Before cracking the first page this title grabs your attention with its graffiti inspired cover designs and stark, gangland photography. Self proclaimed O.G (original gangster) MONSTER Kody Scott vividly details the violent path of his youth which led him from sixth grade drop out to a muscle bound, bloody minded sociopath, gaining both infamy and an alias (MONSTER) for his role in a brutal beating which left a man unrecognizable and hardened L.A.P.D officers shocked. The primary hook in this glorified gangster bio is the underlying morality and the journey towards redemption Scott will take, but not before dishing out the graphically seedy details of his reign as The Monster. The first hundred pages are peppered with sex, violence, language, violence and more violence, this trend continues and seems unending until a major turning point occurs in both Scott's life and the course and style of the remainder of the book. Seven shots ring out in a back alley leaving Scott near death, but more importantly rethinking his lifestyle as a street gang member.
While in full traction from his wounds two officers of the law show up and give Scott the news that will complete the change his life will eventually take, he's up for charges, many of them serious.
Kody Scott is eventually sentenced to 19 years behind bars, a sentence and turn of events that would normally crush a man and conclude a book, but not this one. Like many former imprisoned gang members Scott becomes immersed in the world of Black Nationalism, converting to Islam not long afterwards. With his conversion comes a name change, Kody Monster Scott is no more, Shanyika Shakur is born, and with him a new attitude, passion and morality.
The messages of hope and redemption brilliantly contrast the violence and gang glorification to create a real sense of authenticity in the narrative. Certain passages read like fiction, a credit to Scott’s ability as a story teller, but also due to the fact that this man's life was extraordinary, terrible or not his experiences are shocking, truthful and eye opening. For a compelling journey into a world few see, MONSTER
fits the bill in every way.