This post might have been better suited to last week, but I realized too late that last Tuesday was the 12th anniversary of NY (Harlem?) MC Big L‘s death. It struck me that I’ve never done a Big L-themed OSM before, so it seemed like high time to do one.
Big L is of course, Lamont Coleman who got hooked up with Lord Finesse when he was a teenager and eventually became a member of the celebrated D.I.T.C. crew. Like other deceased MC’s, L has taken on a kind of mythic stature since his death, but he certainly wasn’t without respect and a devoted following before his death. I mean if you catch Finesse’s ear, one of the true originals of the emceeing game, chances are you’ve got something. And L did - he was a combination of street bravado, an easily identifiable, semi high-pitched voice, and plenty of mic skills that made almost all of his metaphor-filled verses seem like a standout (this post has made me re-visit the first D.I.T.C. album, and if your ears don’t perk up when L comes in, you aren’t paying attention).
So then, another case of a hip hop artist gone to soon, and as always, it’s a damn shame. L was a talented guy, where could he have taken his career? He was a lyricist for sure, but he had style and punchline-ability (Like Kool Me Dee, I coined my own term there) for days, so I could see him doing well in any era. I have to think he’d still be around, still putting out good records that would be snatched up hungrily by those of us like myself that refuse to let the late 80′s and early 90′s recede from memory.
We still have his music though, so let’s reminisce shall we. We’ll start with an early appearance on Finesse’s remix for Yes You May (I think, I’ve seen this song named/credited like 5 ways, so who knows), and we’ll also go with L’s funky+maniacal first single Devil’s Son. We’ve also got three from his debut album, Lifestlyes Ov Da Poor & Dangerous, including MVP, Street Stuck and the L.G. remix of Put It On. Enjoy.
MP3:: Big L - Devil’s Son
MP3:: Big L - MVP
MP3:: Big L - Street Struck
VIDEO:: Big L - Put It On