Born: May 30th, 1974 - Harlem, New York
Died: February 15th, 1999 - Harlem, New York (shot numerous times in his head and chest)
Lamont Coleman (May 30, 1974–February 15, 1999), better known as Big L, was an American rapper. Big L was born, raised, lived, and was fatally shot in the same New York City neighborhood, Harlem, about which he frequently rhymed. He is mostly remembered for his freestyling, storytelling, punchlines, his critically acclaimed debut album Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, and his murder at the age of twenty-four.
>== Biography == The story of Lamont Coleman started off one warm spring day in what is now referred to as the Danger Zone. On May 30th 1974, the last of three children was born to Gilda Terry in Harlem, New York. She would name him Lamont, but by the end he would come to be known as Big L, a name to go down in the hip-hop history books. Lamont was never physically Big as a child, his nickname was Little Lamont, and like most great emcees a lust for hip-hop flourished at an early age. Lamont was always known as a joker, from cracking corny puns to his aunts and uncles as a child to spitting slick lyrical verses.
Cameron Giles was among those who knew him best, “He was mad funny…that’s why when he rhymed, he had a lot of slick shit to say. I wanted him to be on my next album. He was never on that hatin’ shit. I’ll always have mad love for him.”
As an adolescent Lamont grew up listening to the talents of Run-DMC, Cold Crush Four, and Big Daddy Kane, eventually, he started to mimic his favourite rappers. For all his life Lamont lived on 139th Street and Lenox Avenue he would learn to rhyme in the park near his house at 104th West 139th Street; he would spend hours there trading rhymes with friends to pass the time. Eventually, while attending Julia Richmond High School he was given an alias; Big L, to spite his childhood nickname, he stood only five foot eight inches tall.
L describes his lyrical growth, “I started writing rhymes in 1990 and was in a group called Three The Hard Way, but they wasn't serious so I went solo. Then I started winning rap contests and battling everybody in my 'hood and roastin' em.”
In fact L would win more sanctioned freestyle contests than any other Harlem emcee in the 1990's. L kept perfecting his natural talent and by the time he was seventeen years old he was fast approaching the line that divides pastime and profession. His lyrics defined by the world around him gave insight into fabled Harlem shootouts and legendary Harlem street life.
In 1993 he signed with Columbia Records and released one vinyl 12", "Devil's Son". This song was quickly banned from radio because of its lyrics which stations dubbed too violent or vulgar, such as "I pistol whip the priest every Sunday". In 1995, still with Columbia, he released his debut album Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous. The album was hardly promoted and commercially not very popular, but was praised by The Source, a respected rap-music publication, which gave it four mics out of five. The album featured now-popular rappers such as Jay-Z and Cam'ron, but after its lack of success, he was dropped from the label.
His career took-off with a group called Children of the Corn, which he formed with fellow Harlemites Mase (under the name Murda Mase), Cam'ron (as Killa Cam), Cam'ron's cousin Bloodshed, and McGruff. The group recorded numerous songs, enough to make a full length album, compiled later as The Collector's Edition. The group never signed a deal, as Bloodshed was killed in a plane accident in 1997 and Mase and Cam'ron temporarily quit rapping to pursue professional basketball careers.
Big L was inducted into the Bronx-based hip-hop group D.I.T.C. by mentor Lord Finesse, forming a strong relationship with his fellow crew-members, O.C., Showbiz & A.G., Diamond D, Buckwild, Fat Joe, and Lord Finesse, appearing on several of their albums. He appeared with the group regularly, notably on their single "Dignified Soldiers" and their later self-titled LP release, sometimes known as Worldwide. In an interview with Fat Joe and A.G. with hiphopgame.com they confirm that there will be another D.I.T.C album in 2007, with all of the members.
During the gap of 1997 and 1999, Big L worked on his second album The Big Picture. It was released worldwide at the summer of 2000 to critical acclaim. Two singles, entitled "Ebonics" and "Flamboyant", both reached number one in the charts. The album featured cameos from Fat Joe, Tupac Shakur, and Big Daddy Kane among other up-and-coming and established rappers. The Big Picture went platinum in 2001.
Jay-Z has said that Big L was set to sign with his Roc-A-Fella label, but died the week before. The two had a mutual respect dating back to a dual freestyle session on the radio and Jay-Z's appearance on Big L's first album.
>=== Murder === On the evening of February 15, 1999, Big L was shot multiple times in the head and chest and killed just blocks away from his Harlem home. Early indications led many to believe that Coleman was killed because of a debt owed by his older brother, Leroy Phinazee, who was in jail at the time and was therefore inaccessible. It has also been speculated that the murderer mistook Lamont for his brother on the night he was shot. Some time after his release from prison, Leroy Phinazee was murdered on the same street as his brother after attempting to find out who had shot him. Both murders remain unsolved.
His last recorded release was The Big Picture, on August 1, 2000, released posthumously and put together by his manager and partner in Flamboyant Entertainment, Rich King. It contains songs that L had recorded and acapellas that were never used, completed by producers and guest rappers that Big L respected or had worked with previously. The album was certified gold a month later. A new album, said to be called Real Legends Never Die, is expected for release during Summer 2007.
Lifestylez Ov Da Poor And Dangerouz
Put It On (Lyrics) MVP (Lyrics) No Endz, No Skinz (Lyrics) 8 Is Enuff (Lyrics) All Black (Lyrics) Danger Zone (Lyrics) Street Struck (Lyrics) Da Graveyard (Lyrics) Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous (Lyrics) I Don't Understand It (Lyrics) Fed Up Wit The Bullshit (Lyrics) Let 'Em Have It "L" (Lyrics)
The Big Picture
The Big Picture (Intro) (Lyrics) Ebonics (Lyrics) Size 'Em Up (Lyrics) Deadly Combination Ft. 2Pac (Lyrics) 98 Freestyle (Lyrics) Holdin' It Down (Lyrics) The Heist (Lyrics) The Enemy (Lyrics) Fall Back (Lyrics) Flamboyant (Lyrics) Casualties Of A Dice Game (Lyrics) Platinum Plus Ft. Big Daddy Kane (Lyrics) Who You Slidin' Wit' (Lyrics) Games Ft. Guru & Sadat X (Lyrics) The Heist Revisited (Lyrics) The Triboro (Lyrics)
Harlem's Finest (A Freestyle History)
Interview Intro (Lyrics)* Rock N. Wills Audition (Lyrics)* Stretch & Bobbito '92 (Lyrics) Stretch & Bobbito '93 (Lyrics) Stretch & Bobbito '94 (Lyrics) Stretch & Bobbito Ft. Jay-Z (Lyrics) Stretch & Bobbito Part II Ft. Jay-Z (Lyrics) 139 Ft. Tony Touch (Lyrics) Universal Freestyle (Lyrics) My Niggaz – Doo Wop (Lyrics) Stretch & Bobbito 98 (Lyrics) Roc Raida Mixtape (Lyrics) Flamboyant (Lyrics) Flamboyant Part II Ft. Royal Flush (Lyrics) Kay Slay Freestyle (Lyrics) Devil's Son (Live In Amsterdam) (Lyrics) Nigga Please Ft. Stan Spit & Mcgruff (Lyrics) How Will I Make It (Lyrics) Final Four Interview (Lyrics)*
Live In Amsterdam
Introducing Big L Ft. A.G. (Lyrics)* Dangerous (Lyrics)* Size 'Em Up (Lyrics)* Ebonics (Lyrics)* Shoutouts To The Crew Ft. A.G. (Lyrics)* Devil's Son (Remix) (Lyrics)* Introducing A.G. Ft. A.G. (Lyrics)* Themes, Dreams & Shemes (Remix) (Lyrics)* Next Level (Lyrics)* Next Level (Nyte Time Remix) (Lyrics)* Spit (Lyrics)* Speak To The Fans Ft. A.G. (Lyrics)* We Do That To (Lyrics)* Full Scale (Lyrics)* Spit (Remix) (Lyrics)* Soul Clap (Lyrics)* Day One '99 Ft. A.G. (Lyrics)* Acapella (Lyrics)* The Enemy Ft. A.G. (Lyrics)*
The Archives 1996-2000
Games Females Play (Lyrics)* Now or Never (Lyrics)* Hit It (Lyrics)* Platinum Plus (Original Riverside Mix) (Lyrics)* We Got This (Alternate Lyrics) (Lyrics)* Furious Anger Ft. Shyheim (Lyrics)* Deadly Combination Ft. 2Pac & Notorious BIG (Lyrics)* On the Mic (Roc Raida Turntablist Mix) (Lyrics)* Still Here (Hi-Tek Mix) Ft. C-Town (Lyrics)* Ebonics (Remix) Ft. T-Rex (Lyrics)* Who You Slidin' With (Buckwild Mix) (Lyrics)* Accapella 1 [Platinum Plus] (Lyrics)* Accapella 2 [Fall Back] (Lyrics)*
Children Of The Corn - Collector's Edition
Intro (Lyrics)* The Corn (Lyrics)* Give Up The Game (Lyrics)* Biscuits And Bangers (Lyrics)* I Remember When (Lyrics)* Hard To Get By (Lyrics)* Harlem USA (Lyrics)* Harlem Nights (Lyrics) Don't Sleep (Lyrics)* Star Is Born (Lyrics)* Harlem USA (Uptown) (Lyrics)* Fare One Part. I (Lyrics)* Fare One Part. II (Lyrics)* Paint The Town Red (Lyrics)* Doin' It (Lyrics)* Ill Flow (Lyrics)* Danger Zone (Lyrics)* Six Figga Freestyle (Lyrics)* Bobbito Freestyle 1 (Lyrics)* Bobbito Freestyle 2 (Lyrics)* American Dream (Lyrics)
D.I.T.C. – Worldwide
Thick (Lyrics) Get Yours (Lyrics) Champagne Thoughts (Lyrics) Way Of Life (Lyrics) Day One (Lyrics) Hey Luv (Lyrics) Foundation (Lyrics) Ebonics (Lyrics) Drop It Heavy (Lyrics) Da Enemy (Lyrics) Stand Strong (Lyrics) Weekend Nights (Lyrics) Thick (Rockwilder Mix) (Lyrics) Tribute (Lyrics) Time To Get This Money (Lyrics)
Big L - Retail
8 Iz Enuff Ft. Terra, Herb McGruff, Buddah Bless, Big Twan, Killa Kam, Trooper J & Mike Boogie '98 Freestyle Part. I (Stretch & Bobbito) (First half) All Black Casualties of a Dice Game Da Graveyard Ft. Lord Finesse, Jay-Z, Microphone Nut, Party-Arty & Y.U. Dangerzone Ft. McGruff Deadly Combination Ft. 2Pac Ebonics Fall Back Ft. Kool G Rap Fed Up Wit Da Bullshit Flamboyant Games Ft. Sadat X & Guru Games Females Play ('Games' OG) Hit It Holdin' It Down Ft. Missy Jones, Stan Spit & AG I Don't Understand It Let 'Em Have It 'L' Lifestyles Ov Da Poor & Dangerous MVP Now Or Never Platinum Plus Ft. Big Daddy Kane Put It On Ft. Kid Capri Street Struck The Big Picture Intro Ft. DJ Premier, Guru, Foxx & Lord Finesse The Heist The Heist Revisited The Triboro Ft. O.C., Fat Joe & Remy Martin Thick Ft. AG & O.C. We Got This (Alternate Lyrics) ('The Triboro' OG) We Got This Ft. Mr. Cheeks Who You Slidin' Wit' Ft. Stan Spit
5 Fingas Of Death Ft. Big L, Lord Finesse, AG, Fat Joe & Diamond D All Love Ft. Fat Joe, Lord Finesse & AG Alone (Funkyman Remix) Ft. Stephen Simmonds & Marquee American Dream Ft.. McGruff, Killa Kam, Murda Mase & Bloodshed American Dream (J-Love Version) Ft. McGruff, Killa Kam, Murda Mase & Bloodshed American Dream (Uptown Version) Ft. McGruff, Killa Kam, Murda Mase & Bloodshed Back Up Off Me Ft. N.O.T.S. Clique Dangerous Ft. O.C. Dangerzone (a.k.a. Uptown Connection) (McGruff version) Ft. Murda Mase & McGruff Dangerzone (a.k.a. Uptown Connection) (Demo version) Ft. Murda Mase & McGruff Day One Ft. Diamond D, AG, Lord Finesse & O.C. Dignified Soldiers Ft.. Lord Finesse, AG & O.C. DJ 279 Freestyle Ft. O.C. Don't Front Freestyle Ft. McGruff (Stretch & Bobbito) Don't Sleep Ft. Bloodshed & Killa Kam Furious Anger Ft.. Shyheim Get Yours Ft. Diamond D & O.C. Giving Comments Ft.. Showbiz (skit) Harlem N.Y.C. (Beats 2 Blow Remix) Ft. Bootsy & McGruff Harlem Nights Ft. Bloodshed & Killa Kam Hell Up In Harlem Ft. McGruff, Murda Mase & Killa Kam Hell Up In Harlem (Extended Version) Ft. McGruff, Murda Mase & Killa Kam Internationally Known Ft. O.C., Fat Joe & Lord Finesse Represent Ft. Showbiz & AG, D'Shawn & Lord Finesse Talkin' Memories Ft. McGruff (skit) The Enemy Ft. Fat Joe Way Of Life Ft. Fat Joe We All Can't Ball Ft. Liz Lucciano Work Is Never Done Ft. N.O.T.S. Clique Yes You May (Remix) Ft. Lord Finesse You Know What I'm About (Original) Ft. Lord Finesse
139 Freestyle (Tony Touch) '92 Freestyle (Stretch & Bobbito Debut) '93 Freestyle (Stretch & Bobbito) '94 Freestyle (Full) (a.k.a. Motherless Child Freestyle & C.O.C. Style II) (ft. Bloodshed, Murda Mase & Killa Kam) '94 Freestyle Pt. I (Remastered) (a.k.a. Motherless Child Freestyle & C.O.C. Style II) '95 Freestyle (Stretch & Bobbito) (Full) (ft. Jay-Z) '95 Freestyle Pt. I (Stretch & Bobbito) (ft. Jay-Z) (Remastered) '95 Freestyle Pt. II (Stretch & Bobbito) (ft. Jay-Z) (Remastered) '97 Freestyle (DJ Clue) (ft. McGruff) '98 Freestyle (Stretch & Bobbito) (Full) '98 Freestyle Pt. II (Stretch & Bobbito) (Second half) Ain't No Half Steppin' Freestyle (ft. Lord Finesse) C.O.C. Style I (ft. Bloodshed, Murda Mase, Killa Kam & McGruff) Doo Wop My Niggaz Freestyle Fat Beats Interview & Freestyle (ft. Party-Arty, AG & D-Flow) Flamboyant Freestyle I (Flamboyant OG pt. I) Flamboyant Freestyle II (Flamboyant OG pt. II) Flamboyant Freestyle III (Flamboyany OG pt. I + extra verse) Harlem Freestyle (ft. Black Rob) (DJ Kay Slay) Holdin' it Down Freestyle Last Freestyle (DJ Kay Slay) L-Fudge Freestyle Live At The Tramps Freestyle (ft. Lord Finesse) New York Freestyle (a.k.a. Universal Freestyle) (ft. I-Born, McGruff & C.L. Smooth) Roc Raida Freestyle Rock 'N' Wills Audition Sandman 118 freestyle Tru Master Freestyle W.K.C.R. 89.9 Freestyle (ft. Killa Cam, Murda Mase, Bloodshed, McGruff, Buddah Bless, Terra, Big Twan) Wake Up Show Freestyle (ft. Chino XL, Doug E. Fresh & AZ) Who Shot Ya Freestyle
Unreleased/Promo/B-Side/White Label/Single only
Clinic (a.k.a. Shoulda Worn A Rubba) Deadly Combination (Original) (ft. 2Pac & Notorious B.I.G.) Devil's Son Exclusive 2003 Shit (DJ Ron G) Holdin' It Down (Original) (ft. Party-Arty & AG) How Will I Make It Raw And Ready (ft. Party Arty) School Days Times Is Hard On The Boulevard Unexpected Flava
All Love (Remix) (ft. Fat Joe, Lord Finesse & AG) Back In My Hood (Offical 'Raw & Ready' Remix) (ft. Party-Arty) Bring 'Em Back (Official ‘You Know What I’m About’ Blend) (ft. Fat Joe & Big Pun) Bring 'Em Back (Offical ‘You Know What I’m About’ FULL verse Blend) Dangerous (Them Games) (ft. Milano & Rayvon) Day One (Remix) (ft. Diamond D, AG, Lord Finesse & O.C.) Dignified Soldiers (Remix) (ft. Lord Finesse, AG & O.C.) Double Up (Official ‘Work Is Never Done’ Blend) (ft. Kool G Rap, Royal Flush & Da Barker) Ebonics (Primo Remix) Ebonics (Remix) (ft.T-Rex) Exclusive 2004 Shit (Official ‘Bring Em Back Remix) (ft. Sheek Louch) Fell 4 The Game (Official ‘Flamboyant’ Blend) (ft. Newchild & 10th Street Black) I Got 5 On It Session (Official ‘MVP’ blend) Internationally Known (Remix) (ft. O.C., Fat Joe & Lord Finesse) Living Thru Bars (Official ‘Hell Up In Harlem’ blend) (ft. 2Pac & Stretch) Murder (Official Blend) (ft. Canibus & Method Man) MVP 2000 (DJ Premier Remix) MVP (Summer Smooth Mix) (ft. Missy Jones) Nigga Please (official ‘Holdin It Down’ blend) (ft. Stan Spit & McGruff) On The Mic (Official ‘Size Em Up’ Blend) Once Again (Official ‘Size Em Up’ Blend) (J-Love) Platinum Plus (Remix) (ft. C-Town & Originators) (new verse) Stand Strong (official ‘Dignified Soldiers’ remix) (ft. Lord Finesse, AG & O.C.) Still Here (ft. C-Town) The Enemy (Remix) (ft. Fat Joe) Thick (Rockwilder Remix) (ft. AG & O.C.) Thorough Fam (Official ‘Flamboyant’ Blend) (ft. Royal Flush) We Known For That (Official 'Internationally Known' Remix) (ft. O.C. & Fat Joe) Where Ya At (Offical Blend) (ft. Big Punisher) Who You Slidin' Wit' (Solo Original) (Buckwild Remix) Work (Remix) (ft. Gangstarr)
^ Jay-Z Chat Transcript. Roc-A-Fella News. Retrieved on November 30, 2006. ^ DITC Plotting New Album. AllHipHop.com Retrieved on April 25, 2007