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Review of Snyika Shakur's Monster

             This autobiography takes place in one of the most dangerous areas in the United States, South Central Los Angeles. L.A. has had terrible gang problems since 1969, and after only a few years the streets became treacherous war grounds that no one was safe from. Living in this area, the only way to have any safety is to join one of the gangs. Kody Scott, an eleven-year-old boy, makes this decision and is inducted into the Eight Tray Crips. After being beaten, or gang banged, by other Crips, he is sent on a mission. That same night Kody uses a sawed of shotgun to shoot six members of the enemy gang, the Bloods. In the police report he is described as a monster, and the name catches on. .
             Monster Kody, as he was called by his friends and enemies, became one of the most notorious gang members in L.A. He committed murder frequently, shootings weekly, and fighting daily. For him, life was only a continual battle. He was at war, so he became a hardened soldier. While most know that the Bloods were fighting the Crips, the real war was fought inside the Crips, one set, or smaller communal gang, against another. Through repeated shootings and fighting, Monster Kody became an O.G., an Original Gangster. He describes this title as the highest achievement a gangbanger can attain. It is an unofficial title, but is rewarded with great respect and honor by all gang members, friend or foe. .
             Eventually Monster was sent to jail for his actions. He spent a few months in the Juvenile Hall since he was still a minor, but frequent law infractions later sent him to prison, in San Quinton. This state penitentiary is one of the most feared and dangerous of all jails. It is meant only for the worst criminals. Even in this jail Monster became one of the leaders of the internal gangs, and spent most of his time in the hole. While in jail, however, he was shown a different life by a few cellmates. They were Afrikan Nationalists, revolutionaries of Malcolm X and other black Muslim leaders.

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