West Up. As your “Source For All Things WestCoast” we strive to cover the variety of fields flourishing on the West, beyond just making music. As we enter a new year for WestCoastRydaz, we look forward to being able to focus some of our features on successful California businessmen who represent triumphs over adversity and challenges.
One of the first of these features highlights a man named John Dickson. John, also known as Rosebudd Bitterdose, is an author and well-known former pimp who has been featured in films and published several books, including the hit “Rosebudd: The American Pimp,” which chronicles his beginnings and rise to fame and status in that lifestyle.
Through his appearance on the Hughes Brothers documentary “ American Pimp” and his own career as a giant of the pimping game, Rosebudd grew to know riches and much more, traveling across the country with beautiful women, cars and many other luxuries.
His story was obviously not one of only tremendous highs though, as he experienced several of the dangers and tribulations that come with such a risky occupation. Through it all however, he was able to learn how to soak up “Game” and apply it to anything he pursued. Once he knew pimping had given him all it could, he began a journey to become an expert in a new field; writing.
Before long he was publishing books that displayed his skill for telling vivid tales and exploring the depths of not only himself, but the people around him and the characters he created. WestCoastRydaz had the chance to read two of his books – “The American Pimp” and “The Invention Man” – and sat down with Rosebudd for a special interview that covers his transition from pimping to publishing and much, much more.
Rosebudd: That’s a heavy question. When I was a pimp I had something going on every day I woke up. I wasn’t a lazy person so it was a natural thing for me to develop my skills in the Game. My development consisted of several facets, but the most important one to me is being able to recognize what’s good for me. During my time pimping, seeing and catching women that didn’t really want to be caught gave me a great deal of confidence and that feeling of greatness has followed me into my life now. Today, I am not pimping but I have a whole lot of Game and it never ceases to amaze me how useful it is to have in my everyday life.
WestCoastRydaz.com: How long has it been since you retired from pimping?
Rosebudd: I haven’t had a ho in over 15 years.
WestCoastRydaz.com: You mention in your book that you had a love for writing, something you obviously explored as you began to leave pimping, can you explain when you first felt that desire to write and how it came about?
Rosebudd: I went to Sonoma State University, although when I went it was a college and my minor was creative writing. I was always a good story teller, because I was a joker. We used to have signifying contests and very seldom did a brother capp on me better than I capped on him. I hardly ever lost a sigging contest. My best asset, besides being funny was the way I told the joke or made my capp. In my first years of college, I made my mind up that I was going to write, but I got sidetracked by the Game. When the Game calls, you must answer.
WestCoastRydaz.com: What was the experience like writing your first book?
Rosebudd: My first book I wrote actually wasn’t about me. When I had 5 or 6 hos, they would always write me a card or note letting me know just how much I meant to them. I would read them and put them in one of the drawers on my dresser. After a while the drawer got full and I got a big garbage bag and started putting them in the bag. I didn’t know what I was saving them for, except to high side on my pimp friends. I would dare them to put their hand in the bag and pull out a letter that didn’t claim how much my hos loved my ass. Then one day I thought to write about how much my hos meant to me and me to them and an idea hit me. I started putting together a book with the actual letters and cards as the pages and under the text I was going to comment on the time and particular woman that wrote the note. I was going to call it, “Letters to a Pimp.” But as fate would have it, I moved and left the bag of cards and letters in my old apartment. I rushed back the very next day to get them, but they were gone. But I had got sprung on writing at that point and sat down and wrote my autobiography-which took me a year to do.
WestCoastRydaz.com: How difficult was it to get people interested in what some would call a controversial subject?
Rosebudd: It’s still difficult. There is a lot of Simps (Suckers Imitating Master Pimps) out there and it has become quite commercialized. Most people couldn’t recognize a real pimp if he was sitting next to him in a restaurant. There is a certain quality in most pimps that is readily recognized and I’m not talking about the cars and jewelry. I’m talking about the confidence a seasoned pimp has. Just about anybody can see that, but unless it’s accompanied with outrageous outfits, the average square won’t see him as a pimp. When I used to tell women I’m a pimp, a lot of the time they wouldn’t believe me. Why? They all thought of pimps as clowns and I didn’t look like ‘Huggy Bear’ from Starsky and Hutch. I overcame all of that in the documentary, The American Pimp. Initially at the Sundance Film Festival and later the public in general, but they all accepted me as genuine. People really liked me in that documentary because of the way I represented a side of the Game they didn’t realize was there and started hitting my website at www.rosebuddbitterdose.net and my email, email@example.com
Rosebudd: I firmly believe the Game was the greatest asset I have had in my life up to now and probably until I die. Most men fantasize about having a lot of women adoring him but won’t admit it. The ones that do admit it can’t do it, the ones that can do it are Casanovas or players, but the one that does it and have them paying him, well let’s face it, he’s a motherfucking pimp with enormous confidence. Add that to the experiences that pimps go through and you will find they have a particular outlook on life and depending on how well that man has done in the Pimp Game his outlook after retiring is to develop a profession that will keep him feeling like he had grown used to. Celebrity is a drug in itself and believe it or not the pimping develops many celebrities, myself included.
WestCoastRydaz.com: How difficult, if at all, was the transition into the life of a regular everyday Joe?
Rosebudd: Now that is really a heavy question. You won’t understand this unless you have experienced it in one way or another. Most people in the Game were always after attention. This could have developed at an early age, from playing Pop Warner football to running track in school or singing in a group or playing in a band to several other ways, but what is common in them all if you excel, is attention that you’d get from doing it. With women it’s cheerleading or singing or modeling or some sports activity, the same thing applies, the attention they’d get from excelling. Only a very small percentage of these people go on to a professional career in that field and as some of the ones mature they don’t lose that desire for attention. That’s why 9 out of 10 pimps or hos you meet will have a background in one of the things I mentioned. The problem when you retire is that attention you have been used to is gone and if you are not careful you will have a hard time withdrawing from it. I know I did. I used to pull up to a stoplight and everyone’s attention was on me. I’m Rolls Roycing, jeweled up and fine as a motherfucker and all the men and women are staring at me. For a long time after I retired when I pulled to a stop I looked for that attention and it wasn’t there. That was hard for me to get used to and accept. Another thing, you are so used to having anything you wanted because money was no issue and now it is, but I’m happy to say I survived that withdrawal and am now prospering as a big ole square. L 7 all the way.
WestCoastRydaz.com: What’s your opinion on how popular and mainstream the pimp and pimp image has become in today’s society?
Rosebudd: Well in reality what’s become popular is the false image that you can be a pimp because you say you are one. What you see on videos and the image rappers present isn’t really the image of a pimp. The thing that matters to a real pimp, is really pimping and to do that you must have hos. The guys you see now claiming to be a pimp, really do something else for their money. I ain’t hating on them, but be honest, when you say the word ‘pimp’ do you see a dude on the stage rapping or do you see a dude with a bunch of hos. The rappers can get all of the material things that pimps have and that won’t make them a pimp. I said it in my book, Rosebudd The American Pimp, a pitcher can show a person everything he knows about pitching, but unless he’s teaching someone that has it in them to pitch, it won’t work. An artist can show you everything about drawing but unless it’s in you to be an artist, you won’t become one. The same goes for pimping. A lamp post could collect some money if it had arms. Just because you have a woman giving you money doesn’t translate to being a pimp.
Rosebudd: My advice to a young pimp is to not stop doing it. Do it until you drop, but don’t make the mistake that many of my generation and the generations of pimps before me made. It will come to an end, so be prepared. We never thought it would end. We were going to pimp or die and that’s the mentality you must have, even today. But also keep in your thoughts that pimping is a young man’s Game. And if you are blessed to pimp into your older years, 40’s and 50’s, make sure you have stashed a gang of the money that has gone through your hands. You won’t stop being a motherfucker, you’ll only have stopped pimping. To all other aspiring authors and dreamers, dreams are what you need in life to find your direction, so keep aspiring and dreaming as I did. I dreamed of becoming a great pimp, I dreamed of becoming a published author and I dreamed of becoming a publishing company and am well on my way to accomplishing those dreams.
WestCoastRydaz.com: When did you form your own publishing company?
Rosebudd: I formed Real Fly Publishing in 2009.
WestCoastRydaz.com: Share some more details of your company with us, do you work with or plan to work with other authors?
Rosebudd: My company is, Real Fly Publishing, located in Vallejo, Calif. P.O. Box 135. It’s been a dream of mine for many years and now thanks to venues like WestCoastRydaz, it’s becoming a reality. I know just as you have all the different rappers coming out each year, there are other artists in our communities. Real Fly is looking for the authors out there that are looking to be published. Right now Real Fly is accepting 3 pages of your manuscripts. We’re looking for potential authors we can mold and work with in getting them published. I believe there are communities with many undiscovered authors and we want to discover them. We will only accept manuscripts from authors that can follow instructions. Send or email only 3 pages of your manuscript to Real Fly Publishing to firstname.lastname@example.org or Real Fly Publishing, P.O. Box 135, Vallejo, Ca. 94590
WestCoastRydaz.com: What are some of your upcoming projects and goals for the company?
Rosebudd: First thing is getting the attention of readers and thanks to you we are reaching out to people. Secondly, Real Fly Publishing has published 2 novels and will be publishing a third sometime in the middle of 2011. Real Fly’s goals are twofold but simple, find and publish new authors and become a major player in the book publishing game.
WestCoastRydaz.com: In one of your other books, “The Invention Man” you reveal a much more creative and boundary pushing side of your writing. Where did you get the idea for the story?
Rosebudd: So far I’ve written 8 novels and I must say I like Invention Man quite a bit. Invention Man came about from another novel I wrote entitled, ‘Time Will Tell.” Rodney Danvil is a character in that book that takes up maybe a page in a half, but something about his part in the book made me stop writing and jot down a couple of things I liked about him. After I finished Time Will Tell, I started exploring what I could do with Rodney and found a vehicle for him, the Invention Man. A lot of his genius potential came from my own experiences as a child. I was quite bright in elementary school and actually skipped 1st grade, but the rest of his activities came from my wild imagination.
WestCoastRydaz.com: What has the response been like for it, given its shocking twist and turns?
Rosebudd: You won’t believe this but that book has gotten really good reviews from the readers that take the time to let me know how they feel about the book. It has also gotten some reviews that hated the story but liked my writing style. One of the most interesting things about that book is the many interpretations I gotten from readers. One lady that was in the penitentiary thought I hated women when she read the book. My book was read in a women’s book club in Oregon. I received several emails concerning the sexual content of the book, but the twist was these women liked the sex aspect of the book. One of the emails said, and I quote: “I like the book, but I can’t read too much of it before I have to stop. Then I pick it back up, but before I know it I have to put it back down only to pick it back up.” I emailed her back and asked why she had to put it down, expecting to hear it was too violent or something like that, but she said each time she put it down she had to masturbate.
WestCoastRydaz.com: The story seems to leave the door open for more at the end, is there a plan for a second part or was it purposely left with that suspense?
Rosebudd: There definitely will be an Invention Man Two. Rodney will get out of jail and marry the attorney. They will have a child and remember the drug has now meshed with Rodney’s DNA, so his offspring will have it in their DNA. Solo is dead, but he had a child who also have the drug in their DNA. Those two kids will meet and develop a relationship and produce a child with a mother and father with the drug in their DNAs and…..we’ll have to see won’t we?
WestCoastRydaz.com: What motivates you as a writer and how do you approach coming up with new ideas for books?
Rosebudd: What motivates me is my life. The book I wrote on religion, “FEARS,” is based on my belief that religion as it is preached today lacks the potency of the original message. Today’s religion has been watered down to attract more people. I really don’t think religion is supposed to be easy and I don’t believe everyone can be dedicated to a particular religion. Time Will Tell is based on my belief in the family’s love and unity. Kevin Maverick is based on my experiences as a telemarketer and salesman. Louis McCall is about my best friend’s death. You might remember him as the drummer in the soul group, Confunkion.
WestCoastRydaz.com: How many books have you published already?
Rosebudd: As I said earlier, Rosebudd the American Pimp and Invention Man are the only 2 we have published and both are available on amazon.com and all of the e-stores.
WestCoastRydaz.com: How can people get in touch with you about your company and your services?
Rosebudd: My company is Real Fly Publishing, P.O. Box 135, Vallejo, Ca. 94590
WestCoastRydaz.com: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us!