Friday, December 5, 2008

A free Iceberg Slim download

“Iceberg Slim has been one of the most influential people in black culture.” – Ice-T

The late Robert Beck, better known as Iceberg Slim, wrote the book on pimping. Literally. His 1967 memoir, “Pimp: The Story of My Life,” is about to be reissued in paperback.

That book opened up a new career for Iceberg Slim as a man of letters. It also launched the whole genre of “urban lit.” Which, in turn, shaped the development of hip-hop.

Now Ice-T wants to make a documentary about Iceberg Slim. Mos Def and Angela Bassett are rumored to be involved in a movie adaptation of Slim’s novel “Mama Black Widow.”

And Slim’s 1976 record album, “Reflections,” has been re-released. With a FREE MP3 for the taking.

I can’t speak on Iceberg Slim as a writer. But I don’t think much of him as a spoken-word performer (notwithstanding the musical backing of Red Holloway’s band). “Reflections” can’t hold a candle to “Hustlers Convention.” (Or even “Eat Out More Often.”)

If you have a contrary point of view, I’ll consider it.

Click here to hear a track called “Broadway Sam” on my Vox blog. To download it, click the title below.

“Broadway Sam” (MP3)
Album available at iTunes Music Store


maria said...

what's that manson art in the background? THAT looks interesting.

Jack J. said...

So we're back to shuckin' and pimpin'?

Once again we're going to celebrate the worse black culture has to offer, a PIMP, rather than being outraged that we black folk are celebrating that woman beating asswipe.

There is nothing redeeming or positive in this and "Iceberg" Slim, abuser of women and low-life, should be put where he belongs, in the trash heap of the past.

It's time to let this crap go away!

maria said...

you do realize david did say he was against this?

so take it to the folks who might be bankrolling it...

Business Johnson said...

I know it's probably bad form for my first post on this interesting site to be a rant--I was going to say something about the chillin polar bears :)--but I have to second Jack J. (And no, I don't think UBM is championing Iceberg Slim, just passing on provocative information). I just can't keep my mouth shut.

When our community presents as its heroes pimps, gangstas, rap stars who pretend to be both, highly-paid athletes, or bible-thumping cross the pinnacle of African American achievement, why do we become outraged when the world opinion (and I'm not just talking white America) is that every black person can sing, dance, run fast, and smokes crack in the ghetto? We can't have it both ways.

When do we get to hear about African Americans who created something positive, helped their families and communities? What about the great artists and philosophers, scholars and scientists? Why is taking a bullet, pimping out women, or doing time a ticket to credibility and riches?

And I'm not talking about the candy-coated Oprah version either. We are presented with either saints or sinners and neither are good role models for the community to follow. When do we get to be WHOLE, flawed people who work hard, try to raise our families, contribute to our community and world history? We don't feel the need to excuse Picasso's personality or Gandhi's failures as a father, yet their contributions to the world cannot be denied. Let's celebrate our legitimate achievements and better understand our everyday struggles that we share in common with the rest of humanity. Let's be REAL people who condemn wrong action and promote the good. Only then will we be able to communicate with other cultures and races, on our common universal ground. When we stop giving our admiration to sub-humans like Iceberg Slim and stop treating him as an ambassador of Blackness, perhaps fewer children will aspire to the pimp/bling or die lifestyle they're being fed by the media.

Thanks for letting me vent. And thanks for this blog Undercover Black Man.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Welcome, Business Johnson.

Jack J. said...

Just to be clear...UBM is one of my favourite blogs so my comments weren't aimed at my dear brother.

Keep it comin'.

By the way, Ice-T should be ashamed to even think about this.

maria said...

to business: the kind of thing you seem to want is more like HBO's the black list.

see it if you haven't.

news of which was also brought to all of us via UBM!

Undercover Black Man said...

It's all love.

Business Johnson said...

maria, thanks for the recommend to The Black List. Though it does confuse celebrity with achievement. Just a sign of the times I guess. Looking forward to checking it out. I cancelled my subscription after The Wire ended. Hint, hint, UBM is that why you were in New Orleans for Treme? Can't wait!

Dav said...

Business Johnson, I was with you to a point "When do we get to be WHOLE, flawed people" but then you say "sub-humans like Iceberg Slim".

Are the stupid, the hateful, the greedy, the lazy ... to be hidden in shame? Aren’t we all these things to a greater or lesser extent. If a black person does bad things are they letting down the race? Is this message just peculiar to minorities living in western countries. Isn’t stereotyping the real problem either in a positive or negative light. Wishing to be portray just the ‘good’ is a set up.

†rainstar said...

Compelling discussion, but regardless of Ice T's agenda, Iceberg slim is an absolutely brilliant storyteller, capable of evoking texture, grit, elegance and pain. He tells brutal fables learned hard on the streets. He's simply phenomenal. Also, to Jack J.'s comment, I think it would be committing a severe disservice to black culture to "let this crap go away!" To be strong culturally, you must never forget the past, no matter how frivolous, trite or brutal.