On Big L’s 43rd Birthday, This Freestyle Shows Why His Rhymes Are Immortal (Video)
May 30 marks the birthday of Lamont “Big L” Coleman. The Harlem, New Yorker was born 43 years ago today. While he died more than 18 years ago, at a time when many believe his career was reaching its next level, the member of D.I.T.C. and Children Of The Corn remains an immortal voice in Hip-Hop.
At the time Big L was killed outside his home, a lot was transpiring. Rumors swirled that he was considering signing with Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous guest MC Jay Z and friends Dame Dash and Biggs at Roc-A-Fella Records. The artist was plugging away at The Big Picture (which would release after his death, and reach gold certification). And while onetime Corn band-mates Cam’ron and Ma$e were getting mainstream love, L believed that his sophomore LP held much promise, especially following a strong look on O.C.’s Jewelz, and a showstopping verse on Diggin’ In The Crates 12″ “Day One.”
In ’98, the last full year of L’s life, he swung through pioneering online Rap video show 88HipHop.com. Joined by D.I.T.C. band-mate A.G. (who put L on Runaway Slave six years earlier), Coreleone tore into the beat. In his verse (with ‘Dre providing background), L combines his early punchline style with his Gangsta Rap side, expertly.
“L is a heavy-weighter wit steady paper / You the type to go to jail for a petty caper / Then come home on good behavior / Talkin’ ’bout you no longa hard now / ‘Cause you a man of God now / Yo, it’s amazin’ / L is blazin’ / Always been, Before I put ‘da braids in / I use to let the waves spin / What you be sayin’ don’t impress me at all / And them chicks you be jayin’ don’t be sexy at all / Word life, everything that i recite stand out / Go head and front so I can try this right hand out / Across yo’ jaw / L never lost a war / No respect for them cowards who enforce the law.”
Big L, rest in peace!
#BonusBeat: This verse ended up on 2011’s The Danger Zone compilation, released by L’s brother and RBC Records:
There is an additional verse at the end.