On Big L’s 43rd Birthday, This Freestyle Shows Why His Rhymes Are Immortal (Video)

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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.”

This 1998 Track By Big L, Ma$e & McGruff Is “Dangerous” To Overlook (Audio)

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.

Travel Back To Big L, Cam’ron & Ma$e Freestyling on Stretch & Bobbito in 1996 (Audio)

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.