By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
This is where it all gets brilliant, where the joke reveals itself as Swiftian satire so lowbrow, only the highbrow among us will ever get it. For so long, Pimpadelic seemed to be nothing more than a one-note joke -- white boys smeared in black face, grabbing their balls and dropping their shorts as they pretended to be the Big Bad Bro. On the surface, it all seemed so offensive and foolish -- the misappropriation of music and culture and attitude, a bastardized rap-metal hybrid behind which hid cowards offering their misogyny and racism as mere wink-wink burlesque. But somewhere along the way, Pimpadelic -- Easy Jesus, Dirty K, Cole, D.J. MIA, and Madison -- dropped the high school high jinks and unveiled their deep-dark-truth manifesto, without changing a single thing. No wonder the uninitiated and the foolish among us kept getting it wrong all these years; who knew the prophets would arrive holding blunts and shouting dick-and-pussy jokes while threatening to burn the city and the cops to the ground?
It's so easy to misconstrue the Pimpadelic manifesto, to think it's just one more drop in the shitbucket that has become rap and roll. That's how brilliant, how subversive their methods have become -- in order to corrupt, one most adapt and adopt. To listen to Southern Devils is to be confronted with the most grim and horrible truths offered up by a iniquitous, diseased culture -- and then to laugh and wince as they roll by one after the other, like gangstas on the prowl.
"Bitches come around, get a dick in your ass" -- surely, it's a metaphor for the castrated American male, who has been victimized by a society that promises equality for all but offers justice for none, especially the white American male, the most castigated being in all of modern society. It's revenge fantasy as shocking, blunt fiction -- the "truth" offered up as a lie. Couple that with lines such as "I ain't got time for bitches / But I like the money and I'm a pimp addicted to dropping my britches" and "Contradictory to the rumor that my head's so big / I work hard to gank my money, call me Easy the Kid," and you've got the deepthink polemic offered up in ready-made rhymes -- to-the-bone rage masquerading as yo-s'up-G bushwa boo-sheet. Theirs are the politics of the pocket book: Yo, a brutha, regardless of color, just wants to get paid.
But it's the universal truth they seek: Break it down, and theirs are nothing but the laments of the alienated Everyman with the broken heart turned hard with sadness, regret, loneliness. "Drop pills, bald pussy all in my grill," begins "So Damned Tough," one of so many ironically titled cris de coeur. "Stay still, won't you shit on my dick then nasty get up / In nothin' but my Speedo, you won't see a fancy getup / Say I love you -- at the same time put a bottle up your butt / Feed you Ex-Lax, relax, come on baby fill it up." Fellas, sorry for all the misunderstanding. Who knew all Pimpadelic really wanted was a hug?