints, so they had a black one, a white one, a red one. So, we would always wait to see the Suzuki Sidekick and it would come through the block and I would see them. So now, it was real to me and I just started feeling like, ‘Yo, I wanna do that.’”
4. The Status of His Relationship With Oschino
Peedi’s first appearance on “Drink Champs” came alongside former State Property member and fellow Philly native Oschino, who’s become at odds with a number of members from the group. However, Peedi has since distanced himself from his former group-mate, which he discusses during his conversation with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN. “Around that time, that was when I was keeping it just regular with everybody,” Peedi says in reference to his relationship with the rest of the crew. “O had a big issue with a couple of members out the group. But, at the end of the day, I still have mad love for O, mad love for the group and I’m just feeling like it was gonna brush over or whatever. I really didn’t give a fuck. I’m like, ‘O’s my man, so you work that out with them and I’ma still gonna be me. I thought it was we could go places like here, and he can feel the way he feel, and I feel what I feel, and we not just both here barking. You’re like, ‘Oh, that’s how O feel? Crakk, how you feel?’ I’m like, ‘Yo, I don’t feel that way, but that’s how he feel, I respect it’ and let it be that. But then, after a while, it just started getting out of hand a little bit I think. The friction online and all that. And I think we did another show after that and then, he got into that again with them a little bit and I’m just like, ‘Yo, to each his own. O, if you feel that, I’ma let you feel that way, I ain’t gonna continue to keep doing this.’”
5. On Discovering Black Thought Was A Fan of His Music
Receiving props on your rhyme skills from one of the most revered lyricists of all time is an honor bestowed to only the most talented emcees. Peedi was afforded this experience from the one and only Black Thought, who he considers one of the best to ever do it. “One time, Black Thought spit my verse for me,” Peedi reveals. “And Black Thought [has] always been a rap god in the world. But one day, I had a show and I was getting out the car getting ready to go into this show and in the parking lot, he was dolo. He was walking. I looked at him, I’m like ‘Yo, what the fuck are you doing down here?’ I ain’t think he was going to my shit. He was like, ‘Yo, I came to see you, man.’ I’m like, ‘Oh shit!’ He was like, ‘Crakk, you know what my shit was?’ and he spit a verse to a freestyle and he knew every word.”
6. Why He Feels He Never Fulfilled His Star Potential
At the apex of his career, the rapper was positioned to become a bonafide star and help spearhead the second incarnation of Roc-A-Fella Records. However, a number of false starts and personal turmoil derailed those aspirations, which Peedi takes full accountability for. “To be honest with you, I think I was overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed with money and just feeding into a certain type of culture ‘cause around the time that we got on, they gave us too much money at that age, and that was around the time that drinking syrup was out. Smoking wet and just getting real fucked up. It was a real get fucked up era. So, it’s crazy ‘cause I tell niggas I used to do shit ten times more than the average nigga ‘cause we had more money and even with the money, we go somewhere and everything was free. We ain’t even have to spend no money.”
7. The Backstory Behind His Appearance on Ne-Yo’s Debut Single
In addition to his guest verses on various projects from State Property, Peedi made a big splash with his appearance on then unknown crooner Ne-Yo’s single “Stay With Me,” which helped launch the superstar’s decorated career. The MC gave insight into how the collaboration came about. “It wasn’t even a call,” he recalls. “I was in a meeting with JAY and then TyTy had slid his head in, and looked in the office, and was just like, ‘Yo, Crakk, I need [to] holla at you. I got this artist.’ Nobody had heard of ‘em, but he was doing some shit, though. He was writing mad shit, we just didn’t know. He was like, ‘He about to drop an album, this nigga hot. I need a verse right now.’ So I’m like, ‘Aight, cool.’ I’m like, ‘Bet, just print me the CD up.’ He’s like, ‘No, ain’t no CD. I need you to do it right now. We about to go to the studio.’ So we walked... we went to the stu, they threw on one track. Guru was there, too. Guru was waiting and it was just me and my manager at the time. He threw on one track, I ain’t like that. It was cool, it was alright. But, the second one was the “Stay With Me” joint. They left me and Guru there, and we knocked it out, and I ain’t think nothing of it.”