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Music / Big L

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You can't kill me, I was born dead.
"I'm so ahead of my time, my parents haven't met yet."
Big L, in all his modesty.

Lamont Coleman (May 30, 1974 – February 15, 1999), known professionally as Big L, was an American rapper from Harlem. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most lyrical rappers of all time, and is known for helping to pioneer horror core. He was also a member of two music groups : Children of the Corn, also consisting of neighborhood friends and fellow Harlem rappers Mase, Cam'ron, Herb Mcgruff and Bloodshed, and D.I.T.C.(Diggin' in the Crates Crew) also consisting of Lord Finesse, Diamond D, O.C., Fat Joe, Buckwild, Showbiz and A.G.

Emerging from Harlem, New York in the early to mid-1990s, Coleman became well known amongst underground hip-hop fans for his freestyling ability, and was eventually signed to Columbia Records, where he released his debut album, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous in 1995 and is now considered by many fans as a classic album. On February 15, 1999, Coleman was shot nine times and killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in his hometown of Harlem. His second album The Big Picture, unfinished at the time of his death (slated to be released in 1999), was completed by his manager Rich King and released in August 1, 2000. It charted in the United Kingdom and was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in October 2000.


Big L is remembered for his use of wordplay and his lyricism. Henry Adaso described him as "one of the most auspicious storytellers in hip hop history.".

Studio Albums:

  • Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous (1995)
  • The Big Picture (2000)

Posthumous Albums:

  • 139 and Lenox (2010)
  • Return of the Devil's Son (2010)
  • The Danger Zone (2011)

"L keep troper’s hearts pumpin like Reeboks":

  • Anti-Love Song: Downplayed. He doesn't makes an entire song about it, but don't expect him to be positive when he mentions love.
    Big L (Ebonics): If you in love, that make you blind
  • The Dreaded : Many people feared his rap skills. Even Nas, who later recorded what is arguably one of the best (if not the best) diss tracks of all time (Ether, at Jay-Z's expense), was terrified at the idea of battling L.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome : In Casualties Of A Dice Game, Big L is heavily bleeding after voluntarily crash his and his enemies's cars. Even though he risks dying if he isn't treated, L remains calm, manages to finish off his enemies, get back at his former friend Bones for abandoning him, kill a cop and escape police by the time he finally succumb to his wounds.
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  • Grand Finale : Downplayed with The Big Picture. It wasn't intended to be like that at first, but then L passed. The album was released next year, and it became his most popular album. The intro tells you immediately this is the last time you get to hear L. Better enjoy it.
    DJ Premier: Big L rest in peace!
  • Ironic Name: He was actually quite small. Of course, his presence and skills were not.
  • Pet the Dog: In Casualties Of A Dice Game, after killing several people, a dying L gives his money to a bunch of kids playing before dying.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • In Casualties Of A Dice Game, L is pursued by people who want him dead because he won against them in a dice game. He asks his friend Bones for help, but Bones refuses because he is having sex. After killing his pursuers, a dying L goes to Bones', beats down the woman with whom Bones had sex with before killing Bones himself.
    • In The Heist. See below for further information.
  • Talking to Himself: In The Heist, Big L goes into storytelling mode and portrays both himself and his fictional friends Corleone and Tommy Gibbs, out to get back at his girl for tarnishing his reputation and deal with his fictional rivals Mike and Ben at the same time.
  • Undying Loyalty: That's how his older brother remembered him, pointing out that when his friend Jay-Z wanted him to sign with Roc-A-Fella, L would only agree if his friend Herb Mcgruff and his protégé Stan Spit would sign too.
    Donald Coleman: He was just such a loyal dude. They were in talks, but they couldn’t agree on L bringing his boys with him. He refused to leave his people behind.
  • Villain Protagonist: Lot of songs. This is Big L and horrorcore, what do you expect. Highlights, however includes The Heist mentioned above.

"And mad hoes, ask Beavis I get nothing Butthead."