A Pimp Told Me
Should I Let Her Know?
Growing up, one of my favorite hip-hop artists was Talib Kweli. One of his lines from the song, “Hot Thing,” continues to stick with me: “I might be falling in love; should I let her know? A pimp told me if I love her, I should let her go.”
This line hints at how the pimp image has influenced today’s young men. It has contributed to the objectification of women and the increasing inability for men to love women and a wife well. But because of God, there is hope.
The Portrayal of the Pimp Game
The typical image of the American pimp dresses extravagantly, drives an expensive car, and has four or five women around him. Pimps, as part of the pimp game, condition women to turn tricks. Pimps mentally and emotionally manipulate women who are impressionable, emotionally vulnerable, or who had a history of abuse. Pimps profit financially from the idolatry, sin, and brokenness of these women and their tricks. The pimp game is evil and satanic.
The portrayal of the game in mainstream culture has changed over time, and what it means to be pimping has varied. But from rapper Too $hort’s lyrics, to 50 Cent’s and Snoop Dogg’s song, “P.I.M.P.” to Kat Williams’ stage persona, the pimp lifestyle has been glorified in mainstream culture.
Phrases relating to the game, such as “choosing,” “put you on game,” and “don’t hate the player, hate the game,” have infiltrated our everyday use. If a man calls another man a “pimp,” “player,” or “mack,” it’s regarded as a compliment, and juggling romantic/sexual relationships with multiple women at the same time is seen as a coveted skill.
By being exposed to the glorification of the pimp lifestyle and its values, young men have been enticed into pursuing selfish and manipulative romantic/sexual relationships with several women at the same time. This appeals to men because it unconsciously presents before us a picture of us as gods on our imaginary thrones with women constantly surrounding us to adore us and make us feel powerful.
The ideal is to have no real emotional attachment to these women so our needs can be met without being vulnerable or getting hurt. Thus, “A pimp told me if I love her I should let her go.” The thrill of the sex, attention, and power that “the game” gives us deceitfully makes us feel alive, if only for a second.
The glorification of the pimp lifestyle has encouraged men to have “good mouthpieces” — to tell women anything that’ll get them to give us what we want. It has taught us that passionately loving and valuing a woman are for weak and worthless men. It has taught us that we are soft if we actually think a woman is “the one.”
The Place of our Healing
At the end of the day, this behavior is a product of our pain. Men, we’re screaming for the love, affection, empowerment, and affirmation we’re missing and so desperately need. And we know it. But men, we’ll never be satisfied if we seek those things by being a player.
God has designed us to find those things in Him. God can fill the holes in our hearts and completely heal our wounds. I have watched God transform me in this area by the power of His Word over the past several years. I’m not perfect, but God offers forgiveness through Jesus. Have faith in Jesus. He is able, fellas. Let’s seek Him. Let’s surrender to Him. Let’s man up.
Men, in what ways have you been affected by the glorification of the pimp image? How have you seen God transform your thinking and/or behavior in the area of loving and valuing women? Women, even though this question is directed towards the men, we would like to hear your voice too!