While he may not be as well-known of a name as some of his contemporaries like Dr. Dre and his frequent collaborator, Ice-T, Compton rapper and producer Da Monsta should be because he is as synonymous with West Coast Hip-Hop as those others are. Starting in the mid-’80s, and going by the name Funky Fresh, Monsta was part of a collective known as The Union, which secured a deal with Capitol Records under the guidance of legendary promoter Doug Young.
“He’s a good dude,” Young told me the other day. “He was talented as fuck, and he had that voice similar to King Tee.”
Over the next several decades, The Union would disband, Fresh would change his name to Da Monsta, produce on multiple projects, and release two solo albums of his own (with a third one on the way). Most recently, Monsta made the track that would become Ice-T’s “Follow the Leader,” putting him back in the spotlight.
In an exclusive interview with West Coast Styles, Monsta sounds off about his influences, experiences in Hip-Hop, and the future of the Left Coast.
Da Monsta is a 30+ year music veteran willing to share some of his life’s wisdom in speech and song. Check out the interview below and a new cut, “That’z Real,” from his upcoming LP, Frequencies!