Today marks the 17th year anniversary of Harlem hip-hop artist Big L’s death.

On February 15, 1999, Lamont Coleman, aka Big L, was shot nine times in the head and chest in his neighborhood. The shooter, Gerard Woodley, was allegedly looking for Big L’s brother when he saw him walking alone. Due to a previous altercation, Woodley chose to make a statement by shooting L instead. He was just 24 years old.

While his life was taken prematurely, Big L made great music while he was here. He was only able to make two studio albums, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous (1995)  and The Big Picture(2000). Having worked with artists such as Jay Z, Fat Joe, 2Pac, Remy Ma, Big Daddy Kane, Lord Finesse, DJ PremierCam’ron, McGruff, and many more, it is easy to see that Big L Had so much potential.

Big L was a natural born poet who knew how to tell a story with his rhymes. If you are not familiar with his work, I have placed two videos below for your listening pleasure. The first, being a personal favorite from Big L’s second album, features Big L and Fat Joe discussing their views on the police against African Americans. The second video is a rare audio recording of a young Big L and Jay Z trading verses in a freestyle on the Stretch and Bobbito Show from 1995. Enjoy!

The Enemy feat. Fat Joe

Big L and Jay Z freestyle



Written by Miles Riddle

Lend me your ears

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