PROGRAMMING NOTE: We’re dredging up this 2007 post just to alert you that rapper Ice-T has produced a new documentary on Iceberg Slim, called Portrait Of A Pimp, that will be shown at film festivals this year. Something to look forward to.
Iceberg Slim – pimp, poet, profiteer – sold millions of books chronicling the pimp life (Long White Con, Pimp, Trick Baby) after turning his multi-jail sentences into a multi-media franchise that laid the foundation for future generations of gangstas and pimp wannabes. Know it or not, you’ve seen his imprint somewhere before. Trick Baby was a 1973 movie, Eddie Murphy’s SNL character Velvet Jones was a thinly veiled caricature, and Ice-T, when he adopted Iceberg’s game, admittedly adapted his name, as well. But it’s this 1976 recording (issued on CD in 1994) that looms largest in Slim’s legend. Backed by a vamping, blues (lite) quartet, Iceberg paints a bizarre picture of life on the streets, spinning uncomfortably graphic tales that are often rendered camp by his weak rhymes, crude depictions and sub-thespian delivery. Funny is an understatement. I know guys who still quote him 30 years later (“Candy HON-ey”). His Huggy Bear appeal is confounding but his art is unlike anyone else’s. You’ll find yourself amused, confused, repulsed and, curiously… probably wanting more. Out of print but still gettable at Amazon.
The Fall (19:52)
Broadway Sam (5:49)
Mama Debt (9:01)