Nicholas's Reviews > Pimp: The Story of My Life

Pimp by Iceberg Slim
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M 50x66
's review
Oct 23, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: biography-memoir, psychology
Read in August, 2010

** spoiler alert ** This book reminded me of the power of being underestimated. The same with Malcolm X. Black people were thought to be so dumb that no one ever believed or admitted that black people conned them.


"A pimp is happy when his whore giggle. He knows they are still asleep."

"Any good pimp is his own best company. His inner life is so rich with cunning and scheming to out-think his whores."

"A good pimp doesn't get paid for screwing, he gets his pay off for always having the right thing to say to a whore right on lightning tap. I knew my four whores were flapping their ears to get my reaction to this beautiful bitch. A pimp with an overly fine bitch in his stable has to keep his game tight. Whores constantly probe for weakness."

"I would press five-dollar bills into the palms of shine boys. My shoes would be hand made, would cost three times as much as the banker's shoes, but my shoes though perfectly fitted would be worn in tension and fear."

"One scene in my life I can never forget and that was that morning when Mama had finished packing our clothes and Henry lost his inner fight for his pride and dignity. He fell down on his knees and bawled like a scalded child pleading with Mama not to leave him, begging her to stay. He ha welded his arms around her legs, his voice hoarse in anguish as he whimpered his love for us. His agonized eyes walled up at her as he wailed, "Please don't leave me. You are sure to kill me if you do. I ain't done nothing. If I have, forgive me." I will never forget her face as cold as an executioner's, which she was, as she kicked and struggled loose from him. Then with an awful grin on her face she lied and said, "Henry, Honey, I just want to get away for a while. Darling, we'll be back." In his state she was lucky he hadn't killed her and me, and buried us in the back yard."

"Dangerously I was frantic to sock "it" into every young girl weak enough to go for it. I had to run for my life one evening when an enraged father caught me on his back porch punching animal-like astraddle his daughter's head. I had become impatient with the unusual thickness of her maidenhead."

"At this prickling of his ego the mark is ready for the hook. He will protest his worth as a person and his right to go where any other son-of-a-bitch can go,. Hell for a high class "lay" a double saw wouldn't faze him. Few can resist the charm of exclusivity in its myriad forms."

"I would go to bed in the tiny cubicle in the rear of the joint and dream fantastic dreams. Always beautiful whore would get down on their knees and tearfully beg me to take their money."

"Always remember whether you be sucker or hustler in the world out there, you've got that vital edge if you can iron-clad your feelings. I picture the human mind as a movie screen. If you're a dopey sucker, you'll just sit there and watch all kinds of mind-wreaking, damn fool movies on that screen. Son, there is no reason except a stupid one for anybody to project on that screen anything that will worry him or dull that vital edge. After all, we are the absolute bosses of that whole theatre and show in our minds. We even write the script and show only the best movies for you on that screen whether you are pimp or priest."

"Why did Justice really always wear a blindfold? I knew now. It was because the cunning bitch had dollar signs for eyeballs."

"She was trying to conceal from me the freakish pain-loving bitch inside her."

"My man don't love me, treats me awful mean. He's the meanest man that I ever seen."

"Baby, why, why do you make me do you like this? Why don't you hump and stop lushing and bullshitting with the tricks?"

"I really want to control the whole whore. I want to be the boss of her life, even her thoughts. I got to con them that Lincoln never freed the slaves."

"A heart-aching montage tornado-ed through my skull. I gritted my teeth. I felt my fingernails ice-picking into my palms. The runt's love con had resurrected sad old scenes. I saw poor black Henry. He was on his knees blubbering his love for Mama. I saw his pitiful eyes begging Mama not to break his heart. I saw Mama kicking herself free of his clutching arms. I saw that terrible look of scorn and triumph on Mama's face. I thought about the worms that had devoured his flesh, in his lonely grave."

"There ain't nothing more important than what makes a new bitch tick and why. You gotta scrape her brain. Find out whether the first joker who layed her was her father or who. Make her tell you her life story."

"No Daddy, I dig everything. You can wire me if something turns up I don't dig. Daddy, I am so proud of you. You are so clever and strong. I feel so safe being your girl. I'm gonna be a star for you."

"I walked toward a rainbow bouquet of neon maybe ten blocks away. My senses screamed on the razor edge of cocaine. It was like walking through a battlefield. The streaking headlights of the car arcing the night were giant tracer bullets. The rattling crashing street-cars were army tanks. The frightened, hopeless black faces of the passengers peered through the grimy windows. They were battle-shocked soldiers doomed forever to the front trenches."

"Look man, I made promises to a broad, not a stud. I'm a pimp, not a faggot. I'm getting the hell out of here. I'm charging you the 'porker' for my time and your bullshit."

"A pimp cops a whore. He cons her maybe if she stays in his corner humping his pickets fat, at the end of the rainbow she's got a husband and a soft easy chair. To hold her beak to the grindstone, he pumps air castles in her head. She takes all the stable grief. She humps her ass into a cramp to outshine the other whore in the family. At first, it's easy for the bitch to start. As she gets older and uglier her competition gets younger and prettier. She don't have to be no brain to wake up there ain't no easy chair at the end. She gets hip there ain't never even been a rainbow. She gets larceny in her heart. She bullshits herself that if she can drive all those young pretty whores away from the pimp that rainbow might come true after all. If it don't, she'll get her revenge anyways."

"It's a violation of the pimp book to quit a whore. A bitch like that is a ticking time bomb. Every day, her value to the pimp drops to the zero line. She's old, tired, and dangerous. She can rattle a pimp into goofing his whole game. If the pimp is a sucker he'll try to drive her away with his foot in her ass. She's almost a cinch to croak him or cross him into the joint."

"She giggled. I could hear the thrill in her voice. The horn blower had taken her off the track, but the whore was alive and thrashing inside her. She had class. She had done more than screw on the fire escape at high-school."

"Baby, don't drag the party. Don't ask yourself stupid questions. You can't escape that freak, desperate spark. You know baby, that awful sweet electricity that makes a farm boy kiss a ewe. The same power that yowls a hot tom cat in the alley. You hip to it? Now just relax. I'm gonna roll you up a bomber. Baby, your luck has changed. You've hit the jackpot. You found me."

"That lazy bitch you got will think she's got competition. Watch the sparks fly from her ass. She'll try to top that bitch that don't exist."

"Never get friendly and confide in your whores. You got twenty whores, don't forget your thoughts are secret. A good pimp is always really alone. You gotta always be a puzzle, a mystery to them. That's how you hold a whore. Don't get sour. Tell them something new and confusing every day. You can hold 'em as long as you can do it."

"A pimp is really a whore who's reversed the game on whores. Slim, be as sweet as the scratch. Don't be no sweeter. Always stick a whore for a bundle before you sex her. A whore ain't nothing but a trick to a pimp. Don't let 'em 'Georgia' you. Always get your money in front just like a whore."

"Whores in a stable are like working chumps in the white man's factory. They know in their sucker tickers they're chumping. They both gotta have horns to blow their beefs into. They gotta have someone to listen while they bad mouth that Goddamn boss."

"Slim, all whores have one thing in common just like the chumps humping for the white boss. It thrills 'em when the pimp makes mistakes. They watch and wait for his downfall."

"A pimp is the loneliest bastard on earth. He's gotta know his whore. He can't let them know him. He's gotta be God all of the way."

"Jo Ann, I gotta congratulate you. You're not only lucky, you're smart. You knew when you saw me that I was going to be your man. I'm hip that you were just waiting to meet me. You have wanted since you were a little girl to live an exciting, glamorous life. Well, Sugar, you're on 'Blood's' magic carpet. I'm gonna make your life with me out-shine your flashiest day dreams. I'm a pimp. You gotta be a whore. I don't have squares. I'm gonna be your mother, your father. your brother, your friend. and your lover. The most important thing I'm gonna be to you is your man. The manager of the scratch you make in the street. Now, sweet bitch, have you followed me so far?"

"In a pimp's life, yesterday means nothing. It's how you are doing today. A pimp's fame is as fleeting as an icicle under a blow-torch. The young fine whores are wild to hump for a pimp in the chips. A pimp in bad shape can't get the time of day from them. A pimp's wardrobe has to be spectacular. His wheels must be expensive and sparkling new. I had to get the gaudy tools to start pimping again."

"Those dirty white folks are gonna pace the floor. Their ass holes are gonna twitch. They're gonna call me a million black-Nigger bastards and sonuvabitches. One thing they can't deny in their cruel secret hearts. I outsmarted them. It's gonna hurt 'em to the rotten quick that a Nigger did a black Houdini outta here. No screws' skulls busted and no bars sawed. They're gonna foul their chances to catch me after the midnight count. They'll search the yard and joint for a week. Their asses will turn blue. Their skulls won't let 'em believe a Nigger was clever enough to ghost outta here."

"Listen square-ass bitch, I have never had a whore I couldn't do without. I celebrate, Bitch, when a whore leaves me. It gives some worthy bitch a chance to take her place and be a star. You scurvy Bitch, if I shit in your face, you gotta love it and open your mouth wide."

"Control is easier and tighter away from the familiar setting. A girl in strange surroundings depends more on her man. She needs advice and guidance more. Girls copped in smaller towns have to be moved fast."

"I had spent more than half a lifetime in a worthless, dangerous profession. If I had stayed in school in eight years of study I could have been an M.D. or lawyer. Now here I was, slick but not smart, in a cell. I was past forty with counterfeit glory in my past, and no marketable training, no future. I had been a bigger sucker than a square mark. All he loses is scratch."

"A good pimp has to use great pressure. It's always in the cards that one day that pressure will backfire. The he will be the victim. I was weary of clutching quicksilver whores and the joints."


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