Pimping- Blog 4
Mark Anthony Neal's discussion, our writing assignment, and our discussion in class on the pimp, and what it means to be a pimp, were all very intriguing. In my mind, my pre-conceived notion of what it was to be a pimp was a man who could get all the women he wanted, whenever he wanted, who went out and sold themselves for him, as he controlled them. Neal's discussion changed that mindsight and gave the use of "pimp" today a completely new meeting. At the same time I think that our discussion on Thursday did more to reinforce the negative image the trope represents. It is still difficult to think of it as something positive, with the quotes Neal uses of Snoop Dogg, who still considers being a pimp "the thought of a female getting you money" (135).
The idea of a pimp for the hip hop generationis about "exploiting exploitation," the pimp is a metaphoric icon for hip hop generationers, without the same connotations of the pimp of the '60s (135). This idea, that moves beyond the historically understood definition, is an interesting twist. As we discussed in class on Thursday, however, it is difficult to remove all former presentations and performances surrounding "the Pimp." In the discussion of tropes of black manhood, the pimp fits nicely into the list, as self-identified pimps just want to find their way out of gang life and the projects. The use of the word pimp today is glorified and taken greatly out of context; it becomes a fantasy and fantasy life. MTV uses it in its TV show "Pimp My Ride," to deck out cars in outrageous presentation with expensive paint jobs, ridiculous sound systems, built in TVs and DVD players, and sometimes even a smoothie machine complete with a fridge for ingredients. As a verb, it seems to mean something that is over the top and unattainable to almost everyone. In effect, the car itself becomes pimp-like, being completely above and beyond all other cars, not blending in anywhere.
Given these representations in our culture today, it is hard to see a pimp that blends in with everyone else and is only a pimp because he or she is exploiting resources available to him or her. The idea of a female pimp is also hard to fathom, as most women who attempt to be pimps come off as more masculine. In an article I was reading about Macy Gray, it talked about her pimp attitude as she walked on stage and wore big fur coats and created a spectacle that made her more masculine. The word pimp is still gendered as a masculine word, even when women try to own it. While the men and women who attend the Bishop's Players Ball go to mingle and present themselves as pimps who are in control of their lives and money, we cannot deny the history of the pimp and the continued presentation of many who call themselves pimps like Snoop Dogg. The two images and definitions are inseparable.