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Iceberg Slim

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Biography

Born Robert Lee Maupin (August 4, 1918 – April 30, 1992), and also known as Robert Beck, he is best known as Iceberg Slim, an African American author known for his hard edged tales of urban life.

After dropping out of Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute in 1937, he eventually started pimping in the brutal Chicago underworld, soon becoming successful in the trade. After several stints behind bars, and watching his mother die of cancer, he eventually gave up “the life”, and a debilitating heroin addiction in the late 60’s.

He turned his focus to writing autobiographical cautionary tales about his career and his first book “Pimp: The Story of My Life” was published in 1969, and was a controversial success. He was interviewed in the Washington Post, film rights to his philosophical writings were sold, and in 1976, he recorded a spoken word album of his streetwise tales called “Reflections”. The album has been reissued at least twice, once in the mid 1990’s by Rick Rubin & Henry Rollins’ briefly lived Infinite Zero imprint and in 2008 by Uproar entertainment.

Before his death in 1992, he reportedly went on to sell some 6 million books and Iceberg Slim influenced multiple generations of readers, and listeners, including entertainers like Ice-T, Ice Cube, Too Short,Dave Chappelle and JAY Z.

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