Big L Gets Harlem Street Named In His Honor

Forty-eight years ago this month (May 30, 1974), Lamont Coleman was born. By the 1990s, known as Big L, Coleman became one of Hip-Hop’s more respected lyricists, thanks to appearances on Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito’s radio show freestyles, feature work, and his 1995 Columbia/Sony Records debut, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous. The LP featured a debut appearance by Children Of The Corn crew associate Cam’ron, as well as JAY-Z, Grand Daddy I.U., and Kid Capri. Production was handled by L’s Diggin’ In The Crates band-mates, including Showbiz, Buckwild, and mentor, Lord Finesse.

However, Big L’s life was cut tragically short when he was fatally shot on February 15, 1999. Coleman was killed on 139th Street, just steps from his Harlem home. The tragedy occurred as L was in talks with Roc-A-Fella Records and at work on what would become his posthumous gold LP, The Big Picture.

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Today (May 28), Lamont Coleman was immortalized with a street ceremony in Harlem. The 140th Street & Lennox Avenue intersection has been renamed Lamont “Big L” Coleman Way.

“It took a whole lot of effort and Support to get to this great point but as an collective we made it happen,” an Instagram post from upcoming documentary film Street Stuck: The Big L Story read. “The Biggest Thank you’s go out to the dope 500-plus people who signed and passed the petition around so we could get this street renamed. There are entirely too many good people that gave this their support, so with all my heart, I personally want to say thank you!

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Similar New York street renaming ceremonies have happened for Scott La Rock, Phife Dawg, and Biggie.

#BonusBeat: A 2020 Ambrosia For Heads’ What’s The Headline podcast interview with Big L’s mentor and D.I.T.C. band-mate Lord Finesse: