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Thrill of Hope Day 8 - Understanding Pimps

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

When trying to understand someone who is different than you it is not good to make assumptions. When it comes to pimps, we need to set aside our preconceived notions of what a pimp is or does. This is hard because so many of us want to demonize the pimp. We have to do the work of humanizing a pimp. In doing so, it is better if you can read or learn from one or more people who’ve lived the life you want to examine. We should read books about the lives of folks who are proud pimps. It is helpful to learn from someone who knows and loves the game.

I want to be clear. Even after reading and learning from a pro-pimp stand point, I am not pro-pimp. I hope that they all become reformed pimps because knowingly or unknowingly, pimps hurt those among the most vulnerable in our communities. I’m against pimpin’ as a profession, but I’m not against the person who is a pimp. I long for them to get out of the game and uses their incredible talents and skills for good in this world. They have skills and knowledge that could be a huge blessing if they stopped exploiting women.

Pimps have a story. They have seen things and experienced things that I cannot even imagine. Many pimps have high ACEs scores and have seen violence and sexual abuse regularly. Some pimps even got into the game because the first person that showed them any sort of love was an older pimp. I met one pimp who was a 15-year-old boy and he was third generation. It was all his family ever knew. I don’t think it excuses the pimp’s behavior, but it does help us understand them as people.

Pimps are not just men. Women can be pimps too; they are sometimes known as madams. A great example of a madam is found in one of America’s greatest novels: “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck. The madam is Cathy or Kate Ames. She’s depicted as a hard-hearted woman who knows how to control and manipulate others. She is always thinking faster than other to get her way, using sex as a way to control others. But her backstory is tragic, just as tragic as a modern-day pimp’s.

Some of the pimps are incredibly smart and well-read. These pimps are reading the same leadership books that our good leaders do. They are learning how to manipulate and control their women through proven leadership and motivation methods. Some pimps control in words and others control by force. Some are smooth talkers and some rule with violence and control. These pimps take all the good that psychology and leadership tactics and flip the script, controlling their stable. Pimpin Ken says, “The value of this game is learning how to pimp the same way Uncle Sam, big business, and the power brokers in this world pimp.”[1]

Pimps, either men or women, know what they are looking for in a girl or boy to pimp. They are good at reading people and leading people. So good they lead where they would never go. I read Pimpin’ Ken’s book Pimpologyand except for the foul language and the product he is selling, it read like any other leadership book. There are principles and ideas that he has used from all sorts of great leaders. He even misquotes the Bible the same way leadership books do.

“I don’t get emotional with none of these hoes. I don’t chase them, I just pimp on the next ho…The one who can control his emotions will be the one to control the relationship or situation. Never put yourself at the mercy of someone else – always be mentally prepared to have a replacement step in, if need be.[2]” These are some of the themes of a pimp’s life. Pimpin’ Ken admits that a “pimpin’ aint easy” and that it is always lonely; love is not a part of the game. You cannot be connected to your women or other pimp friends, you can only be connected to your money and your reputation. They are always looking for weakness instead of beauty. Once they find weakness, they exploit it, “Weakness is the best trait a person can find in someone they want to control.”[3]It sounds like a lonely life. You can be a “good” pimp with an internationally recognized name and still have no friends.

There are at least two forms of pimping. One is finesse pimping and the other is to be a gorilla pimp. The most common portrait of a pimp is the gorilla pimp. A gorilla pimp uses violence and fear to keep his girl in check. To break a girl down they beat them, rape them, and humiliate them in any way that comes to mind. According to Pimpin’ Ken these types of pimps have no right to be in the game. They don’t treat anyone right and bring heat from the law onto the track. Gorilla pimps are cruel. They remind me of a slave owner who beats his slaves.

A finesse pimp is well-dressed and controls his women through manipulation and smooth words. This type of pimp always has another girl lined up in case his girl leaves him. This type of pimp is about the flash and show, knowing how to get what he wants by playing his stable off each other. Competition is a big key for a finesse pimp.

A final note on my hopes for pimps. Pimps are modern day slavers. They control and manipulate others while taking all the benefits for themselves. They are also enslaved to the power and fame that come with being a pimp. A good pimp never lets his stable see any of the money. However I believe from the core of my being that a pimp can have a change of heart. This is my heart for these men and women who think they are in management of the world’s oldest profession.

There was once a slave ship captain who raped women on board the ship, threw his human cargo into rough seas and dealt in the sale of human flesh for a long time. He is one of my favorite characters in human history because of his dramatic turnaround. His name is John Newton. John Newton was slaver-turned-minister in the 1700s in England. He was a good friend and humble man after he met Jesus. He traded in his slaving ways, seeing how wrong it was, for a life of abolition. He is best known for writing the hymn that we all know, “Amazing Grace.” He knew the need for grace because of his many faults. He was a pimp of human flesh who changed and used his skills and experience to do good. That is my hope and prayer for every pimp.

#TeamMitchellBoys is raising awareness this month and also fund for Peoria Home. Peoria Home is just one place where we can put our deepening understanding to practice.

[1]Pimpology: The 48 Laws of the Game. Pimpin’ Ken. Page 177

[2]Pimpology: The 48 Laws of the Game. Pimpin’ Ken. Page 17

[3]Pimpology: The 48 Laws of the Game. Pimpin’ Ken. Page 22

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