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Only Slim could tell this story and make the reader feel it. If you thought Hustle & Flow was the true pimp story, this book is where it all began. This is the heyday of the pimp, the hard-won pride and glory, small though it may be; the beginnings of pimp before it was dragged in front of the camera, before pimp juice and pimp style. Though it is a tale of his times, it will remain current and true for as long as there is a race bias, as long as there is a street life, as long as there is exploitation.
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By Darwin8u on 06-02-18
Any good pimp is his own best company
"Any good pimp is his own best company. His inner-life is so rich with cunning and scheming to out-think his whores."
- Iceberg Slim, Pimp: The Story of My Life
Iceberg Slim dances on that thread between unapologetic and remorseful. He loves and hates his mama. He loves and hates the game. This isn't a book you read because you want eroticism. This isn't Les Miserables. There isn't much at the end that redeems the story or the storyteller. HOWEVER, Iceberg Slim can write. His narrative is sharp. His stories are fascinating. His impact is large. Published in 1969, this book presented one hard, dark edge of black literature. It wasn't James Baldwin for sure. It shared more with William Burroughs. It somehow carved a bit of poetry out of depravity, misery and yearning. It inspired writers, rappers, and comedians for generations. Think of names like Ice-T. Ice-Cube. Think of acts like Richard Pryor and David Chappelle.
I had been aware of Iceberg Slim, but had never read him. It was while watching Dave Chappelle's "The Bird Revelation," however, when I decided I NEEDED to read Iceberg Slim sooner rather than later. It was Chappelle who opened my eyes a bit to how understanding Slim's perspective on pimps and whores gave one a larger understanding of capitalism, power, and race in America.* So, I didn't need to enjoy this book to get something from it.
* According to Robin D. G. Kelly, in her New Yorker profile of Robert Beck, aka Iceberg Slim “Pimp,” Beck’s most popular work, is also his least political.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By K3n on 02-10-18
Cary Hite enhances a great story
If you could sum up Pimp in three words, what would they be?
A Harsh Reality
Who was your favorite character and why?
Candy was my favorite character; dumb, pretty, got OUT the game.
Have you listened to any of Cary Hite’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
This is my first one
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The moment he saw his Mom's suitors from back in the day. I really thought he was going to kill that guy
Any additional comments?
IT..... bothers me that this book has become a lifestyle guide for so many black celebrities. This tale, not only highlights many of the problems within the black community (addiction, drugs, petty grievances, white oppression, implied lack of parental figures), but it may glorify a lifestyle that is responsible for a lot of pain, personal pain according to this memoir. I'm blown away at how someone could read this story and say "Yeah, this could be me." I worry about consciousness of my people that we would lift up this lifestyle.
This book inspired the likes of Ice Cube and Ice Tee, Dave Chappelle referenced it brilliantly in latest stand up, so I was very interested to see why. After finishing it, even with Cary Hite's briliant performance, this is not a thing that I could get behind. Please do not misunderstand, "The Godfather" has inspired millions of criminals, hell probably not as many as "Mein Kampf", but my gripe is not with the author, my gripe is with America. Why are we fostering an environment that destroys people like this.
The most important take away from this book was the way he grew up. He has chances to grow into a productive member of society, but one thing led to another, leading him down a path of darkness. It's like he was a smart kid that woke up in a nightmare, and the only way he could get by is pimping. A story like this does not move me to pimping, it moves me to unity. The community needs people to support it, so no one falls through the cracks. I'm glad people have made careers off this inspiring story, but don't go telling children that this man was a role model. Later years? Surely, because people can change, but to see this as a guide to pimpin? BRUH
9 of 9 people found this review helpful