Pimpin’ Ken: Leisure Studies

Pimpin’ Ken is internationally known, nationally recognized and locally accepted. Try to keep up.There is no denying that many people have been influenced by the lifestyle of pimps, even if unrealistically. Artists like Too Short, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, 8Ball & MJG, E-40, Ice T and even rap-rocker Kid Rock have used some type of […]

Pimpin’ Ken is internationally known, nationally recognized and locally accepted. Try to keep up.There is no denying that many people have been influenced by the lifestyle of pimps, even if unrealistically. Artists like Too Short, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, 8Ball & MJG, E-40, Ice T and even rap-rocker Kid Rock have used some type of pimp philosophy in their songs. Even in trying to make the word a “good” thing ala Nelly’s P.I.M.P. campaign (Positive Intellectual Motivated Person) or Xzibit’s playful Pimp My Ride TV show, the word pimp alone has carried a stigma of negativity that won’t soon fade.Veteran “Pimpin’” Ken Ivey has more than made his mark in the game, and is now working on turning the tides on America’s perception of the pimp. From his early years motivating a bevy of hookers through disciplined thinking, tactical manipulation and positive reinforcement, Ken took his natural ability to motivate others to new heights. While garnering accolades for his achievements like “Mack Of The Year” from the Annual Player’s Ball, Ken was aligning himself with rappers, event producers and television professionals all in pursuit of a bigger dream. He was largely responsible for the classic HBO films Pimps Up, Ho’s Down and Pimpology Uncut, and appeared in various cult(ure) classics like American Pimp. These days, Ken Ivy is a full-fledged business man with a film company, a radio show, regular public speaking engagements and a new book entitled Pimpology: The 48 Laws Of The Game. Although he’s not necessarily aspiring to be a superstar rapper, he has also partnered with UGK’s Pimp C for a new DVD and album. We spoke with Ken at great length about his projects, his past and his philosophies on life. Grab a seat, and get game.AllHipHop.com: What are your new projects with the album and DVD about, and how are you marketing them?Pimpin’ Ken: Actually it’s a DVD with an album included, it’s called The Best of Both Worlds Part 2. Pimp C is gonna generate some of the favorites that he has in the industry as well as myself, and we’re gonna collaborate and bring those people on board. In particular people like Too Short, 50, whoever we can get to participate in the project. We’re gonna reach out to all of my friends, such as my man B.G., Lil’ Wayne, 50, Nelly, all of those guys. I’m gonna try to get them involved with the project, because the project is about people that lived the street life, the pimp life as well as people who rap. All of them converted and changed their lives and now they’re merging and it’s the best of both worlds. Basically The Best of Both Worlds is the rap game and the pimp game legitimately merging together to come to a head where people can see how both lifestyles [are] prosperous if you learn how to do it the right way.AllHipHop.com: On your DVD, there are a lot of conversation about pimps who want to be rappers and rappers who portray the life of and want to be pimps. As someone who was involved in pimping over a period of time, how do you feel about rappers who glamorize pimping who were not involved in it but just claim to be a pimp?Pimpin’ Ken: Coming from the perspective of the hood, I think it’s a good thing. The reason why I say it is because it all ends up to one thing—making money. Now obviously if you never pimped and you rapped about it, it is to your best advantage to mention or get with a person that’s either pimpin’ or has pimped and get their endorsement. That’s what a lot of rappers don’t do, they talk about pimpin’ but they don’t know nothin’ about pimpin’. If you was smart, you’d do like 50 Cent, Jermaine Dupri, Too Short and Pimp C did. All of those guys got with me when they wanted to do something about pimpin’. They sit down, they talk to me and ask me if they were saying the right things, “Is this the proper way to approach the game?” Except there’s some guys out here that’s rapping [about] pimpin’ but they never had any affiliation with pimpin’ so they use the word out of context and they’re really just using the word as a fad because it sounds slick. But the proper thing to do is like a boxer, you train. You look at a tape of a boxer who’s boxed before, he learns and enhances his skills. That’s what the movie is all about, The Best of Both Worlds, we talk about rappers who portray pimps and pimps who portray to be rappers. Even the pimps, I’m not just gonna leave one side out, these guys need to get with rappers and learn how to produce, learn about publishing, learn what an escalation clause is and different rules of the game. Learn what  mechanical rights are and so on and so forth, how to do 16 bars and what a hook is before they just get on tape and start rapping and don’t know nothing about the rap game. AllHipHop.com: Too Short was really a big catalyst of putting the mainstream on to the pimp game. Would you agree that there were certain rappers that influenced the rest of the rappers to speak on it?Pimpin’ Ken: Too Short got a quote in the back of my book Pimpology: The 48 Laws Of The Game. He said, “Pimpin’ Ken taught me a lot, he represents real pimpin’”. What Too Short was doing that a lot of rappers is not doing, Too Short was hanging out with guys like Sir Captain, Sir Charles, myself and Bishop Don Juan. He was actually getting the game from the players. See, Too Short comes from Oakland, California. The movie The Mack, which is one of the premier movies for pimps in the world was shot right there in Oakland. So those guys had a lot of influence on guys like Too Short, this was their reality. So when you hear him rapping about pimpin’ and San Pablo and all these different streets, he’s talking about his reality. When you hear Master P talking about drugs, he’s talking about his reality. Too Short actually grew up around this type of atmosphere and that’s why Too Short loved and respected it so much. As a matter of fact, he was one of the people that inspired me. He was one of the first guys to get in my movie Pimpology Uncut. In the movie he explains how he got into the game and how he ended up with his career rapping about the game. So Too Short to me is one of the authentic originators of this rapping about pimp stuff, along with Pimp C. Pimp C’s name is Pimp C, his name’s been Pimp C for over 20 years. These guys are what I call the pioneers of this pimp thing, you got a lot of Johnny Come Latelyswho try to act like they’re about the game but if you want to look at the forefathers of this pimp rap stuff you got to look at Too Short and Pimp C.AllHipHop.com: There are a lot of young guys who call themselves pimps and who try to get into the pimp game. Do you feel that rap music has influenced them getting into the pimp game more so than other pimps?Pimpin’ Ken: I think the most influential person in getting people into the pimp game is myself. We did a movie called Pimps Up, Ho’s Down and we did the movie over 10 years ago. When the movie came out I was one of the first guys to step to the rappers and tell ’em “Hey man, y’all need to represent this pimpin’ like Too Short and Pimp C a little bit more. Y’all need to get the pimps in the videos.” But all the time I had an ulterior motive, to build my name and become bigger so I can promote the game only to show people the game from another perspective. A lot of people get a misconception; they think I’m talking about peddling flesh. Yeah we can peddle flesh all the time, we can sell a woman’s body, that’s the easiest thing in the world to do. If a woman likes you and she’s already into that type of lifestyle she will pay you money all day. But to be able to go up into Simon & Schuster and get a quarter of a million dollars for a book when LL Cool J, Al Sharpton and a whole bunch of other people didn’t do that…We go in there and talk to these people and we’re actually pimping this book company out of all this money without pulling a gun or putting anybody out there to sell their body and destroying any families, yes that was one of the things that we were trying to do. We started that to influence people and to show these guys get your own label, be your own pimp. Don’t let the record label pimp you, own your own publishing. I didn’t promote pimpin’ to downgrade women, because really the pimpin’ as we know it is over with. The guys can get mad at me if they want to, but pimpin’ is over with because women are hiding out. They’re hiding on the internet, they get with you [and] get the game, they get on the internet and you never see them again. That’s just the reality of the game, it’s not like it used to be. Now if you want me to lie to you and say, “Okay well, we can do it like this, this is pimpin’ and this is how you break the chick,” I’ll do it if you buy it. You give me the money and I’ll sell you whatever you wanna buy. AllHipHop.com: So really you might say the digital age did to pimpin’ what it did to the music industry – it killed it because the girls can go on the net now, they don’t need to be on the streets anymore.Pimpin’ Ken: Right, and that’s one of the reasons women in my day could not ho on the streets without a pimp, because how you gonna be on the track with my hoes and you aint paying the pimp? So either you choose the pimp or you get the hell up off this track. Nowadays guys bring the women to the game and they say, “Okay baby here, we gonna hook you up with this site and that site,” the chicks be on the site and then after they get the game they realize they can go to New York or go somewhere else and get away from this guy and do their own thing, then the guys never hear from ’em anymore. The internet messed the game up.AllHipHop.com: Pimps Up, Ho’s Down you say you made that in the mid ’90s… when did that first air?Pimpin’ Ken: The first time it aired was in ’97. Believe this, if you check the credits I was the one who was the consultant for that film. I put the whole thing together, Pimp Snooky, Big Lex, The Player’s Ball – all that comes from me. A lot of people think that somebody else had a big influence, but the credits don’t lie. It says “Consultant – Ken Ivey,” my real name is Ken Ivey. I put this whole thing together, at the same time they were shooting their movie, I was shooting my movie too Pimpology Uncut. I been had a vision and a plan, we been working on this. But the movie was the number one documentary in the world, over 40 million people done viewed this movie. People love this movie, it’s a cult classic.AllHipHop.com: You definitely touched on a few things in your book about ways that people can apply “pimpology” to everyday life in things that they do, whether it be work or personal relationships etc. What do you think are the top three things that people can take from that book and use?Pimpin’ Ken: First of all I want to let people know that you have to feel worth within yourself – you have to feel like you’re worth something. My first law is “Purse First, A** Last,” and what that simply means is if you think I’m handsome, pay my ransom. If you want me to take a chance, give me my cash in advance. In life what is valuable is worth something, and things that are not valuable is not worth anything. You don’t want to earn your price, you want to cost your price. You want people to pay automatically, if you’re 50 Cent you want to get $150,000 a show, if you’re Pimp C you want to get a million dollars a show. The reason why is you have put yourself in a certain position where you become valuable, so the first key thing is to become valuable.The second thing is in becoming valuable remember: Prosperity over popularity. A lot of these rappers, they’re popular but they don’t have any money. My thing is get the money then become more popular, P. Diddy got rich then he became more popular. 50 Cent and Jay-Z are rich, they’re more popular. They used their money and pimped them dollars to the point where no matter where they go it’s an event, people wanna see and hear about these guys. They’re always newsworthy but at the same time they’re financially stable so therefore they are never embarrassed, they will never be embarrassed to be out in public because they know that they can wear whatever they want to wear. They got whatever everybody else got and it doesn’t make a difference.The third thing is keep your game on the low. What I mean by keeping your game on the low is don’t let people know what you’re thinking. That’s the biggest mistake that people make, those who know don’t tell and those who tell don’t know. Once you open your mouth you remove all doubt and you let people know what you all about and that’s not the key thing to do. When you get my movie Pimpology, the name of my book is also Pimpology but at the end of my book I’m holding up a book called The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. People think I bit Robert Greene, but actually what I did was enhance Robert Greene because his book is nothing but a book of research. My book is a book of life, that’s why I begin each chapter with life and it’s an example of every aspect of my life. I let people know that I got this movie Pimpology and at the end of the movie I hold up the book. Why would I hold up Robert Greene’s book The 48 Laws of Power? Power stands for Pimp Organized Working for Economic Rebirth, that’s what I defined power as at the end of the movie. I knew that I was gonna do [my] book, but I had to subliminally put it in people’s heads. That’s the only way you can really get things, because life is a checker board and every individual is a life sized pawn. We got a few rooks, knights and pawns and kings but the ultimate goal is to checkmate your opponents. Like 50 Cent likes to say, “These negros playing checkers, I’m playing chess.”The book is very practical, it’s very easy. Anybody with a fifth grade education can read the book. I didn’t use a lot of big words because I didn’t want to lose anybody but anybody with a Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Robert Greene or Dale Carnegie mentality can relate to it. So actually what I did was I took complex theories and used a simplistic approach to give the people who normally wouldn’t read these books the same information that they would have got if they would have read these highly complex and intellectual books. I was able to do that because of my dual sides, being that I’m from the streets but yet I went to college and educated myself. I went to the University of Wisconsin, my first semester I made the Dean’s list. I’m not a dummy but at the same time I’m still strictly about this hood thing too, but I’m not about it to the point where I’m gonna let it consume me. I’m gonna take it and turn a negative into a positive and that’s what my book is about, taking the game and flipping it. I wanna say one more thing, although there’s a lot of pimpin’ [in my book] if you think you’re gonna take it and become the next Pimpin’ Ken think again, because most of the guys I grew up with past the age of 40 is either on drugs, dead or in the penitentiary. If they’re not dead, on drugs or in the penitentiary some of ’em I heard have full blown AIDS. The money is good, but there’s a curse to this game and one of the curses is the penitentiary and of course AIDS. So if you’re out there and you’re barebacking them chicks and you’re sending them out and one of the condoms break on one of those tricks, then you go and have sex with them and you get something you can’t get rid of. Also too for the young ladies out there that heard me say on the UGK album that I like the mighty whiteys and that I don’t like Black women, that is not true. When I’m making that statement actually what I’m saying is in my lifetime, in the business that I was in white women made more money than Black women. It’s only entertainment, it’s not to degrade Black women. I do not degrade Black women. As a matter of fact I don’t even want to call you Black women… African-American women. AllHipHop.com: What was it that made you finally decide to do something in the rap world other than just doing an intro or being a guest spot on somebody else’s album? What inspired you to get a little more involved?Pimpin’ Ken: Well, actually Pimp told me one day, “Ken, you gonna be a producer. You gonna produce all the albums, we gonna put your name on the thing and you gonna be the producer.” I said, “Pimp, I don’t know how to produce no albums.” He said,  “Neither do any of these other n***as either, they just put their name on it.” [laughs] I was like, “I can’t do that, but one thing I can do [since] I got good people skills, I can get with these guys and we can do real reality type things. My man Too Real For TV and Dope Man from ChronicCentral.net these guys is very instrumental in helping me capture this footage. So what we did was collaborate and come together, they had the expertise. One thing about me and Pimp’s relationship is that before Pimp C was this big ol’ person that he is now, him and I were friends. I slept over his mother’s house, I was one of the few people that went and visited him in prison. No disrespect to Bun, I love Bun B but I’m the first guy to put “Free Pimp C” on a CD, that was my CD it was called Boss Pimps by me, Trick Boss and John Doe. Since he’s been home we’ve been together, he’s like a little brother of mine. He listens to me, I was the one who called Jeezy and told him, “Pimp don’t want no beef”. I was the one that told Pimp, “It aint worth it.” See people don’t know I talk to Too Short, Juvenile, a lot of these guys and people don’t know how much of a positive influence I have on these guys. Go to Youtube and type in my name and 50 Cent and you’ll see I’m talking to him about starting a business and doing something positive. I always think positive to these guys and people take my name Pimpin’ Ken and they take the negative out of it, but they don’t realize how much of an influence I’ve been on all of these young guys. I’m old enough to be some of these guys’ daddies and most of their big brothers. If you check the history and really sit down and talk to ‘em they will tell you that Pimpin’ Ken is a very intelligent man, he’s very positive and he always tells us the right thing to do. That’s why these guys love me, everybody wants to know how can all of the rappers like this guy? Take Lil’ Jon for instance, Lil’ Jon didn’t even have a personality. People didn’t even know Lil’ Jon, we would walk in the club I said “Lil’ Jon, here’s a cup. I’m gonna bless you with this pimp cup” and you know what the pimp cup has done for Lil’ Jon, right? I’ve been influential in these guys’ lives for a long time, I’ve got over 12 years messing with rappers. Ice-T is my personal friend, he stopped everything he was doing and started promoting my book. He said, “Pimpin’ Ken wrote this book, this is the best book on earth about the game. This man really exhibits the game.” This is what Ice-T said, all the media was there, they watched and filmed and captured the moment. These guys love me because I’m the truth and I’m real, I never snitched on nobody.I hope everybody understands that even though we’re under the auspices of pimpin’ we are not just trying to promote the game. The drug dealers and gangsters rap about their lifestyle, it’s a part of our culture. I can’t help it because I grew up in an environment where pimpin’ was flourishing. Milwaukee is a pimp town. Everybody in Milwaukee is either pimpin’ or they’re working in a factory or something, this is how I came up. I just happened to be one of the fortunate ones to take the game to the next level and get up out of the game and pimp the system. That’s what I’m trying to teach every young individual and even people who work everyday. I wanna teach you how not to be just a worker, I wanna teach you how to start your own AllHipHop, how to own your own magazine and publishing company. Things that I put in the book can help an individual to get to that next level because it’s helped me get to that level. That’s all we’re trying to do, of course I have to use my previous experience and it’s a lot of pimpin’ in there. I say a woman not taking control and giving up control makes her a ho in the first place. Not wanting to take that control, that’s what makes you a ho in any given situation. Not wanting to take control over your destiny working in any particular field or endeavor is what makes you a ho. Unfortunately it’s a lot of hoes in corporate America, because Bill Gates didn’t invent nothing, I heard that Bill Gates stole that from three guys that worked for Apple and he was able to buy that Windows from them and take it and make billions of dollars off of it. Bill Gates is a pimp.I was on the radio and they asked me who is the biggest pimp in politics, I said Hillary Clinton [laughs]. She’s from Arkansas but she’s the senator of New York, if that’s not pimpin’ what is it? How can she be a native of Arkansas and run against politicians that been in New York all their lives and they’re not the senators? Come on now, that’s big pimpin’. They tell me, “Who’s another pimp?” I said President Bush – he got all of our children and other people’s children over there fighting every day a war that we can’t win. You can not win a war with guerilla warfare because the rules of engagement don’t apply. How can we win the war when the war is unfair to our troops? But yet he don’t care, everyday he’s sending these troops out and he’s getting money and they’re getting oil and this is what it’s all about, or it’s all about construction and rebuilding and taking that money. All of these guys have defense stocks, when you have a war you’ve got to replace that weaponry, if you replace it somebody gotta build it. If you’re a part of the company that’s rebuilding it then you’re making more money, if you’re taking oil from people and Iraq got the third largest oil reserve in the world then you’re benefiting. That’s what my book is about – how tycoons and big corporate execs and all them pimp. How to pimp on a corporate level, how Pimpin’ Ken went in there a guy that’s been to prison, been in the streets all of his life, been shot, probably may have shot somebody…In any event a person of that statute who went through all of that, all of the prostitutes that I’ve been through, all of the arguments in the streets and the craps and the dice, then to sit down with these corporate executives at Simon & Schuster to make these people respect my mind and tell these people, “Look here, I know yall lookin’ for the funny suits and for the fish to be swimming through my heel like Huggy Bear. Everybody wants the crown but nobody wants to take the crown home, I’m not a crown. I’m a businessman and I want to do business with you.” They did not want to make this book in the fashion that it’s been printed, they wanted me to do some Black exploitation stuff. They wanted me to write a book that was comparable to Iceberg Slim. I said “I am not Iceberg Slim, I never shot dope in my life.” Iceberg Slim was a dope fiend throughout the books, I never been a dope fiend. All I did was drive Cadillacs, Mercedes, foreign whips and foreign policies all over the world. I don’t have that experience, my experience has been one of success and this is what I wanna share with the young people. I flipped that negative into a positive and that’s the difference between me and Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines and all the rest of those guys out there who wrote books about the game. I respect all of them, I respect each and every one of  my forefathers but I’m just saying to you my experience has not been the same as theirs. I don’t shoot drugs, I don’t get high, smoke weed or cigarettes, I don’t do none of that. So I can’t write from that perspective, but I have used my mind to get what I want so when I write, I write from a mental perspective. I try to explain to people if you use these certain machinations and strategies, you can get anything you want. The main thing I want to leave with people is to always believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts, never doubt your beliefs and never believe your doubts. A winner never quits and a quitter never wins, whatever the mind believes it can conceive the mind can achieve. I’ve said it, meant it and I can represent it. There aint no used to, I know y’all say used to, used to was a rooster and back then was a hen, and I wanna say, “Ladies and gentlemen welcome, this is your man Pimpin’ Ken. Oh that rhymed, didn’t it?