When Joyner asked Momma Dee if she had any other career options, she replied: “I couldn’t walk, get out of the house, I had physical therapy. What did you want me to do from the bed? And when I was able to get around, it was on crutches.”
“But how did you become a pimp from your bed?” Momma Dee was asked.
“Because I can control certain things that come from my mouth. See, anytime you get inside the head, the tail gonna follow. I owned a brothel. I had a place for them.”
Mamma Dee said she grew up in a middle-class family and was never introduced to that lifestyle as a child. But as an adult, while she was recovering from her injuries and needing extra income, this was the profession most readily available to her.
“I had an older pimp called Sir Charles and he came to me and he said ‘you need to get this paper. I can show you how to get this paper. So he took me under his wing and I studied him and then, boom, I did it,” Momma Dee explained.
After starting the pimp game from her bedroom, she eventually recovered well enough to get around in a wheelchair and then on crutches. She adopted the name “Lady Dee” and ran a brothel for 10 years before deciding to get out. She denies it was hard leaving that lifestyle of easy, quick cash behind. She actually treated her “employees” like those of any regular job when she got out of the game.
“No, it wasn’t hard,” she emphasized. “I told the girls you have two weeks. Either you can be on your own or go to another pimp. But you’ve got to do what you got to do.”
Now that Momma Dee has experienced both the pimp game and the record business through her son Lil Scrappy, she was asked with was worse. Momma Dee’s answer shot out of her mouth almost before the question was completed.
“The record business,” she said, pausing to let her words settle over the room. “In the record business, they smile in your face … at least I know that the streets are out to get me. In the music business, they tell you that this is all for your, but at the end of the day, they’re some cutthroat people, too.”
Finally, she was asked being a pimp help her deal with the record business?
“Being in that business helped me to deal with life. When I wake up in the morning … I want to take over the world. Because if I don’t it’s gonna get me,” One of the things that she did learn specifically from her decade-long rule over a brothel was how to read people.
“Watch who’s in your face. Never trust anyone. You know that song, “Smiling Faces?” beware of the smiling faces. Don’t trust the pat on the back.”