Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member

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Grove/Atlantic, Inc., Dec 1, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
After pumping eight blasts from a sawed-off shotgun at a group of rival gang members, twelve-year-old Kody Scott was initiated into the L.A. gang the Crips. He quickly matured into one of the most formidable Crip combat soldiers, earning the name “Monster” for committing acts of brutality and violence that repulsed even his fellow gang members. When the inevitable jail term confined him to a maximum-security cell, a complete political and personal transformation followed: from Monster to Sanyika Shakur, black nationalist, member of the New Afrikan Independence Movement, and crusader against the causes of gangsterism. In a document that has been compared to The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul on Ice, Shakur makes palpable the despair and decay of America’s inner cities and gives eloquent voice to one aspect of the black ghetto experience today.


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I recently finished reading this book and I really enjoyed it. I recommend it to anyone that is not racist or close-minded. Anyone that has read this book and summarizes it as just another gang, shoot 'em up book clearly missed the true message of Sanyika. He only uses his experiences to shed light on the effects of growing/living in an environment that is neglected by its own government. He explains, along with many more issues, how the prison industry actually contributes to more volatile criminals after their release; recidivism. All in all, its a great read of an oppressed individual that takes the initiative to re-evaluate his life and repurpose his efforts.  

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Very good book. If somebody is interested in hip hop culture he/she should read this book. Or if you think life's unfair and others disrespect you or you're interested about a gang life. Read it.


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Page 12 - Check this out," Tray Ball said. "You got potential, 'cause you eager to learn. Bangin' ain't no part-time thang, it's fulltime, it's a career. It's bein' down when ain't nobody else down with you. It's gettin' caught and not tellin'. Killin' and not caring, and dyin' without fear. It's love for your set and hate for the enemy. You hear what I'm sayin'?
Page 11 - ... and were never noticed until it was too late. Boom! Boom! Heavy bodies hitting the ground, confusion, yells of dismay, running, and then the second wave of gunfire. By my sixth shot I had advanced past the first fallen bodies and into the street in pursuit of those hiding behind cars and trees. One Blood who had seemingly gotten away tried to make one last dash from the safe area of a car to, I think, a porch. I remember raising my weapon and him looking back — for a split second it was as...
Page 13 - In 1977, when I was thirteen, while robbing a man, I turned my head and was hit in the face. The man tried to run, but was tripped by Tray Ball, who then held him for me. I stomped him for twenty minutes before leaving him unconscious in an alley. Later that night, I learned that the man had lapsed into a coma and was disfigured from my stomping. The police told bystanders that the person responsible for this was a "monster.

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