Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Surviving the Game: An Interview with Michael “Mick-Man” Gourdine A.K.A Candy Man, Author of Chili Pimping in Atlantic City (Part 2)


In the second part of ‘Surviving the Game: An Interview with Michael “Mick-Man” Gourdine A.K.A Candy Man, Author of Chili Pimping in Atlantic City’ (Click here to read part one), The Candyman offers unprecedented insight into the drug game as practiced by New Yorkers.  He also reveals some little known truths about the “sporting life.” 




Scott “Tre” Wilson: Throughout your book, you talk about having sex with the women under your employ even after you’ve turned them out.  Isn’t that like getting high on your own supply in a sense?  I was under the impression that such behavior is a no-no in the pimp game.  

Michael “Mick-Man” Gourdine: No, it’s not.  They expect that.  If you’re their man, they expect that.  Doing that (having sex) with a woman that is not under your thumb, is a direct violation of the rules.  But once she is, it’s not a violation of the rules.  You are expected to service her.  You are never expected to pay her.  She’s never expected to hold money, but you are expected to provide that service.  That is a rule, even though those rules are deviated from.  Chili pimps are given leeway with the rules.  They are not expected to know all of the rules.  They are not expected to abide by the rules by the letter of the law, because after all, they are chili pimps.  They are not bona fide or qualified.  They are not capitol P-I-M-P’s.  They’re chili pimps.  Chili-pimping is the minor leagues.  That’s how you break into the game, and how you leave it.

Scott “Tre” Wilson: In your book, you also say that drug dealers are nothing more than squares with a connection and that most of them end up being tricks because they have no game.  What lead you to such conclusions?

Leroy "Nicky" Barnes supposedly turned informant due to his wife's infidelities. 


Michael “Mick-Man” Gourdine: That’s like knowing the difference between a criminal and a cop.  I played both sides of that fence.  A drug dealer, even though he’s not a square because he makes his money from crime, has a squares heart.  He has a working man’s heart.  He is a very emotional person.  He’s isn’t seasoned.  He’s not hardened in the world of emotion.  He’s hardened as far as violence and crime, but inside he’s a big little boy.  Emotionally he’s like a little boy.  He’s very emotional and it’s easy for a woman to push his buttons.  He’s not seasoned in the art of the cat and mouse chase between men and women.  In essence he’s trying to buy a woman the same way bought a big house or a big car.  He winds up dealing with women who are with him because of what he has and not who he is.  When a pimp is with a whore, she’s with a pimp because of who he is, not what he has.   

They (Drug dealers) wind up getting broken eventually because of it, especially when he gets with a girl who has some game and who knows the game.  She makes a giant sized ass out of him.  Look at all of them.  They wind up putting cars and houses in women’s names.  He winds up doing 185 years while she’s left with everything, and he did all the work!  So I would demote him from square and make him a whore.  That’s what he really is.

Scott “Tre” Wilson: What’s the biggest misconception that people have about the sporting life?

Michael “Mick-Man” Gourdine: The biggest misconception, as you read in my book, is that people find themselves in the sporting life through different avenues and for different reasons.  Sometimes they develop relationships with women who are in it or around it and the women introduce them to it.  Some of them are fascinated by it and they try to gorilla their way into it.  But the biggest misconception is that people in the sporting life are actually these evil whip carrying predators that are at a Greyhound bus station or hanging out outside of a high school and preying on young girls.  Although people like that do exist, people who practice the “turn-out” are not the majority.  

The legendary Bishop Don "Magic" Juan


 There are people like the legendary Don Magic Juan, who had women who had been in the game for years that tried to impress him and had to audition to be under his employ.  He did not have to ride around the junior high school looking for the young girl or the runaway.  It’s a coexistence between two people who have a relationship and they’re trying to make money, especially the chili pimp.  We’re not talking about the boss player with a huge stable that has so many girls he doesn’t even know them all.  We’re not talking about him.  We’re talking about a chili pimps.  A chili pimp is working on a combination of trust, survival and the necessity of survival.  They’re not making the women do it.  They’re not predators.  

The biggest misconception, I would say, is that pimps are controlling the prostitution game.  They are not.  The prostitutes are controlling the prostitution game.  That’s what I was just trying to explain.  The pimp is not in control.  He’s providing a service.  He’s actually under her employ.  Sometimes he’s working harder than she is.  After all, she’s just fucking!  He’s providing protection and legal assistance.  He has to look for her.  He has to provide her with shelter, medical attention, food, and clothing.  He has to parent her.  He’s basically a paid manager.  

 In a resort place like Vegas or Atlantic City, he has to work really hard because there’s other pimps she can go to, and she has ass to sell.  He can find himself homeless and living out of a garbage can, or calling back home and asking somebody to Western Union him money to get his broke ass out of there if he’s peeled of his girls or if he blows ho-less.  So he has to constantly play the game of looking like he’s in charge.  Convincing the girl that he’s in charge, convincing the girl that he needs her and that she should be with him versus the dude who is riding around in a different Rolls Royce every day of the week and all he has is 420 Mercedes.  He has to convince her that it behooves her to stay with him.  He is working damned hard, and he is not in control and no one knows that more than he does.  

What a pimp is actually trying to do is reverse the game that women have been playing on men since the beginning of time.  A woman will live with a man.  She’ll be married to him.  She’ll cook for him and clean for him, and actually convince that motherfucker that he’s in charge when everybody knows he’s not.  And for a while he falls asleep, and believes he’s really in charge!  That’s all he (The pimp) is trying to do, he’s trying to convince her that he’s really in charge, but he always knows he’s not.  The more he knows that, the more power he will eventually have.  The second the pimp becomes powerless, ho-less and eventually shoeless is when he thinks “I got all my hoes in check!  They all know! They know what’s up!”  No.  That’s usually the one that ends up crying in the street as soon as they getting into somebody else’s Rolls Royce.  So that’s the biggest misconception, that he’s in charge of the game.  They have the power of choice.  They choose their pimp.  I’m sure you’ve heard that one before, right?           

Scott “Tre” Wilson: Yes, I have.

Michael “Mick-Man” Gourdine: They choose.  The person who chooses is always the one with the power, right?!

Scott “Tre” Wilson: Yes.

Michael “Mick-Man” Gourdine: So there you go (laughs).  They’re choosing pimps, they have the power.  He doesn’t, and he knows it.  

Scott “Tre” Wilson: In your book, you describe yourself as the third most corrupt cop in the history of the NYPD.  How is it that you escaped doing serious jail time with all the things you described and participated in?

Michael “Mick-Man” Gourdine: That’s a very fair question.  That’s a question that I have answered in the book, but I will tell you also.  I pride myself on making very calculated steps and moves and being the very best criminal I can possibly be.  Another thing is I have secrets over ranking people in the police department.  People who I worked with who became ranking people, people who don’t want me to really start talking.  That’s why my life is not in jeopardy now.  I have been in trouble since leaving the police department.  I have called certain people and said that I need discretion and courtesy to be extended to me out of state or I might start talking.  Courtesy was granted.  They’ve come to my house after I was interviewed in ASIS Magazine, and I told them that we agreed that as long as I don’t name certain people, murders, and heinous crimes that went down back in the 1990’s, that no harm shall befall me.  Whether I’m riding around New York City with a trunk full of guns, no plates or what have you, I haven’t had any trouble.  I haven’t been arrested for anything.  Basically they have ammunition against me and vice versa.  



That was the trick to being a good, corrupt police officer.  I knew secrets of criminals as well as fellow cops and used it as leverage to put the squeeze on people and to get them to do what I want. The same way when I was a correction officer I got inmates to do what I wanted.  I will find a way to make your life uncomfortable if you don’t do what I want you to do.  The same way a pimp gets a girl to do what he wants her to do.  He finds ways to make her life better or worse.  Whatever shall behoove him, such as secrets, he will find a way to make it happen.  It’s just like in life: Brain before brawn.  There are people who have functioned in life who use force and put the gorilla hand down when it comes to everything.  I try to use finesse, reasoning, discretion, and it has served me well.  I have a minimal amount of enemies.  I don’t have people who will wish me harm, or that much harm, I should say.  Even if I was shot, hurt, or my property destroyed, I didn’t take it personally and I tried to find a way to quell the situation in a manner that benefitted everyone.  Whether I paid somebody, or whatever penalty I had to pay, monetary or otherwise, to make a problem go away.  This has been my saving grace, my ability to shrewdly reason with people.                              

Scott “Tre” Wilson: In the Hughes brothers Documentary American Pimp, there was pimp  from the DC area who said that he’d known pimps who went up to New York City with a bunch of women and came back home with shoe strings holding up their clothes.  What did he mean by that?  

Michael “Mick-Man” Gourdine: (Laughs) New York is a microcosm of the world.  It’s where the world comes together.  There’s some of everything going on.  If you come from a place like the Midwest, you’re expecting people to play by the rules.  You’re expecting the game to be Black and white.  In New York, there are various shades of grey.  Chicago pimps will only deal with Chicago pimps because they’re paying people like Gangster Disciples or the Vice Lords for protection to control their territories, so no one’s coming from outside.  In New York, just like the stock market, there are people coming from all over the world.  So you could run into people whose game is tighter than yours, who’ll have people rob you constantly.  It’s not going to go smoothly.  It’s not a conducive place for the game.  New York is like a bank job.  You hit it fast and you leave.  You stick around long enough and it’s going to fall apart.  It’s like Vegas.  The longer you stay, the worse you’re going to do.       

Scott “Tre” Wilson: You speak of Pimps from the Midwest having much tighter game than pimps from New York.  Is there any particular facet of the criminal life at which New Yorkers excel at on a world class scale?

Michael “Mick-Man” Gourdine: Drug dealing.  Drug dealing is our thing, and there’s a reason for it.  New York City has the most financed police department in the world.  High tech equipment, you have cops that use ultra-red goggles and super-listening devices.  The flip side to that is the New York drug dealer has to be very adept at his game so that it’s mastered.  You can go into Harlem and you can order a drug.  You can order crack cooked with Remy Martin.  You can order crack cooked with rum.  We created crack cocaine.  Crack cocaine was created in New York City in 1984.  The precursor to that was freebase.  We are experts at narcotics: Cooking, manufacturing, and distributing narcotics.  Most of our parents are on drugs.  In New York, drug usage and dealing is a tradition.  With the police department being so good, we have to be so good. 

This photo from the CD insert of Raekwon's classic solo debut Only Built For Cuban Linx references New York City's tradition of cooking, manufacturing, and selling narcotics. 


Leaving New York, police departments are amateurs.  They can’t even deal with us.  They have to call in Feds.  People come from New York and set up shop, especially if they’re white.  If they’re, let’s say, some Italians or Irish guys who are going to blend in?  Local cops don’t know what to do with them.  You will find New York drug dealers everywhere throughout this country and abroad.  You go right now down into Trinidad, and say “find out who the biggest drug dealers are,” and it’ll be some motherfucker from New York.  Some Trinidadian dude who came to New York as a child, learned the game and got deported or went back there on his own and set up an army.  He learned the best cooking techniques.  

In other places, they call it crack, but it’s really nothing more than base cocaine.  New York people know how to rewash it, recook it, and add ammonia.  That changes the DNA molecular structure of the cocaine, hence making it 20 times more addictive and powerful.  That’s what crack is.  It’s base cocaine that’s been genetically modified.  You’ve changed the molecular structure by adding ammonia.  You’ve changed it by doing that.  We know how to cut heroin with certain things.  We know that every dope fiend looks for that hot flash that he gets from strychnine, so we use extra strychnine.  Instead of using morphine to cut it, we’ll use Oxycontin.  We’ll use speed with it, which is what I always call the breaks and the gas.  When you put speed with heroin, it’s like somebody speeding up the car and then stomping on the breaks.  That’s why you’ll see them charge, then nod, charge, then nod.  We’re the masters of the chip.  We’ll go someplace where everybody’s asking for cocaine, and there are cocaine dealers everywhere, and we’re putting just a little bit of heroin in the cocaine.  So all of a sudden, our cocaine is better than everyone else’s.  In turn, we’re turning all of our clientele into dope fiends without them knowing it.  So meanwhile, we’re selling cocaine and dope.  We’ll take over the market in a city that way.  

We, especially Black people, have way more access to heroin in New York then we do cocaine.  In places like Harlem, Blacks are not even allowed to deal cocaine.  All we can deal there is heroin.  That was an agreement that was reached between the Blacks and the Dominicans back in 1993.  So we’re always looking for a way to maximize our profits, and what do we have over Dominicans and Columbians in New York?  We speak English and there are niggas everywhere.  Every town has the nigga side.  Every city has the wrong side of the tracks, but we’re also facing problems with that too. 
The further we go west, the more we run into the gangs from the far west, so there’s a thin balance with that too.  So we can’t go so far, and we can’t even outbid their suppliers, which are the Mexicans in Tijuana.  What we do is we’ll surrender that.  We’ll go to someplace like, say, Omaha, Nebraska.  We’ll make some quick money quietly.  Once we start making too much noise, the Vietnam 18th Street Gangsta Bloods are going to shut us down and we’re going to leave town quietly with our New York plates, heading onto interstate 80 in the middle of the night.  What we usually do is, New York people look for small towns outside of big towns.  Small little places where the gangs are afraid to go, because once you go looking like Boyz N the Hood or Menace II Society, the powers that be are going to crack down.  So we’ll go into town and open up a Footlocker, sneaker store, or a barbershop and try to quietly do it, the New York way.  But the game we excel in that nobody does like us is the drug dealing.  That’s our thing.              


*You can purchase Michael Gourdine's book Chili Pimping in Atlantic City: The Memoir of a Small Time Pimp and Hustler for the best available price from the Strategic Media Books website.       

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