Lil’ Pimp

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It’s not just Webmasters who pine for the dot.com days. Back in those heady times when terms like “Webisodic series” were still being bandied about, creative teams like Peter Gilstrap and Mark Brooks, not beholden to network execs or studio heads, went straight to the people with hilarious weekly Web Flash animated shorts like Lil’ Pimp, the story of a freckly grade schooler who inexplicably managed to balance average American home life with lording over a stable of ghetto whores. In 2000, Lil Pimp was optioned for a major motion picture, which seems incredible now when even SpongeBob Squarepants’ sexuality is a hot-button topic of conversation.

Lil Pimp’s straight-to-DVD status is more of an indicator of Sony’s unwillingness to market anything controversial and black while the country is still living in the shadow of Janet Jackson’s tit. But it’s a movie that has much to recommend it, from its vibrant animation (this is the first feature rendered entirely in Macromedia Flash) to its all-star cast (a veritable who’s who of rap and William Shatner) to its inspired odd cameos (like Danny Bonaduce as a carrot-topped old perv and Rudy Rae Moore as a pimp stylist); it’s practically guaranteed to accrue cult-favorite status. One part ABC After School Special to two-parts Dolemite, the story follows Lil’ Pimp, Sweet Juice, Nag Champa and Sweet Chiffonas as they try to save a crooked mayor from moving in on their prostitution racket.

In a perfect world, this would’ve came out with an accompanying sound track and DVD extras like the 48 “Webisodic” episodes, but as a stand-alone item, Lil Pimp works its odd little corner of the world nicely.

Serene Dominic writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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