It's Hard To Be A Pimp

Jason Singer
Mar 23, 2010


Many African-Americans would probably call this week one of the greatest moments of their lives.



Terrence Howard? Not so much.

Howard, the black actor who played Col. Jim Bridges in "Iron Man", was replaced last month by Don Cheadle for the sequel, "Iron Man 2."

Things got even worse this week, as more details surfaced about the switch.

Apparently, Howard was the highest-paid actor in "Iron Man." That's right: more than Robert Downey Jr., more than Jeff Bridges, more than Gwyneth Paltrow.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Howard was the first actor signed to the project, before shooting began. Consequently, by the time everyone else was signed, it was too late to renegotiate Howard's contract.

That apparently didn't go over well with everyone on set.

To make matters worse, director Jon Favreau wasn't crazy about Howard's performance. He and the producers spent a lot of time re-shooting and cutting many of Howard's scenes. Because of that, when Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux sat down to write the sequel, they gave Col. Bridges a much smaller role.

After the script was completed, producers asked Howard to take a pay cut in the sequel. They said they wanted his salary to reflect his role in the movie and be more equal to the other actors.

But Howard was irate. He apparently had not been told by Favreau that they didn't like his performance, and thought Marvel should honor their contract.

"(Contracts) aren't worth the paper that they're printed on sometimes," he told NPR. "It was the surprise of a lifetime. ... There was no explanation, (the contract) just up and vanished."

Howard received a 2006 Academy Award nomination for his performance as a pimp in "Hustle & Flow," and won an Academy Award for best original song, when he performed the Three 6 Mafia's "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp."

But as Ice-T said, Pimpin' Ain't Easy, and Howard's now out of work.



Big Daddy Kane said "Pimpin' Ain't Easy", not Ice-T.

Maybe you need to rethink your pop culture guruness.


Dear Reader,

You are correct, Big Daddy Kane wrote the original song in 1989.

However, rap hadn't reached mainstream popularity by that point. Most people became familiar with "Pimpin' Ain't Easy" around 2000, when Ice-T began covering it.

He first did it at WrestleMania, when wrestling was at its peak, and then continued to cover it while touring. After that, radio stations started playing the song again, except they played Ice-T's version.

You are correct: Big Daddy Kane was the inventor. But I tried to make the reference more people would know, and I think more people are familiar with Ice-T's version, at least from this generation.

(For the record, Big Daddy Kane's version is infinitely better, which probably goes without saying).

Anyway, thanks for keeping me honest.



thank you for the pop culture, and not doing sports this time!


No problem, Coe Coe!

However, just because I wrote two movie-related posts today doesn't mean I won't ever write a sports post again.

I believe sports are a major part of popular culture "” especially in this area, where Browns, Cavs and Indians are rampant.

But for every sports post I write, I'll try to write two music/film/television posts.

Thanks and keep reading!



Actually the song that Ice T had (The Godfather Theme) was a totaly different song than Big Daddy Kane. It was written and used as the entrance music for the professional wrestle that used the name "The Godfather". Hence the title The Godfather Theme.

I would post the lyrics but I am sure that Doug and Matt would not approve of some of the words and phrases in both songs.


A blogger who actually responds to comments!


Dear WOW,

I think it's good to have dialogue with your readers. Blogs should be interactive.

That being said, I won't respond to ALL comments. Sometimes "” at least on The Register's Web site "” readers think "comments" means they have the freedom to say whatever they want "” even if it's hateful, vile, malevolent garbage.

Luckily, they are only a tiny portion of our readership. When readers bring up good points "” which Big Daddy Kane did "” I will gladly respond.

Journalists aren't perfect "” in fact, many are as far from it as one can be "” so I welcome readers' points of views.
In my mind, your thoughts/opinions are just as legitimate as mine.

Truly, that's why we have these blogs: To ignite discussions about the topics we deeply care about.

Keep reading and writing!



Another reason I referenced the Ice-T version instead of the Big daddy Kane version was the lyrics.

While you're right "” Doug and Matt probably wouldn't approve of either "” the Big Daddy Kane version if off-the-charts for sexual references.

If I remember correctly, the Ice-T version is more about wearing bling and living a more "pimped-out" lifestyle, so it might not be quite as offensive to some people's cultural mores.

- Jason


Just wanted to send my congrats. Seems that you and some of your fellow bloggers made it into the pages of the Sandusky Regurgitator yesterday.



Now what? Is he going to actually get a real job like the rest of us? How can he possibly survive?

Find out next week kids: Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!


Prostitutin' ain't easy! Pimpin'?...depends on the market.