‘Street Poison’ review: Why rappers owe a debt to writer Iceberg Slim

By Jon MichaudIn April 1962, Robert Beck, who later achieved lasting fame under the pen name Iceberg Slim , was released from the Chicago House of Correction after serving 10 months in solitary confinement in a cell not much bigger than a coffin. A career criminal, Beck had been incarcerated numerous times from the age of 14 , including an 18-month stint in the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan. He had nearly lost his mind while imprisoned in what he called the “steel casket”...

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