SHORTY THE PIMP
by Herb Fenstein
"Standing on the corner in a white Godfather hat he drives a long black Cadillac."
4 feet 9 inches of naked aggression and the scourge of South Central in 1973 yep that's Shorty The Pimp, star of the rarest of the rare blaxploitation movies. Shaft, Superfly, Sweetback, The Savage and now SHORTY THE PIMP, a whole new kind of blaxploitation movie. Mixing the reality of street life in LA in the early 70s and a witty put down of both the genre and the white record industry that tried to exploit it.
The shame is that it never made it to the wide screen. But we have managed to extract the soundtrack material cut by Don Julian and the Larks who were also responsible for the soundtrack to THE SAVAGE (CDSEWM 114), which did make it. SHORTY THE PIMP was to have featured the group playing a role that was probably not unfamiliar to them as they hustled round the lounge bars of South Central and East LA, playing a mixture of cover versions and their own highly original material. Their choice of covers was impeccable and they played them in a straightforward unadorned 'in the pocket' style that satisfied the no-nonsense hustlers hanging out in the dimly-lit environment.
A successful lounge band at the time had to be like a soundtrack not too intrusive, but saying something, while complementing the ambience, the mood and catching the vibe. The soundtrack has all the elements of black music in a time of flux. While still dealing in personal relationships, the songs also delve into the inner mind, the politics of the time and the social problems. Whitfield, Strong, Mayfield, Rice, Ingram, Wonder, Fuqua, and even Bacharach and David are among the featured writers alongside a clutch of material penned or co-penned by Don Julian, including the title track and Vato's Brew, Schoolin' And Foolin', Super Slick and Brother What It Is. Check out I Love You for the South Central take on the East LA thing. This is in many ways the core of the movie the cross-over of the two LA street cultures Latino and Black in early 70s Los Angeles. As the song says "It's not how long you talk brother it's what you put in it"
Note: This is the second attempt by author and auteur Herb Fenstein to get this soundtrack material released. It is thanks to his efforts and research that it finally appears on CD.