On the night that rapper Lamont Coleman, AKA “Big L”, was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on the Harlem streets in 1999, hip-hop lost one of its influential, most gifted and trendsetting lyricists.
The void left in New York rap culture by Big L’s demise is unfortunately not an uncommon occurrence. He is one of many influential artists that have succumbed to the jealousy and violence of street life, another troubling example of how hip-hop is inevitably and dangerously tied to the street culture, and how reaching stardom as a rapper — especially in the wild ’90s — didnt mean escaping the harsh realities of your hood and past transgressions.
Happy Birthday To Harlem’s Own Big L (R.I.P.) https://t.co/IMfkWiLbvx
L, who would have turned 44 years young today, emerged from the burgeoning Harlem rap scene in the early to mid-1990’s and blazed the underground scene with his metaphors, sharp verbal warfare and slick, gentleman-gangster, thug-lover persona that had come to epitomize Uptown rap culture.
At the height of his wave, L signed to Columbia Records, where he released his debut album, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous in 1995.
Big L’s official music video for ‘Put It On’. Click to listen to Big L on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/BLSpot?IQid=BLPO As featured on Lifestylez Of The Poor And Dangerous.
It was a hit on the streets and sparked what should have been an eventual crossover success story for one of Uptowns finest before Ls life was taken when he took nine bullets to the body.
Not the Original version, but its a still a dope song Most Valuable Poet on the M.I.C!!!!
His second album, The Big Picture, was put together by his manager, Rich King, and released posthumously in 2000 through Big Ls independent label, Flamboyant Records.
The chip-toothed Big L was another one of raps titans that was taken before he was allowed to grow, develop and master his full talents and business capabilities.
His lyrical dominance lives on and is captured in the various material that serves as a blueprint for new lyricists and the golden era of rap. As a freestyle artist, L is considered a pioneer and one of the indisputable masters of the braggadocious,off-the-top rock out. This 1995 freestyle where L introduces an up-and-coming lyricist named Jay-Z is a collector’s item.
THE FULL FREESTYLE. NOT THE 7MINUTES ONE. IT WAS RELEASED A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO!
Happy Birthday Big L. May you rest in power and hopefully, you are still spitting heat and rocking over beats in hip-hop heaven.