According to author K’wan Foye, the iconic pimp-turned-writer Iceberg Slim “would paint beautiful pictures using ugly paint.” The same could be said of first-time director Jorge Hinojosa and producer Ice-T, who craft a compelling, surprisingly level-headed tale not only of Slim’s life bewitching women with his “poisonous pimp charisma,” but also of his escape from that life through writing. Interviewees such as Snoop Dogg, Chris Rock and a handful of comparatively dweeby clinical psychologists speak of the late Slim with a twisted sort of awe, detailing a terrifying childhood that included Slim being raped by a female babysitter. It’s an unusual opportunity to examine the roots of a man who eventually made a living brutalizing and objectifying women in what he called “the grimy catacombs of the ghetto.” An interview with Slim’s ex-wife, who croaks out the story of their life together while sucking on a cigarillo in bed and leering at the camera with her one functional eye, is a standout. If ever there was a testament to the perils of pimpdom, she is it. But most striking is the film’s unexpected takeaway: What Slim wished to leave behind was not so much a glamorous image but rather a cautionary tale.
- Running Time:
- Release Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
- MPAA Rating: R
- Critic's Score: A-
- Watch the trailer