Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Big L with This Lord Sear Tribute Mix (Audio)

Big L Rest in Peace…Sixteen years ago today (February 15, 1999), the world lost a true lyricist in Lamont “Big L” Coleman. The Harlem, New York native, with just a lone album under his belt, was in the process of what many Heads believe, was a push to the top, when he was murdered in a drive-by shooting just feet from his childhood stomping ground, 139th Street.

His Children Of The Corn cohorts—including Ma$e, Cam’ron, and Herb McGruff all had major label deals. Although 1995’s Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous was not a commercial success for Sony/Columbia Records, many Hip-Hop Heads in the know had championed the work, which had surged as a Top 150 chart debut—no small feat for the day. One of the emerging guests on the LP, Jay Z, was reportedly one of the parties interested (care of Roc-A-Fella Records) in signing the Diggin’ In The Crates MC. Diggin’, quite active at the time, was at work on their own Tommy Boy Records group effort. O.C. and Big L, two of the esteemed non-producing members of the New York City super-collective, were also beginning recording sessions for an album that would sadly never release.

In death, Big L has received the accolades that were starting to awaken the mainstream at the time of his death. The Rawkus Records-released The Big Picture would sell more than 500,000 copies, containing many of the solo recordings and completed tracks L had vested by early 1999. His work would appear on others’ albums following his death, including a high-profile posthumous billing on Terror Squad’s Top 10 sophomore LP, True Story. From Cam, to Jay, mentor Lord Finesse, to Gang Starr’s Full Clip intro, Heads can never let Big L go.

Often touted for his quick wit, slick similes, and nimble delivery at high speed, today AFH will remember Big L for his introspection. To celebrate his life and legacy, here’s a 2012 tribute mix from veteran DJ Lord Sear. Check out the full stream and download below.

Early demo song “How Will I Make It” shows why it was no leap that Corleone was edited alongside 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. after all three deaths, for his Big Picture:

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