Tricks of the Trade

Loose laws have turned Denver into an easy place for hookers to do business, but the fun's about to end.

In the meantime, the trees are budding and the game goes on.

Slouched behind the wheel of his golden pimpmobile, Kid Rock prowls the Cold Facts track, driving endless laps between its rough boundaries of Yosemite to the east, Pearl Street to the west. Asia still hasn't checked in, and it's making the pimp madder by the minute. One of his pagers buzzes. He snatches it off his belt. It's Twilight. According to her code, she's stranded at the Airway Motel, at Colfax and Verbena Street. Ten minutes later, Kid Rock is knocking on the door of room 6. The door opens a crack, and a woman peers out to see who's there, then swings it open all the way. Twilight is wearing a fluorescent orange miniskirt and six-inch heels. Her long, braided hair extensions are sopping wet.

Motel 9
John Johnston
Motel 9

"What the fuck happened to you?" her pimp inquires.

Twilight tells her story: She brought her trick to the motel, had sex with him for her usual fee of $100, and was getting dressed when he offered another fifty bucks if she would simply take a shower while he watched. She agreed, and he presented her with a fresh bar of jasmine-scented soap he'd brought along for the occasion. They went into the bathroom, and she stood under the water while he sat on the toilet lid and smoked cocaine. He kept directing her to turn around in slow circles, and to use more lather. This went on for about ten minutes, until he abruptly stood up, walked out of the motel room and disappeared, leaving her with no way to get back to the track.

It's a weird story, but Kid Rock's heard weirder. All he wants to know is "Did you get the $50?"

Twilight says, "Yeah, I got it. I got the soap, too." She holds out the slightly used bar, wrapped in toilet paper.

Her pimp ignores it. "So you're at 350, am I correct?" He's been monitoring her night's earnings by pager.

The hooker nods, squeezing water from her hair with a towel.

"All right then, let's go get your hustle on."

They step outside, and Twilight slides into the back seat of the Continental. Kid Rock ignites the engine, pulls out of the motel, drives west through the intersection of Colfax and Colorado Boulevard, swerves into the gated driveway of a car dealership and extends a hand over his shoulder, like a waiter carrying a tray. Without a word, Twilight presses a wad of bills into his palm, then opens her door and gets out, teetering on her heels toward the corner of Colfax and Jackson Street.

Kid Rock is now up $800 on the night. He merges with the westbound traffic, scanning both sides of the street as he explains what it is to be a pimp. "To be a pimp, you have to be a burglar of psychology," he says. "You have to break into a bitch's head and steal her mind."

Outside on Cold Facts, two men exchange drunken blows in front an adult bookstore. Kid Rock flips through a folder of compact discs, chooses one and puts it in the car's player. "You talk to some of the older players, they'll tell you they wanted to be a pimp because they saw The Mack, or they read some Iceberg Slim or some shit. Me, I grew up listening to this shit right here."

He turns up the volume on "Pimp Shit," a track by Oakland pimp turned millionaire/hardcore rapper Too Short. Raising his voice to be heard, Kid Rock says, "This is my story, man."

I was born to mack, and at a young age
I knew I'd be a real pimp someday
So I practiced my walk and I studied the game
Some things never change, but I've elevated
When it comes to pimpin' hos, I been educated

Nodding to the beat, Kid Rock suddenly freezes his gaze. He sees her: Asia, huddled in a bus-stop shelter just east of St. Paul Street. She is just sitting there, crumpled, head between her knees, most definitely not out on the corner trying to get Kid Rock his money. He pulls up swiftly to the bus shelter and lays on his horn. Startled, she looks up and sees him. Her face contorts into a mask of fear. Glaring through the windshield and stabbing the air with his finger, the pimp gestures for her to walk around the corner onto a side street. He motors alongside her, menacingly, until they are half a block off Colfax, cigarette-flicking distance from a sign that says "Neighborhood Watch."

Kid Rock parks, gets out of his car, walks around to its back end and pops the trunk.

"Get in," he orders.

Asia looks about eighteen, maybe twenty. Kid Rock met her in March at an underground after-hours club in Maryvale, a gangland area of Phoenix. She told him she "belonged" to a local set of Crips. He charmed her into hitting the road with him. He told her he'd take care of her always, that he'd show her the sights, that it would be the two of them against the world.

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