I’m a PIMP! well not really

What thought comes to mind, when the phrase “I’m a pimp,” rollsoff the lips of an individual. As of late, the PIMP image hascaught on nationwide from fashion, to music, within the hip-hopindustry.

The PIMP image has become very common in the hip-hop community.The dawn of the PIMP image has lead to a lot of controversy,questioning whether it poses a positive or negative influence onthe community.

The modern definition of a pimp is a controlling man whoobjectifies women and forces them to prostitute themselves, as ameans of bringing money in for himself, giving them a small portionof their earnings. As cultures have evolved and times have changed,so has the image of the PIMP.

Rap artists Nelly, 50 Cent and Snoop Dog have been activeparticipants in the evolution of the PIMP image. 50 Cent’sever-popular song P.I.M.P. has been heard on radio stationseverywhere. Nelly has created an energy drink called Pimp Juice andhas even used PIMP to stand for Positive Intellectual MotivatedPerson Scholars program that he started in conjunction withFillmore Street Brewery. The scholarship is designed to aid collegestudents, who deserve recognition for their hard work in academicsand extra curricular activities. A portion of the sales from theenergy drink will go toward his charity foundation 4Sho4Kids.

The PIMP image that most of our parents, or older generationsthink of is one that brings a negative connotation. However, theimage of the PIMP today, is not the same image that most parentshave. The modern-day PIMP is a high- roller with self-confidence,power and an over the top fashion sense.

When asked what he thought a PIMP was, sophomore sociology/criminal justice major Deshawn Hunt of Marietta, Ga said he thoughta PIMP was a person who has a lot of females and a lot of money,and is very popular.

Tressa Thomas a sophomore, history/ pre-law major from BatonRouge said a PIMP was someone who had a lot of power.

“Someone who can freestyle poetry that can change your mindabout the world and can sell reading glasses to a blind man becausehis game is so tight. He is someone who is manager, CEO andco-owner of the world’s oldest profession,” Thomas said.

The Hip-Hop industry influences many people who come from avariety of places. It effects what is the hottest new fashion.People want to wear what entertainers wear. The latest rap song isstuck in your head because it has been played on the radio sooften. The word PIMP can be seen as a catchy slogan written allover T-shirts.

With so much influence by media and merchandising, many peoplewithin the society are concerned with the kind of message that issent out. The PIMP image has definitely changed, but the real issueis whether it is a positive or negative change.

Hunt believes the PIMP image has helped the industry.

“It has made it better. It has helped because the hip-hopindustry has turned the real meaning into something positive tobring in money to the industry,” Hunt said.

Thomas said she is split between the two, saying it has bothhelped and hurt the industry.

“It has helped the spreading of hip-hop because weak mindedpeople levitate to things that project an image of wealth, glamour,sex and easy living. It has hurt the industry because it makesartists look ignorant, shallow and self- oriented,” Thomassaid.

Whether one believes it has hurt or helped the hip-hop industry,everyone should pay more attention to what one watches, listens toand repeats. The controversy will probably go on for a whilelonger, but be careful when you say, “I’m a PIMP.” The question is,are you really a PIMP, and if so what kind of PIMP are you?