Life or Death - Book Review

Lou Acosta of Lorain, Ohio boldly reveals his sordid past in a gripping way, confirming the darkness must always give way to the light.
by Jon Hanna

Lou Acosta the author is also Brother Lew the rapper, a communicator who speaks the language of the rebellious, street wise youth, as well as their fringe group of 'wannabes'. In his book titled Brother Lew: Life or Death, Acosta shows a sincere desire to bring hope to the culture of destruction that once gripped him like a helpless prey in the jaws of a hungry gator.

Acosta reveals his sordid past in machine-gun fashion, grabbing the reader's attention and holding it tightly. With his back drop of the Bronx and gang life affiliations, this one-time barrio boy tells his story of almost unbelievable experiences in a chronological order that parallels major world events, including the death of President John F. Kennedy.

Acosta's biography would be a useful tool for anyone trying to communicate with a loved one whose own life may be entrenched in drugs, crime and/or violence. The way Acosta writes it, if anyone has a complaint it's him. If anyone has ever been unfairly treated and misunderstood it's Acosta. Seemingly always in the wrong place at the wrong time he paints himself a hapless victim of society. If those who could make the same argument for themselves were to glimpse the miserable past of Acosta, they would most likely walk away stripped of their right to self-pity.

The book evolves to a place of some breakthroughs and successes that would eventually grace Acosta's life, yet still leaves the impression that the story is unfinished.

Acosta's recent involvement with Christian rap music is lightly handled and his overall journey seems to be left wanting as if someone would tell the story of the Hebrews deliverance from Egypt's bondage and then stop with them still in the desert, not yet having entered the promised land.

Life or Death is an intriguing read with strong elements of hope and victory, yet somehow you just know that God has more in store for Acosta, another chapter or maybe another book?

"Life or Death" is available locally at Rainbow Family Book Center and online at, and as well as Acosta's own site

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