In the Dark

Pimp Dreams

Hustle and Flow
Produced by Crunk Pictures and New Deal Productions
Directed and written by Craig Brewer
Distributed by MTV Films and Paramount Classics

Bulletin: Pimps and rappers have hearts; they have yearnings; they have midlife crises, for heaven’s sake!  Sure, they exploit and abuse women, deal dope, and occasionally shoot one another; but, hell, they’re just folks striving for the American Dream like everyone else in our uproarious republic.

So what does a rapper-pimp’s American Dream look like?  Director Craig Brewer’s first film Hustle and Flow puts us in the picture with Skinny Black (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges convincingly playing a standard-issue platinum rapper, being one himself).  Skinny tells it like it is.  For this beaux ideal of all would-be hip-hop niggahs, both black and white, the American Dream is “a drink in your hand and p---y in your lap.”  As dreams go, this does not seem to be asking for much.  Indeed, one might say it asks for much too little.  What about a family, a home?  What about a reasonably priced education for your kids?  How about the freedom to seek truth, beauty, and goodness?  Forget about it.  In hip-hop culture, hormonal spontaneity is all.  White-bread goals have to wait at the end of a long, long line of fleshly gratifications.

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