Pimps in the Rap Game?

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Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by thesoulsedge » July 31st, 2003, 1:20 am

The Associate Press released a story today about "Rappers who want to be pimps." But I'm wondering what exactly is the role of pimps in hip-hop culture. The hottest rapper out--50 Cent--poses more of a "gangsta image" with pictures of himself holding a gun. But what about this pimp image. Does it have a place in hip-hop/rap?



Rappers want to be pimps




NEW YORK (AP) -- Ten years ago, it seemed as if every rapper wanted to be a gangsta. Now, everyone wants to be a pimp.

50 Cent and Snoop Dogg strut in full pimp regalia, surrounded by a bevy of beauties, in their new video "P.I.M.P." Rappers like Lil' Jon bounce through their videos holding jewel-encrusted chalices popularized by pimps.

Even old-school soul veteran Ronald Isley personifies the pimp style with his alter-ego, "Mr. Biggs," right down to his elaborate cane.

Modeling yourself after figures most people consider among the degenerates of society might not seem like the most respectable path to follow -- but no one ever accused rappers of wanting to be respectable.

"Rappers just always want to be something bad," said producer-rapper Jermaine Dupri, who's touted himself as a "young pimp" in his own lyrics. "Just the same way rappers want to be gangstas, rappers want to be pimps."

Yet the self-proclaimed king of pimps, Bishop Don Magic Juan, would disagree with the sentiment that pimping is a bad thing. Although he's given up the pimp business for preaching -- he's an ordained minister -- he's still a proud playa who sticks up mightily for his former profession.

"It's been portrayed negatively through movies and television," says Juan, who despite his new profession has not forsaken his pimp wardrobe. "Now people are seeing it for what it is."

Snoop Dogg -- perhaps the biggest pimp purveyor in today's rap game -- agrees.

"It's cool to look good, it's cool to have girls on your arm, and get money from them, and that's a good feeling, you dig? There ain't nothing wrong with it," he told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

"We're teaching people how to hustle and how to look good," he said. "I'd rather be a pimp than a gang-banger, because I grew up being a gang-banger, and I tell you, you live longer being a pimp."

The reality of pimpin'
Yet others point out that pimping is actually the business of procuring women and girls as prostitutes for profit.

"It's just like gang-banging and doing drugs," says the singer Monica. "I think it's one of those things that people have started to glorify, and really don't give the real situation of what really happens, the real outcomes.

We've been pimped since we were ripped from the underbelly of Africa.
-- David Banner, rapper


"People still go to jail for that for long periods of time. People get killed behind that. So the unfair part is our audiences don't get to see the real side of it. They hear it on records and see it on TV and they glorify, and it's totally backwards."

Chris Rock was appalled by "Lil' Pimp," a cartoon movie in the works about a child pimp.

"That's where I draw the line. That's where I get corny. My daughter will not be at the kid pimp movie," says the comedian, whose movie "Pootie Tang" was akin to a pimp fashion show. "I want to meet the white executive who said, 'Yes! Lil' Pimp!'"

The pimp game has been rapped about for more than 20 years. Oakland native Too Short and Los Angeles pioneer Ice-T celebrated it in the early '80s. Brooklyn's Big Daddy Kane talked about it in the late '80s. In the '90s, The Notorious B.I.G. rapped: "Pimpin' ain't easy but it sure is fun." And one of Jay-Z's most popular songs remains the 2000 anthem "Big Pimpin'."

Ultimate hustlers
Such popularity is due partly to a generation of rappers who grew up watching the glorification of pimps in blaxploitation flicks such as "Dolemite," "Superfly" and "The Mack." Sharply dressed, dripping with money, in control and draped with ladies, pimps were portrayed as the ultimate hustlers.

"When I started seeing those movies in the '70s, like 'The Mack' and 'Superfly,' that helped me to more of less pick who I wanted to be in life, how I wanted to live my life, how I wanted to represent me," said Snoop.

Recently, though, pimp appeal is peaking. You'd be hard-pressed to find a rap song these days without at least some passing reference to pimps. 50 Cent's "P.I.M.P." is a Top 10 hit on the Billboard chart; rapper David Banner idolizes the lifestyle on "Like a Pimp"; and rapper Nelly pays tribute with his hit song "Pimp Juice." Even the seemingly innocuous rap greeting "Chuuch" has pimp origins.

Not that all these rappers are actually selling sex. Like much of rap music, almost all pimp lyrics are just talk.

Thanks largely to documentaries like HBO's "Pimps Up, Hos Down" and the Hughes brothers' "American Pimp," real and former pimps have become celebrities themselves, appearing in videos, even rapping on songs. None more so than Bishop Don Magic Juan, who's even currently in talks to star in his own reality series.

From fabulous fashion to gangsta pimp
Then there's the ghetto-fabulous pimp fashion -- the canes, the gold-encrusted chalices, the hats, and the fancy threads.

No other major rapper embodies pimp style more than Snoop. When he first emerged a decade ago, his style was L.A. gangsta Crip -- baggy jeans, blue flannel shirts and sneakers.

I'd rather be a pimp than a gang-banger, because I grew up being a gang-banger, and I tell you, you live longer being a pimp.
-- Snoop Dogg, rapper


Though he still rocks that style sometimes today, the millennium Snoop is more apt to be pimped out -- smooth pink pinstriped suits, flashy shoes, wide-brimmed hat, and curled hair that falls to his shoulders.

Snoop says pimp culture showed him how to carry himself with style and pride.

"I wanted to look good and feel good about myself," he says. "Those are qualities that you get from a pimp that everybody's not really understanding."

"[People] just think it's, take money from a girl and slap her and send her to the corner, but nah, it's other things about this pimpin' that you really don't even know," he adds. "[It's about] the freedom of the females and the thought of a female getting you money."

Not surprisingly, women don't seem to fare too well in the rap pimp world, objectified as booty-shaking nymphets that can be easily replaced or dismissed, as 50 Cent profanely describes in "P.I.M.P."

But the Bishop says anyone, including a woman, can be a pimp, as long as he or she embodies the pimp attitude. He has bestowed his "famous playas" club card, along with the chalice, on female celebrities such as Lil' Kim, Pamela Anderson and Mariah Carey -- sexy, powerful women who are in control.

And the way some rappers see it, pimping is just an extension of the American way, from the days of slavery onward.

"We've been pimped since we were ripped from the underbelly of Africa," says Banner. "We built America but never got paid for it, yet we get treated the worse. So pimping has always been a part of our society, so to feel that we're finally the pimps, why not embrace that?"

'Playing dress-up'
But not everyone sees rap's love affair with pimps as something that should be embraced.

Drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson of The Roots says rappers acting like pimps is really no more than "playing dress-up," trying to posture for power.

"The only type of people that give you the illusion of control are those who are really not in control," he says ruefully. "If you want to talk about really pimping, you've got to talk about a being a government official."

But the Bishop is aghast at such talk, instead describing pimping as a world of opportunity.

"[It's] the jewelry, the style of dressing, the cars, the houses -- to be able to feel like you're doing it your way, nobody tell you what to do. You can move and groove like you want to," he says.

Bishop tries to import his pimp philosophy to today's hip-hop generation as much as he can. He's Snoop's "spiritual adviser," part of Snoop's posse and even travels on the road with him sometimes.

He admits he never thought he'd see the day when a former pimp like himself would be a celebrated figure.

"I stayed pimped out for 30 years -- I ain't never let the game down. I always believed in it," he says. "Now that I say I don't want to pimp no more, everybody wants to be a pimp!"

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by BIG DUSTY LOCO » July 31st, 2003, 11:59 am

Everybody is either a pimp, gangster, dope dealer. What these rappers emulate or try to project as an image might catch on with those less strongminded and strongwilled, but to the average listener...it's just entertainment. Nothing serious. Good for a few laughs.

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by SpacerLoco » August 1st, 2003, 1:03 pm

Too $hort is a genuine pimp.

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by thesoulsedge » August 4th, 2003, 9:21 am

In the article Snoop points out that "a pimp lives longer than a gangster". I think he has a point there...a pimp is smooth and hangs with the ladies...a pimp can even be "soft" like El Debarge...he had a "soft image" and a "pimp image" but nobody would ryde on El Debarge...it's like a pimp is "untouchable" in the hood...he gets respect because he controls the flow of the putty...it's not about Glocks..

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by vt » August 4th, 2003, 11:59 am

i'm pretty sure that the rapper from D.J. Quik's crew Suga Free is a real pimp

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by thesoulsedge » August 13th, 2003, 11:19 am

both NAS and Jay Z have more "pimp" in their persona than "thug" (especially nas)...again the focus is on so-called bizitches and money...rather than thugin'...

by the way...i would say that Big and Pac were pimps too...Pac had 'pimp' in his game as well...but he was--let's call it--a thug pimp...let's call him a "playa"...and we see that on 'California Love'...listen carefully to Pac's rhyme...it's part pimpin'

again...in the hood a man has one gun in his hand and another between his legs...the goal is to balance between both guns...

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by SpacerLoco » August 17th, 2003, 3:48 pm

vt wrote:i'm pretty sure that the rapper from D.J. Quik's crew Suga Free is a real pimp
I've always heard he a fake.

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by HaycH » August 28th, 2003, 5:27 am

" a pimp can even be "soft"

both NAS and Jay Z have more "pimp" in their persona than "thug" (especially nas)...again the focus is on so-called bizitches and money...rather than thugin'...

by the way...i would say that Big and Pac were pimps too...Pac had 'pimp' in his game as well...but he was--let's call it--a thug pimp...let's call him a "playa"...and we see that on 'California Love'...listen carefully to Pac's rhyme...it's part pimpin' "


The fuck mayne... dont think you know what pimpin really is got brothas like you givin the game already a bad name. We had studio gangsters now studio pimps... hell nawh shyt is gonna get nasty. Soon we gonna see symps claimin they pimps...

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by Kab » September 7th, 2003, 10:09 am

HaycH wrote:Soon we gonna see symps claimin they pimps...
Where you been ?

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by CaptainSaveAHoe » December 17th, 2003, 10:54 am

SpacerLoco wrote:Too $hort is a genuine pimp.
No, in the real world, he's a geniune business man.

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by Ice » December 17th, 2003, 8:09 pm

snoop's got a wife and kids...he's bein pimped by magic don juan, payin him to be all around him and in some of his videos...there are no real pimps in the rap game, just wannabe's and image creators...

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by stateraised2000 » December 18th, 2003, 6:38 am

hey whatever did happen to soulsledge?

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by WIP » April 12th, 2004, 1:30 am

Ice-T gotta be the first rapper up on some pimp S&^t

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by blkjoker » April 12th, 2004, 6:20 pm

BIG DUSTY LOCO wrote:Everybody is either a pimp, gangster, dope dealer. What these rappers emulate or try to project as an image might catch on with those less strongminded and strongwilled, but to the average listener...it's just entertainment. Nothing serious. Good for a few laughs.
Yo you forgot wanna bes also its alot of fakes out that aint do nothing frontin like they did.

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by blkjoker » April 12th, 2004, 6:26 pm

thesoulsedge wrote:both NAS and Jay Z have more "pimp" in their persona than "thug" (especially nas)...again the focus is on so-called bizitches and money...rather than thugin'...

by the way...i would say that Big and Pac were pimps too...Pac had 'pimp' in his game as well...but he was--let's call it--a thug pimp...let's call him a "playa"...and we see that on 'California Love'...listen carefully to Pac's rhyme...it's part pimpin'

again...in the hood a man has one gun in his hand and another between his legs...the goal is to balance between both guns...
Yo man for sure jay-z was not a pimp in the streets just listen to his song on the blue print album the song "Song Cry". On there he was saying the girls was callin him ugly and wouldnt touch him. So jay told on him self, he pimp the game more or less and after his fame he became a pimp with the ladies. All the rappers with money can get women thats the only wat jay pimping. But a true pimp dont have to have a dime and have all the women spending on him.

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by Panik » April 12th, 2004, 7:25 pm

yeah, none of these fools were actually pimpin nothin until they got famous except maybe Ice-T. Sugarfree is the only one I ever heard of that made a good living off of pimpin. H's a pimp 4 real, no rap bullshi-.

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by Ace2 » April 12th, 2004, 7:36 pm

Yea the only real pimp in the rap game is Sugafree and that is no BS Blood is a certify pimp.

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by blkjoker » April 12th, 2004, 9:08 pm

Panik wrote:yeah, none of these fools were actually pimpin nothin until they got famous except maybe Ice-T. Sugarfree is the only one I ever heard of that made a good living off of pimpin. H's a pimp 4 real, no rap bullshi-.
Yeah Ice-t is a true pimp.

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Re: Pimps in the Rap Game?

Unread post by rocstar » April 12th, 2004, 11:03 pm

Panik wrote:yeah, none of these fools were actually pimpin nothin until they got famous except maybe Ice-T. Sugarfree is the only one I ever heard of that made a good living off of pimpin. H's a pimp 4 real, no rap bullshi-.
Sugarfree was a real pimp but he wasnt balling or nothing. But the nigga was/is a real pimp than seen it first hand and he serious with it

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Unread post by PREACH » July 10th, 2005, 3:01 pm

ice t was a pimp and suga free is still a pimp. yall heard of the rap group boss pimps, pimpin ken is in the group

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Unread post by tysuave » July 10th, 2005, 10:08 pm

the real well know pimps in the rap game thats know for pimping before rapping is suga free,dru down,T.I.,pinping young,mitchey slic speaks on it I dont know if he real with it,and,those are the main ones that I can think of right now but it's a whole lot of unknow rappers who pimp thats how alot of them pay for studio time I know that for a fact cuzz ive seen it been there done that.you have to make use of the groupie's some how feel me.

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Unread post by PREACH » July 11th, 2005, 12:42 am

I CAN BELIEVE DRU DOWN. BUT I DONT KNOW ABOUT T.I.

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Unread post by tysuave » July 11th, 2005, 1:31 am

yea T.I was pimping before he started rapping I knew about him bac in like 99 that he was a p.

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Unread post by bkstomp3 » July 11th, 2005, 1:51 am

that hard to beleive cuz i never heard him talk about it unless i wasnt payin attention but oh well

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Unread post by tysuave » July 11th, 2005, 1:57 am

sometimes you have to know pimp slang to know what he talking about for instane trap music, trap to a pimp means checing yo money checing a trap feel me.

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Unread post by PREACH » July 11th, 2005, 1:59 am

THATS CRAZY, IMA CKECK UP ON THIS SHI*

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Unread post by bkstomp3 » July 11th, 2005, 2:27 am

ahh shit..that show how much i know about pimpin..lol

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Unread post by PREACH » July 12th, 2005, 2:22 am

i think when t.i. says trap he callin the hood -the trap. not trap in the pimping sense.

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Unread post by tysuave » July 12th, 2005, 2:37 am

I just said what trap means square who in the hell ever said trap for hood come on man are you blacc no youre from an island do you even listen to his music as a matter of fact I just seen a interview from t.i. the other day with some pimps on his new video the pimps were sying how they new t.i from back in the days and how he was real with it.

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Unread post by PREACH » July 12th, 2005, 2:48 am

who the f*** u talkin like that to muthaf***a. watch ya mouth lil punk.
i seen him in an intervtew saying trap ment where he come from. i dident hear him say nothing about trap ment pimpin.
but i will give u props on trap meaning money. im from l.a. fool i just happen to stay in the 808!!!!!

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Unread post by tysuave » July 12th, 2005, 8:31 am

pineapple wrote:who the f*** u talkin like that to muthaf***a. watch ya mouth lil punk.
i seen him in an intervtew saying trap ment where he come from. i dident hear him say nothing about trap ment pimpin.
but i will give u props on trap meaning money. im from l.a. fool i just happen to stay in the 808!!!!!
man im not finna argue with you throw a coumpter screen for what that just shows you a busta but on the other hand I doubt he ever said that cuzz you whould have said that before,and I know what the word trap means, im from the streets I know about pimpin go buy the cd and read between the lines square ass busta.

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Unread post by PREACH » July 12th, 2005, 1:27 pm

u gotta be a youngster. talkin sh** to another man like that. fu** u , i'll see u in the post ya flows thread bit**!!!!!!!

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