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- Welcome readers, this is a book review on the latest book I’ve read, Pimp : The Story of my life by Iceberg Slim. I haven’t done a book review in a long time and I didn’t want to pass up the chance to write something on this captivating book. Leave a like if you enjoyed what you’ve read and give the page a follow so you can stay up to date with future posts. As always, peace and keep it real.
- “A pimp is the loneliest bastard in the world”. An older pimp’s wisdom to Iceberg Slim.
Robert Beck a.k.a Iceberg Slim lived a fast life as a pimp in the American Midwest during the ’30s and ’40s. The memoir is a brutal and honest recount of a man who had the intelligence (stated to have a high IQ) to live a “square” life, but as a young black man in White America during segregation, all his options were stifled and he found his way to success even if it was an unflattering one to the rest of America. Furthermore, the way Iceberg narrates his life is explicit, introspective, poetic, and intense especially when he describes his relationship with his whores and the cruel ways he disciplined the ones who were obstinate. In addition, the street slang used in the narrative and dialogue adds an element that encapsulates the reader and with that, it makes the setting and time extremely vivid. Granted a majority of the vernacular is antiquated, but its constant usage by Iceberg and the supporting characters is something I enjoyed learning. Words such as “Jip” (Mouth), “Slat” (Money or a time spent in prison), “Jasper” (Lesbian), “Murphy” (A con played on suckers looking for whores) and more were interesting to learn and is something a lot of readers will not be familiar with, so a glossary is provided at the end of the book. However, I didn’t use it and still understood a majority of the slang. The ones I didn’t understand I researched. With that said, the narration reminded me of Noir detective novels I’ve read in the past, a look into the criminal underworld where the protagonist was a criminal. Anyway, before I start the summary of Iceberg’s life, I want to say that I believe a book like this one couldn’t be published today because of the political climate we live in such as “Cancel Culture” and political correctness. For one, a lot of readers will find the way Iceberg Slim conducted himself as a pimp and con man as meticulous when he set his mind to a goal and knew the strategies for a successful outcome. On the other hand, he applied stringent stipulations his stable (a pimp’s group of whores) had to adhere to, which sometimes had violence accompanying if disobeyed. In regard to this, he prefaced the book by explaining that what you’ll be reading is a raw story that is filled with violence, drugs, sex, and a plethora of misogynistic language, it isn’t to be glorified or revered. I found this book to be a profound reading experience for its intriguing themes such as; Street life in the ’30s and ’40s, Racism, Power dynamics in business relationships, Recidivism, and more.
“A pimp has gotta know his whores, but not let them know him; he’s gotta be god all the way.”- Sweet Jones, “Pimp: The Story of My Life”
The quote above is from an older pimp who gave Iceberg a rundown (a breakdown of how things are) on how he was supposed to be an almighty force to his stable. He couldn’t let his whores see him falter or lose his composure. His calm temperament was how he earned his nickname Iceberg but I’ll get to that later, but first, l want to start with Iceberg Slim’s (Robert Beck) background. Born in Chicago on August 4th, 1918, Robert Lee Maupin later Robert Beck spent most of his childhood in Milwaukee and Rockford Illinois before returning to Chicago. At the age of three, his caretaker molested him, and the way he describes what she did to him in the book is revolting. From that experience, his mind was skewed when it involved sexual matters. His mother was abandoned by his deadbeat father who tried to reconcile with Iceberg when he was at the pinnacle of his pimping days. However, Robert disregarded his advances to make amends. Iceberg still had a father figure in his life when a man named Henry Upshaw began a relationship with his mother. Robert had a lot of respect and love for Henry. Unfortunately, the relationship ended badly as Robert’s mother betrayed Henry and callously left him for a con man named Steve who would constantly beat her, and killed Robert’s cat in front of him. It was then that Robert knew he never wanted to be in a position like Henry. He planned to assert dominance in his future relationships by any means necessary.
Moreover, Robert was an intelligent young man enrolling in Tuskegee University and helping his mother with her salon business. Pimps were frequent patrons at her salon. Even though his mom had high hopes for him, the street life was enticing to Robert when he saw the pimp game happening outside those salon doors. He learned to con during his teenage years with a street hustler and con man named Party Time and it wasn’t too long after his criminal acts with Party Time that he was expelled from Tuskegee for bootlegging and went to pursue the pimp game. I don’t want to get into the intricacies of pimping, but I will briefly explain how Iceberg handled his stable and conducted himself after he met Sweet Jones and his friend and fellow pimp Glass Top. Furthermore, both these men had a major influence not only on his introduction to become a pimp but whenever he had a dilemma and needed a rundown on how to find a solution to his growing stable or as he referred to his whores as his “family”. For example, Iceberg had a whore he called “Runt” and she put in significant work for him in the streets, turning tricks (a prostitute’s customer) heads left and right, and would bring Slim the exact scratch (money) he expected. Being a high earner for Iceberg she began to become hubris and defiant toward Iceberg and what he demanded from her. So, what Iceberg did was psychologically break her down with verbal threats since he knew the life background of his whores, but it didn’t do much. She would go on and threaten to leave him and find another pimp to work for, which was one thing a pimp didn’t want to hear. From there, Iceberg needed to establish control over his whore and he went to “upper management” on how he should get her to be compliant and not leave. He would confide in the older pimp Sweet Jones. Sweet Jones would tell him to not worry about it because what he would explain to Iceberg would work and keep the Bitch in line. The method of discipline he would bestow to Iceberg was to beat that Bitch with a coat hanger. I know this sounds extreme, but after the act, Iceberg would alleviate her pain by giving her pills and running her bath. She would be grateful for what he did and relaxed that she would forget he was the asshole that beat her. Now that’s some cold shit.
In addition, he would con one of his whores near the end of the book as she was threatening to leave his stable and influence other whores to do the same. You would have to read the book to understand the elaborate way he not only kept his whore in line but had leverage over her on something she couldn’t live down. Equally important, in the book Iceberg broke down what a bottom bitch was, and if you’re unaware of the concept I’ll explain. A bottom bitch is a pimp’s main whore and his foundation. She would manage the egos and competitiveness of the other whores in his stable. Additionally, Iceberg was said to have over 400 whores, and many bitches came and went, some got snatched up by other pimps when he was locked up and got pregnant by them, and some flamed out due to exhaustion opening it up for many tricks. Before I forget, I want to mention how he got his nickname Iceberg. Iceberg Slim was a heavy drug user during his pimping days, from Cocaine to Heroin, to the combination of the two called a speedball, and he would also smoke weed. In regard to this, Iceberg was turned out (introduced to the first life of drugs) by a prostitute named Pepper in his rookie pimping days. She would engage in kinky sex with a young Iceberg and got him hooked on hard drugs, specifically cocaine. Anyway, I digress. One night he was high off cocaine at a bar and a shootout happened. Standing still as the bullet went through his lid (Hat), he finished his drink as if nothing had happened. He left the bar relaxed, and not fazed by the spectacle. His friend Glass Top, astonished by his cool demeanor called him Iceberg because the way he acted was so chill in the face of danger, and from then the moniker stuck with him.
All in all, this was a riveting read. Iceberg had an influence on hip-hop artists and pimps that followed him and used him as a reference to their pimp game. In addition, he lived a life where he was ruthless, scrupulous in the pimp game, and aware that he had to be in power not only with his stable of whores, but within himself when in the face of adversity. He could have achieved his mother’s wishes of having a credible profession like a lawyer or doctor, but he found the pimp game and street life that made him who he was and he capitalized off it. I’d say after reading this that street life is foul, never fair.
Book rating: 4/5
McGruff put us up on game when it came to dealing with law enforcement. Who remembers watching him and seeing ads like these back in the day? Anyway, keep an eye out for some of those (cops) who are overzealous badged terminators, and keep ya mouth shut until it’s the proper time to speak.
This is one of the easiest ways Amerikkka can weaken the strength of a black uprising towards liberation. – TheRhymeRula
- You can’t call nowhere safe
Maybe you’ve heard about the news story about the Texas police officer (Aaron Dean) taking the life of 28 year old woman Atatiana Jefferson. If not, I’ll fill you in. This is the second that I know of home invasion killing done by a cop and yes I said home invasion because that’s clearly what it is, there’s no dispute about it, you can debate me later. Anyways, she was at home spending time peacefully with her nephew playing video games, and had her life taken in a home invasion done by a police officer who didn’t identify himself to her when being in the vicinity of her home. This whole scenario started off with a concerned neighbor calling the cops because the door to Ms. Jefferson door was ajar, which I don’t find anything wrong with because neighbors should look out for each other when dangerous situations might arise. Fast forward to the cop who looked around with his flashlight to find anything unusual or such. He came across Ms. Jefferson and gave her a few seconds let’s say less than four, and told her to show her hands. Without hesitation he began shooting her. Like I said before, he didn’t identify himself to her, it was if he were like some terminator and knew his target to eliminate from existence. Moreover, these badge terminators always have something to fall back on and that is their fear of a “threat” to their lives when they find themselves in tense situations. Furthermore, they used a defense of feeling threatened and in danger from a “perceived threat” by coming across photographs of a gun in Ms. Jefferson’s home. And? We already know this is piece of “evidence” that they found is something they can use against the victim to portray her as hostile. I’m not buying that bullshit because regardless of what this incompetent officer says, Ms. Jefferson is gone, and at this moment has no justice! Even if he ( Aaron Dean) is brought up on charges of murder and hopefully charge with home invasion, I bet he’ll probably get the same treatment Amber Guyger got which was ten years for her slaying of Jean Botham last month in Dallas, but I’m getting my hopes up and expect some bullshit termination or such. With that said, they’re badge terminators who abuse their power out there and will probably continue to get away with these killings because the system is set up against civilians and their rights. This situation could happen to anyone anywhere and that’s the scary part about it. The people who are sworn in to protect and serve all wear the same badges so it’s difficult to distinguish the well trained officer who is doing his or her duties and the incompetent badge terminators who freak out in strenuous situations and have to bust back with shots. I’m not trying to make this a race issue, or my stance on the police force, I’m trying to point out the stupidity, negligence and recklessness these badge terminators have shown that always ends up with someone losing their life, and the justice system giving a half ass punishment to these perpetrators. Anyways, that’s my perspective on this situation. Whether you think I’m too hard on the “boys in blue” or anti police or whatever the case my be doesn’t bother or matter to me because, like I said before we live among police everyday and that one trigger happy badge terminator might be the one you come across and can end you or someone you know if you happen to provoke him or her the wrong way. This may sound harsh, but it’s the cold truth. Be aware, stay safe and thanks for reading. Leave a comment if feel the need too. Until next peace and keep it real.
- I enjoyed it for what it was but it could have had some improvements. There are no spoilers here so let’s get to it.
Breaking Bad fans rejoice the long anticipated movie El Camino dropped this past Friday and it was interesting to say the least. There were talks about the film in the last few years but here it is finally on Netflix. If you’ve seen the entire five seasons of AMC’s Breaking Bad then you’re familiar with the two main characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman and their dangerous adventures in the meth drug game. I’m not here to recap what happened in all five seasons so go ahead and watch it if you haven’t because it’s one of the greatest crime dramas in TV history in my opinion. Now to the film, this film follows Jesse Pinkman’s recovery through the hell he’s been through at the end of season five, and his determination to start a new life with a clean slate ( and I mean a clean slate of leaving the person he was behind him) from the help of a mysterious man who Walter White had the help from at the end of season five. With that said, Vince Gilligian the creator of the show had a few years to play around the film idea and he produced an adequate showing, but it could have had more and that goes to my next point. I feel that it could have been done as a miniseries because I wanted more characters to have screen time and additional plot lines that could have been used as obstacles that would have gave Jesse troubles from reaching his goal of anonymity from the drug world he left behind. Having said all of that, Aaron Paul’s performance as Jesse was great as usual and the rest of the performances from the cast were also good. The one thing that I noticed was done well were the “flashbacks” from other seasons. I put the word flashbacks in quotes because it was indeed a flashback in the proper definition, but there was a backstory to the flashback in a time period within the original narrative of the show that viewers never seen. This explains certain outcomes to what eventually happened in the present day of the film. The last two things I want to commend is the cinematography that gave the same Breaking Bad look that everyone enjoyed and the musical scores that added suspense to intense scenes. Overall, it was a solid film. Would I watch it again? Sure and maybe this time I might even like it even more. If I were to give the film a rating out of 5, I would say it teeters on a solid 3/5. If you’ve seen Breaking Bad and have seen El Camino comment your thoughts, like and follow for my future posts. Until next time, peace and keep it real.
Justice has been served, and white privilege couldn’t save her…
This doesn’t happen often , and what I mean by that is a white police officer being found guilty for killing a black individual, but bear with me during my commentary on this one because this one is an insane story, and it has a plausible ending to a crime that could have been swept under the rug if she was on the line of duty . Anyways to the story, on September 2018 now former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger entered a mans home and shoot him dead because she thought he was an intruder in her home. And when interviewed she claims with a ridiculous statement. She said and I quote, “I thought it was my apartment,” Guyger told dispatchers 19 times on the frantic 911 call played in court. “I thought it was my apartment. I’m fucked. Oh my God. I’m sorry.” Come on now, unless she was inebriated or was on something then being able to distinguish her apartment and her surroundings shouldn’t have been a problem at all. And matter of fact this man mind you was sitting on his couch at 10PM eating ice cream doing the most least threatening thing in the world which somehow caused her to conjure up the thought of his lounging as intruding. Miss me with all that bullshit.
On another note, I recently attended Jury duty last week, but was excused due to obligations that I had to adhere to, but it was an interesting experience. There are a few stages before you’re chosen to become a juror and any biases or being impartial to the defense will usually disqualify you in being a juror. I however didn’t have the opportunity to be a part of the second pool of jurors who had to speak to judge, lawyers and so forth in order for them to asses a potential jurors judgements. Moreover, if a case similar to this was heading to trial and the judge asked the potential jurors if they had any conflicting opinions I would stand with my number (they give you numbered cards) and express my stance that I won’t be able to judge fairly due to her moronic mindset and her belief he was going to kill her because she thought he was coming toward her, when his only thought at the moment was confusion. With this guilty verdict, justice was served all right and the only thing that’s awaiting for her on the other end is a prison stint that won’t be surprised to see her. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading, peace and keep it real.