Bishop Don Magic Juan: P.I.M.P. Part One

I f a man named Donald Campbell called to speak to your sister, you might not object. But if the man known better as Bishop Don Magic Juan rang, things would be different. That’s because through the mid 1970’s to 1985, Don was the self-proclaimed king of pimping. From the North Side of Chicago, to […]


f a man named Donald Campbell called to speak to your sister, you might not object. But if the man known better as Bishop Don Magic Juan rang, things would be different. That’s because through the mid 1970’s to 1985, Don was the self-proclaimed king of pimping. From the North Side of Chicago, to the curbs of Las Vegas, Don has been booted and suited, as the prostitutes were recruited.

Hip-Hop culture today knows the Bishop differently. He’s seen as the flamboyant advisor in Snoop’s entourage and obligatory pimp on records from DaBrat, Twista, and 50 Cent. But not so long ago, the lights and cameras were off, but the action certainly wasn’t.

The pimp-turned-pastor recently released a compilation, Green is for the Money, Gold is for the Honies. The Avatar Records project captures 11 crooning classics great for the Caddy or the Continental, as it circles the block. circled the past in a blunt, two-part conversation with Bishop Don Magic Juan. Powerful truth comes out on both sides of the pimp game, Don’s evolution, Snoop’s pimp cred, and some real talk from Don on the Oscar Awards. Preach! Chuuch. How’s it going playa?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: Chuuch. Hey man it’s going down right now, you know? Right now, we cracking that Gold Is For The Honey, Green Is For The Money Volume 1, ya dig? It’s just to calm the nerves down, to bring people back to reality, and give them a chance to think again. The songs are very inspiring and I’m skinning game between each track. You know what I mean? How did you get into pimping?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: I come from what we consider the ghetto. It’s all started by money. People don’t get into it just because [of the] girls, it’s really because of money. I lived next door to dope dealers and pimps, so my role model was looking at a dope dealer or a pimp come out every day getting in a flashy car or wearing flashy suits, having diamonds and girls. That’s what I wanted to be. If I was living next door to a doctor or a lawyer, maybe that’s what I would have been. But unfortunately, I wasn’t. So I patterned myself like that. I asked the girl would she do it, and she said, “Yeah,” and I was off and running. What did you say to her to get on her on the track?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: I said, “If you want to be down for me, I’m trying to get up with this pimp game.” I just wanted to get in the game and have one girl, a flashy Cadillac, a ring and a slick suit. I didn’t know I would be able to rewrite this thing. Even today, by the pimp game being strong everyone wants to pimp. A pimp song done won an Oscar [Academy Award]! So pimping is really what’s happening. One time it was really being persecuted. Now people are glorifying it. How did you get your name?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: My original name is Donald, so the girls started calling me Don. When I got in my teens, the girls started calling me ‘Don Juan.’ [The original] Don Juan was known to be a lover. At the time, I was a player. I kept on playing the game. The Pimpgod named me ‘Magic.’ He said, “Man, you playing the game so live, everybody else falling off and you still bringing magic to the game, they ought to call you magic.” The ‘Bishop’ came on as I got into the church in 1985, when God saved me and made me realized that he does exist. I started [preaching] at the church, and that’s how the bishop came in at. And the ‘Arch’ comes from Dolemite. The legendary Dolemite [Rudy Ray Moore] called me the ‘Arch Bishop.’ He said that’s the highest bishop there can be. Was there an actual Pimpgod?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: Yeah. His name was at the time was King Barrell. They started calling him the Godfather. He was like the number one pimp in Chicago before I came up in it. He’s about ten years older than me. As a little boy, I used to run behind his car and I used to look up to him and as I got in the game he was more like my mentor. He became the pimp god over the pimps. When did you know you were a good pimp?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: When the chick came back and gave me the money! I knew then it was going to be a lasting thing. [Or,] when one day, a female came home with the handcuffs on. I actually got a bobby pin, stuck it in there and [freed her]. When I did that it, I proved to the chick that I was a qualified to be a pimp, and it let me know that this was my game. From there on, I played it. When I was in the pimp game I was the number one pimp in the country thirteen years in a row. What’s the difference between a pimp and a mack?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: One thing about it is a pimp is superior; he is number one over all the macks, the players, the hustlers, the dope dealers. [Out of] All the people in the night life, the pimp is superior. The difference between a pimp and a mack is about convo. [The mack] don’t have to have a girl on the street. In order to be a pimp, you got to have a prostitute on the street. That’s the difference between the pimp and the mack. A pimp is going to have a prostitute getting him money. A mack might not even have a girl; he just got good convo, where he can con people. What was your most glamorous moment of your pimp career?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: [In 1983] That was the tenth anniversary party of the pimp game. Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes were performing; Mr. T was there body guarding me and my mother. Dolemite was there, [Blues player,] Albert King was there too. That was one of the greatest heights and moments of my life in the pimp game. How did the pimp game change from the 70’s going into the 80’s?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: One thing about it is drugs invaded the pimp game. More-so than anything else, a lot of the pimps thought they could profit more if they involved the drugs in their game. A lot of pimps thought they could hold their girls by putting them on drugs. When the drugs came in, the pimps started looking like drug dealers and the dealers started to look like pimps. Were you careful about your girls abusing drugs?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: I was definitely against that. I didn’t do it myself; I never sold drugs. I never used cocaine, heroine. I used to smoke a little PCP and mix it with marijuana, but that was as far as I went. I never shot the needle, never snorted cocaine; I never wanted my girls on it or anything like that. They knew I was strictly against it. I had no problem [with the girls] smoking marijuana. But I was strictly against hard drugs. Get into your upcoming show Holding Court.

Bishop Don Magic Juan: It will be a highly rated show like Judge Judy, People’s Court, or Mills Lane’s show. I’ll be settling cases and beefs between rappers or marriage problems. Whatever problems they have in court, they bring them to me, and they definitely going to get properly solved. I mean this show is going to be off the hook. I’ll be bringing in some of my celebrity friends to get their opinion. I’ll bring in expert advice to get their opinion from attorneys. I’ll be bringing my flavor to the courtroom. During deliberation, I would be having entertainment going on to the audience while in trying to figure out who’s right and who’s wrong. How would you feel if one of your daughters wanted to become a prostitute?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: I don’t encourage it; I do have a son who’s involved in the pimp game. I didn’t encourage it, like anybody else. If they come to me for advice, I’m going to give them the best advice I can considering the matter. What’s the difference between a prostitute and a hoe?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: The difference between a prostitute and a hoe is that the hoe gives it away and the prostitute sells it. Where do you buy your clothes?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: I get my stuff made. I spend seven to eight hours in the garment district whether I’m in LA, New York, or Chicago, looking for specific materials different than anyone else. Then I take it to my tailor and have the shoes made, the suit made, the hat made. My stuff be custom. I’m suited and booted from head to toe. So when I show up I don’t have to worry about nobody up in the club looking like me or whatever the activity maybe. How did you get your column in Elemental Magazine?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: I got game man! A lot of people been asking me about giving them some game and I got this thing on my website called “Ask the Bishop.” And so I do that out of love for Elemental, where people call in the Archbishop Don Magic Juan. I’ve been the spiritual advisor to Snoop, Mike Tyson, P. Diddy, Lil’ Kim, and Mariah Carey. Can a square with no natural game in them become a good pimp?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: For sure, they got to get around someone that has the game to give them the game. It definitely can be taught to a square. Like I always tell them, I got game for the lames. How did you go about choosing which songs made it to the CD?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: People are so interested in seeing what makes me tick. What do I listen to? That’s how I broke them down. Like track number four, “Be Thankful,” people got to be thankful for what they got. It brings joy to your home. You start off the CD with The Isley Brothers’ “Between The Sheets.” This song is held dearly by the Hip-Hop culture because of B.I.G’ version on “I Love it When You Call Me ‘Big Poppa’”…

Bishop Don Magic Juan: Well, the Isley’s are very powerful, and I know Ronny. It just goes to show you everybody is familiar with a classic. It helped B.I.G. step up his game because he recognized it definitely was a classic, and he used it. Then again, not too many people are up on Peabo Bryson.

Bishop Don Magic Juan: Now that one is really a sleeper. I dedicated it to the house. It’s a love song and not only that I’m going wake up some people to some of these artist’s catalog. How did you hook up with Snoop?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: Snoop came to Chicago to perform in the 90’s. [He saw me in the crowd,] and he told security he wanted to meet me. He and I talked and had fellowship; we had a little pow-wow during a small chronic break. From there on, we have become friends. He told me if I’m ever in California to hook up with him. I bumped into him at the airport. He gave me his number and I started giving him hat game. Showing him the right way to maneuver. I need you to keep it 100% funky with me. Does Snoop really have girls on the track?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: That’s really for TV. He is a married man. His game is much bigger than the pimp game, theatrical wise. [It’s] doing movies and rapping. No sense in dropping that for pimping. Do you consider yourself a role model?

Bishop Don Magic Juan: [It] depends on who wants to follow me. Different strokes for different folks. I’m a role model for all famous players around the world, because they seem to take my advice. Because one thing is, if you take it, it’s definitely going to work for you. I give advice that works.