Re: RARA-AVIS: Iceberg Slim

Dave (
Sat, 23 Jan 1999 13:22:10 -0800 I don't know where you got the idea that we're "revering" pimps, or
Iceberg Slim as a pimp. But the comment taps into the whole Pimp/Gangsta
persona that endures even today.

I suppose Slim's "The Man" to me because he was an amazing stylist,
writing-wise. A true original. But he'd also want everyone to know that
he was "THE Man," swaggering, self-aggrandizing, and probably full of
shit. But, what's fascinating is that this way of "signifying" persists,
especially in rap, and "Gangsta." And it's no coincidence that guys like
Tupac Shakur were heavily into Slim and Donald Goines -- the late rap
artist referred to both of them in his music. He lived it, and he died
for it, just like Goines.

Slim's is a pimp personality -- and he prides himself on "turning chicks
out," control, manipulation, and humiliation. It's dark, but in a way,
it's also funny, because all of it's a "put on." After all, if he were a
good pimp, he would've stayed in the life, right?

What excites me about writers is when I can infer things about their
lives "between the lines," so to speak -- good and bad. Ellroy's a
similar case -- you can't read any of his novels without having the
feeling that he's a racist, misogynist, homophobe, anti-Semite, etc. I
might not endorse that, but it still doesn't detract from the power of
his books.


# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# The web pages for the list are at