Willie Dynamite appears as the film's opening credits begin, with Martha Reeves singing the title song, 'Willie Dynamite.' Willie is driving his 'pimped-out' purple Cadillac on the streets of midtown Manhattan. The front license plate reading the first part of his nickname - 'Willie,' and the back license plate reading the second part - 'Dynamite.' Willie's destination is a midtown hotel, to collect payment from his women - who work the midtown hotels, attracting the many businessmen, conventioneers, who are looking for sex.
Willie's 'stable' of seven women are of all ethnicities, dressed in vibrant outfits. Their entrance into the Business International Association convention - by entering as an ensemble through the hotel's main doors in-sync with the title song's description of them - has all the men in the room ogling them. Many conventioneers - including even a pair of police officers - take the women to their hotel rooms. Pashen is the newest hooker working for Willie, and she is last in line to hand in her payments. Willie gets mad at her for producing less than expected. Willie compares his business with those of a production line: "Seven girls out there. Every ten minutes, one comes off the production line, like that. This is a business, baby, a production line, and just like GM, Ford, Chrysler, Willie's comin' through." Willie tells of his dreams of being the number one, top-pimp in New York City.
Bell, currently the number one pimp, holds a 'pimp council,' and tells the gathered pimps of the police cracking down on prostitution activities across the city. Bell makes a business proposal, wherein each pimp will get his own area to run, instead of the pimps competing for territory. Everyone agrees, except Willie. He argues the idea would hurt his business. Willie says his women are akin to 'animals of the jungle,' having the need to 'roam free,' and 'conquer all that can be controlled.'
Soon after the meeting ends, Willie learns Pashen has been arrested. Cora is a social worker, who tries to get the prostitutes in jail, to get out of the business, and turn their lives around. Cora meets Pashen, and tries to educate her on the dangers of being a prostitute. Cora encourages Pashen to change her life, and, as she's so young and pretty, to become a model and get paid for it. Being naïve, Pashen dismisses the idea, believing she can make more money as a hooker for Willie. Willie comes to post bail and gets Pashen out of jail. While Willie is out of his apartment, Cora makes an unexpected visit, and tells the women they are being ripped off by Willie. They ponder what Cora said as she leaves the apartment. When Willie comes back, he learns Pashen has been arrested again and the other women are reluctant to work. Willie threatens them if they decide to not work.
Cora visits the jail and tries again to persuade Pashen to get out of prostitution. Pashen still insists prostitution - and being part of Willie's 'stable' - is okay, as she's making a lot of money, and she likes the men's attention while working, because she feels like someone 'important,' wanted & beautiful. Cora tells Pashen that she, too, was once a prostitute, on the streets. Cora sneaks into Willie's apartment to find records of Willie's bank accounts, which could provide evidence of his illegal activity, but, the materials she takes would not be able to stand up in court. After this second arrest, Pashen finally decides to take Cora's advice about pursuing modeling, and does a photo-shoot for which she gets paid. She tries to tell Willie she wants out, but, he tells her of his dreams and hopes for her (and for himself), which she's not able to refuse.
Willie goes to the hotel convention, and finds his territory has been invaded and his lead hooker, Honey, has been killed after a territorial battle. Willie's life is spiraling downward, as he finds all his bank accounts have been frozen, and he's under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. Two detectives chase Willie through New York. Willie's seven hookers are arrested after the hotel fight, but Willie can't post bail, and the women are sent to the women's detention center for holding. While in the detention center, Pashen's face gets cut, and she's traumatized by her loss of beauty.
When Willie returns home, he is met by Bell and his men, who tells Willie to quit the business, and a fight ensues. Later, Willie is caught by the same two detectives, for possession of drugs. They have to free Willie, as the evidence obtained was done so without a warrant. In the end, Willie thinks back on past events, and after hearing news of his mother's dying, leaves his car - and by inference, pimping - for good. The film ends with Willie walking happily down the streets.
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