I’m My Own Pimp
YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia, Commentary, , Kalei Posted: May 11, 2007
Editor’s Note: While many young women choose pimps or have pimps force them into the street life, some of these female hustlers go into business for themselves. Kalei, 17, is a contributor to YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia. Audio from Street Soldiers Radio.
Living the street life is not cut out for every individual. Growing up in Oakland, everyone around you is trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents. Where I’m from, you can find kids as young as 13 driving cars on rims with no license and females as young as 11 and 12 selling their bodies.
Personally, I have experienced drug dealing, braiding hair, boostin’ (stealing), knock-out missions (knockin' people out and taking their money), house licks (robbing) and then some – in order to make money for myself. I have also experienced what some people call prostitution – but when you’re out there, it’s just straight up getting money.
The difference between me and the other girls on the track is that I never really had actual intercourse with a date. Why accept their chump change in exchange for a sexual favor when you can just pull out a weapon, take everything they have and keep your panties up? It's all illegal anyway and when it’s hard times, it’s hard times -- so this was my solution, straight up.
I knew about the track all my life. I grew up in a neighborhood where the men and boys want to be pimpin’. On the track it’s different then the block (selling dope). There are specific rules to being a ho that you just have to abide by. For example, when you see a male with black skin who ain’t folks, you better keep it moving. I had a friend one time who was a “new booty,” meaning she hadn't been turned out long. Apparently, her pimp didn’t teach her the game properly because when she was on the track a black man pulled up pretending to be a trick. We all knew better. But she said: “Money is money.” Not only did she hop in a car with a wanna-be pimp, but she looked in his eyes. Once you do that, you're his property automatically, that’s the rules of the game.
Two hours later, she called my phone from Highland Hospital. He took her to the alley, beat her up, stripped her, threw her in the trunk and left her for dead in the Oakland hills. She told me the music was so loud in the trunk that she thought he was trying to make her go deaf. I felt so bad this wanna-be pimp had put this innocent girl through this, mainly because she was new to the game.
The reason I say wanna-be is because real pimps don’t force you physically by making you do what you don’t want to. Their words take over your mind and you choose. But me, I never listened to s--t. I was my own boss and didn’t have to get a million dicks stuck in me and then turn my money over to the next man at the end of the night. I made my own rules. Most pimps make me want to throw up. I couldn’t understand how these women could hold their heads up high while allowing men to take everything they have. But at the same time, I never knocked anybody for their hustle and, believe it or not, some pimps are worthy to be praised.
Hoes live a hard knock life, especially when it come to ridin’ for a pimp. So I skipped that part of the game. It's truly a piece of work and can leave scabs where it hurts.
One night I was standing on the East 14th St. track and a date pulled up, just as I was lightin’ a Newport. I’d usually come out with my knife in my purse, but this time I forgot it. Searching through my purse, I recognized I was in some deep trouble – no knife, no hammer, no pepper spray, no gun, nothing. When I felt the metal top of my curling iron, I began to feel safer and calmer.
“You da police?” I asked.
“Touch me then.” He put his hand on my chest, (police aren't supposed to touch you. If a trick refuses to, that's when you know it's a decoy -- an undercover cop) and I bounced in.
“I got 80. For everything,” he said.
“It’s good, it’s good. Park in here,” I told the Latino man as he pulled into the alleyway. I began to ask him typical questions to make his nerves calm down. You know, like how he was doing and where he was from.
“Wow, you’re ready aren’t you,” I said, as I opened a condom. Once I put the condom on him, I knew it was time for the money. You always get the money before anything. That’s another part of the game, so you don’t get played. As he pulled $80 out of his wallet, I grabbed his keys out of the ignition and pulled out my curling iron.
“Give me e'rythang, n---a! Give me e'rythang!” I told the man as he looked deeply into my under-the-influence eyes.
“You crazy! You crazy!” he said, scared.
"F--k dat s--t," I thought to myself. Woop! The curling iron goes upside his head. I wasn’t going to hospitalize him or nothing, but I had to wop 'im a few times so he’d know I wasn’t playin'. He was just as drunk as I was.
“Ok, everything for you baby! Everything for you!” he said. I took everything that felt like paper, stuffed it in my bra and threw him back the wallet. Then I got out while my panties were up and his penis was hanging out.
"Time to go get another bottle," I said to myself, walking to the liquor store. I reached in my bra and felt joyful and amazed. I counted the money: 1-2-3-4-5-6-50-20-20-20... Goddamn, there was $710 plus the $80 he offered me. I couldn’t beat it.
I used my curling iron weapon on the next date, too. It was the same routine, except that when I snatched the wallet, he snatched the cord on my curling iron and began to run. He was so eager to get away that he left his car running with the keys dangling. I looked at the bright side of things. I didn’t have my curling iron anymore more, but I had the $150 that was in his wallet, plus a new car.
I drove through the weed spot and called it a night. I parked the car around the corner from my house. The next morning, I threw the keys on the freeway from the passenger seat of my brother’s car.
I had a good night financially but people die on the streets of my community everyday. Hoes get molested, beaten, robbed, raped and sometimes even killed on our local tracks and the media continuously fails to talk about it. I realize that I am extremely lucky to still be alive. The truth is that the world doesn't give a f--k about a ho dying.
AUDIO: "I Was Homeless" -- call in from KMEL Radio's Street Soldiers Program. Dr. Marshall talks to a young woman involved in the game.
(9m 27s, mp3, 8.0MB) Download File
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