OK, leave aside popular stereotypes. The most common complaint I hear about pimps is a classic labor and management issue: The ho is doing all the work, and the pimp is getting a cut of the money for doing nothing.

No, the pimp is getting all the money. They don't get no cut; they 
get all the money. But let me tell you what they're doing. 'Cause you ain't 
gonna understand, but when I tell you this, you're gonna be able to see it. 
You don't want to look at the ho as a woman, but she is a woman. Now 
here's this woman that's whoring, and she don't have no man. Now she's 
got this big secret. She can't tell you, because you just came upon her in 
a bar and you don't know she's a ho. She looks presentable to you. You're 
talking to her and you're getting close. 

You're overestimating my rap, but go on.

Well, she can't get close to you and tell you what she does, because the 
moment she tells you, you see her in some different views. You're through 
with trying to be cool with her. Now she's a ho. 

A pimp is the only man who can see that woman as a woman. 
A pimp is the only one that's gonna make her 
feel like a woman, because he's the only man she can tell everything 
to. There's gonna be nothing dishonest in her mind about this man/woman 
relationship. Now a lot of pimps don't want to hear this shit: "Bitch, I don't 
want to hear what the fuck you doing." But the important thing is not that 
she tells him everything, but that he knows she's a ho. So it ain't about the 
money. Because you send the broad out, you're at home, you're maybe in 
Las Vegas, and she's in San Francisco, and if it's only about the money, how 
can you control her? But the thing is, it's not about the money to her, it's 
about the dude. The dude knows he ain't got to worry about no money, 
'cause she's gonna bring it all to him. She don't give a damn about no 
money because whether she's with him or not she can make money forever 
now. That's why hos need pimps, because a pimp is the only motherfucker 
they can be real with. Believe it or not they want to have a real relationship. 

But is that really worth 100 percent of her salary? What service do 
you provide in exchange?

See, if you don't see it, then you ain't gonna see it. And it's not something 
that you're supposed to see. Who's supposed to see it is a ho. She sees the 
benefit of having a man. And if you don't see that, that's because you ain't 
no ho.

 But I'm a freelancer, so ...

But you're trying to look at it from some sensible, common-sense situation. 
The broad ain't looking at it like that. Neither is the dude she's bringing it 
to, 'cause there ain't none of it that's common sense. But tell me this: Why 
can a lobbyist bring a Senator x amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote 
his shit, and they call it lobbying, but if I do it, they call it a bribe?

I'm not talking about right and wrong here; it's just a labor issue. Who's 
getting what for his or her effort?

I know, it don't make sense. I know. But what don't make sense to you 
don't mean shit when it's in an environment that you're not in. Because if 
you were in the game, either as a pimp or a ho, you would understand totally, 
just like that politician I just talked about understands that lobby shit. You're 
on the outside, trying to figure out how a race car goes 300 miles per hour 
when it looks just like a regular car. I don't know that shit. All I know is it 
can do it. And to a racing car enthusiast, it makes plenty of sense to go that 
fast. My point is: You can't make sense out of it unless you're involved in it. 

Did you ever have to smack a ho?

Let's say you've decided to be in the game. You know that hos go out 
nightly and challenge men and handle men. Do you believe that?


Do you think that sooner or later she ain't gonna come home and try to 
challenge her man?

I think she is. 

OK, I'm just drawing a picture for you. Now I know this 
is going to happen. I also know she's either gonna be with me afterward 
or she's not. 'Cause that's how slight shit is in the game. She might come 
home and challenge you, and you might be asleep and don't realize it and 
you don't stand up to the challenge: She's gone the next day. You stick 
your key in the door to kick it with her: her clothes, everything's gone, you 
don't know what happened. You have to understand this shit when you're 
in the game. So here comes this broad, she comes home and challenges 
you. Now you see the challenge. You know also that this broad is giving 
you $400 every night. Now if you just don't need $400, you can afford 
to fail the challenge and let her go to some other pimp and give him the 
$400 every night. Otherwise, you could check that bitch right there, stop 
her, slap the shit out of her, and let her know don't fuck with you. What 
would you do?

I have no fucking idea.

The challenge is this: She's coming in and you say, "Baby, what'd it look like?" 
And she says "I don't got time. I don't feel like talking about it." That's a 
challenge, that's disrespectful. That's her not responding to you, and that's 
not how it's supposed to go. If she'll do that she'll do something else. What 
I'm saying is you've got to check shit right away in the game. If you don't, it's 
gonna automatically escalate to something else. What you've gotta do, as soon 
as she says, "I don't want to talk," you've gotta follow her, say, "Wait a minute, 
bitch." You checked her. You were on top of that situation. And she's saying 
to herself, "Damn, I can't be fucking with him." But if that happens and you 
let her walk off, and she goes into the bathroom and closes the door, she'll
be saying to herself, "Damn, that motherfucker didn't even check me. Man, I 
wonder if that motherfucker a punk." That's how they think! So I'm saying, 
what would you let her think you're a punk for, knowing she's gonna go give 
the money to somebody else. 

What did you do in that situation?

If I checked her and she accepted being checked, then she was checked. But if 
I had to, I'd have slapped her down to the ground, and while she was on the 
ground, I'd have let her know, "Do not fuck with me, 'cause I ain't having 
none of that shit." But let me tell you something: You do that one time. You 
don't make a habit of that. Next time, you act like you're gonna kick her ass, 
but then you say, "You know what, bitch? I ain't fucking with you, 'cause 
you'll have me going to jail. Get your shit and get outta here." Fire the bitch. 
Ha ha! Fire her ass. She won't do it again then.  But if you beat her up, and 
she knows she can bring you to that point, she's going to challenge you 
again periodically. But if they know you ain't playing, you're gonna fire their 
ass, they ain't gonna challenge you ever. I had different bitches challenge me, 
but they didn't do it regularly, because they knew, after I showed them I 
wasn't a punk, that I would get rid of them for any out-of-pocket-type situation. 

What about checking the clients?

Game protecting. That's your job, that's a pimp's job. The pimp's job is 
to kick game. That means conversations with the knowledge and understanding 
so this broad can spot danger, because you're not gonna be out there watching 
her pick somebody up that looks stupid. When I had a fresh broad and she'd come 
in at night, I wouldn't let her sleep for damn near eight hours, talking about the 
game, so she'd understand what to do so she wouldn't get hurt. Believe me, the 
tricks beat them up and all that shit. But they get beat up maybe once, sometimes 
twice. One good ass-whupping from a trick and then they really wake up, because 
nine times out of 10, it's a situation they knew they shouldn't have been in. 

You've got to kick some ass yourself once in a while, right?

I ain't no punk, but I ain't willing to go out and kick no ass. But I will stand up 
for a situation when I get the call and I can come to do it.  I had some Jap karate 
motherfuckers once who tried to beat me up with some karate shit, 
and I told them, "Look, you motherfuckers may be here on vacation, or you may 
have some kind of visa, but you don't want to fuck with the wrong 
motherfucker," and they left.  What I'm saying is, if 
I'd had a gun I'd have peeled it out. And I'd be in the penitentiary now.

What's the most dangerous situation you've been in?

I had a motherfucker pull a gun on me, but what I'm saying is, I didn't 
get in those situations. I pimped in New York, in DC, in Fort Lauderdale, 
Hollywood. And never carried a gun. I avoided those situations.

Did you provide any benefits for your hos — insurance, Keough plan, etc?

This became a job-type thing when white people started fucking with it. But 
the real description has nothing to do with what you're asking about it. The 
pimp knows and the ho knows. That's why it ends up the same way for 
both of them — they both end up broke. Because they don't even know if 
they'll be around tomorrow, so they spend every penny. Now, as a square, I 
wish I had saved more when I was making that much money. But if I'd been 
careful I wouldn't have made money. You have to be reckless to make money 
in the game.

What's your view on the legalization of prostitution?

It's like anything else. If they legalize it, they're doing nothing but 
squeezing you out. I don't know how it would be, but I believe it 
would be more disease ridden. Believe it or not, hos are really 
clean. If it was legal you'd have all kinds of broads without the 
mentality of being careful.

Where do you see the game heading right now?

It's gonna go on. It's not gonna be detoured, because certain 
broads just want to be hos. And certain men want to be pimps. 
Believe me, there's nothing in my family background that would 
indicate I was gonna be a pimp. I was just drawn to it. 
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a pimp.

Even as a kid?

When I was a kid I wanted to be a pimp. I'm serious, man, I'm 47 now 
and I've never smoked a cigarette in front of my mother, never 
been drunk in front of her or anything else.

You don't see the desire to cut out middlemen in the New 
Economy as working against the pimp business?

The pimp is gonna exist. Aspects of the game are 
changing. It used to be if you met another pimp you could have a drink with him.  
Now you've got these suckers that want to kill you if they see you've 
got a broad. But how you catch, how you ho, that's never gonna change. 
The only thing is that more 
things will be diverted from that pot of money; the trick is spending.

Will the Internet have an impact on the business?

People are just crazy now. I cannot see a person who is used to 
pulling up on a ho going online and having cybersex. But they do. 
All of that is happening.

Did the Heidi Fleiss case have any impact on the business?

I can't say nothing about Heidi Fleiss, because she had all those things, 
she had all that money, and she went to jail. I can't say nothing about 
that because that's exactly what would have happened to me. It ain't like 
she got busted and told on somebody and got out of it. She did her time, 
and I haven't heard of nobody — no entertainers, nobody — getting busted 
as a result of that. So I tip my hat to the bitch. Even though she's a pimp's 
worst enemy, a madam, trying to talk bitches out of being hos.

Talk them out of it?

Yeah, when you're with a madam, supposedly you're no longer a ho.
You're a
girl" or some other bullshit.
 They pull psychology 
with you. You can take a street ho that was making $300,000 or $400,000 on 
the street, then she gets with a service, making the same money, and 
she'll look down at the girl on the street.

Did you like working with the Hughes brothers?

Man, they was the bomb. At first I was concerned that they 
would just splice together the interviews to make us look stupid. 
But they were real cool, they kept their word. They did hellified 
filming and the soundtrack is great.

Rosebudd's memoirs 
are available on cassette, individually or as a set.

[Previous Page] interview by
BarTel d'Arcy

Terry Colon