It’s been ten years to the day (February 15, 1999) since the Hip-Hop community lost one of its most gifted sons in Lamont “Big L” Coleman; the cold-blooded lyricist from Harlem who helped to pioneer compound/multi-syllable rhyming along with rebirthing the punchline:
“You see Corleon ice spinnin’/jigged out/white linen/and if I b*tch don’t like me, she must like women.” (taken from ‘Size Em Up’)
“I started writing rhymes in 1990 and was in a group called Three The Hard Way, but they wasn’t serious so I went solo. Then I started winning rap contests and battling everybody in my ‘hood and roastin’ em,” said the MC about his early development…
His career began after he caught the attention of founding members of D.I.T.C. (Diggin’ In The Crates) and he was later featured on ‘Party Over Here’ by Lord Finesse back in 1992; which lead to him signing his first record deal with Columbia Records (via four song demo).
At the time if his death, he was set to sign with Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records. Now just imagined if that happened? (Memphis who??!!!??). “He had just made a record called ‘Ebonics’ a week before he passed. We were going to sign him the following week,” said Jay-Z in an interview back in 2006
Cut down in the prime of his life at the age of 24, the artist with unlimited potential was only able to bless the world with two albums in Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous (which this writer still has the cassette of), and his final project The Big Picture, that was released through Rawkus Records and is certified gold by the RIAA. As all homicides that include rappers, his also remains unsolved.
Gone but never forgotten, Big L; RIP… Keep roastin’ ’em upstairs…