“As a kid I dreamed of being a pimp,” Snoop Lion states in this month’s Rolling Stone magazine. “I dreamed of having cars and clothes and bitches to match. I said, ‘Fuck it – I’m finna do it.’” And so during his Playboy Tour in 2003, he utilized his fame, money and power to, in his words, “put an organization together,” and finally make his long awaited childhood fantasy come true. As Snoop would have us believe, it was everything he imagined and more:
“I had a bus follow me with ten bitches on it. I could fire a bitch, fuck a bitch, get a new ho: It was my program. City to city, titty to titty, hotel room to hotel room, athlete to athlete, entertainer to entertainer.”
In the magazine, Snoop brags about having a celebrity clientele, and while he doesn’t name names, he claims professional athletes would use his services:
“If I’m in a city where the Denver Broncos or the Nuggets play, I get a couple of their players to come hang out, pick and choose, and whichever one you like comes with a number. A lot of athletes bought pussy from me.”
Eager for an ‘authentic’ baby-I-got-your-money pimp experience, Snoop recalled how he would role play taking money from the very women he was pimping out to millionaire stars. “I’d act like I’d take the money from the bitch,” he told Rolling Stone, “but I’d let her have it. It was never about the money; it was about the fascination of being a pimp.”
If we’re honest, that “fascination”, indeed obsession with controlling women’s sexuality isn’t some kind of marginal sexual fetish. In fact it is frighteningly conventional and has become so ubiquitous, it no longer seems particular. After all, isn’t Snoop’s recollections about “employing” women to sell pussy just nostalgic reflections: surely that’s nothing to protest, right?
But what some may deem as the harmless reflections of a man desperate for inches (column inches, of course) is in fact a dangerous narrative that promotes a mythology about prostitution, which conceals the ways it thrives on racism, sexism, violence, exploitation and poverty, to name a few.
The ugly reality that is always left out of “pimp fantasies” is that the majority of women in US prostitution (most studies estimate 60 – 70%) have histories of sexual abuse in childhood. Rolling Stone’s slick soft-porn styling of Snoop’s reflections perform the cultural work of reducing female sexuality to its basest levels, which in turn normalizes sexual subordination and objectification.
Perhaps most egregious is Snoop’s ‘redemptive’ musings about life as a pimp:
“My wife had to take a backseat to this shit. And I love her to this day because she coulda shook out on a nigga, but she stayed in my corner. So when I decided to let it go, she was still there.”
Female objectification dehumanizes us all.