Who killed Big L and why
The Emcees in the USA live dangerously, because the rap game is a tough society, a really hot place. Jealousies, envy, diss tracks, drugs and mafia contacts from old ghetto days make life difficult for the tolerant and peaceful hip hop ideals of yore. To protect themselves, most rappers gather the strongest possible crew around them, often before their own debut is in stores. With so much pressure from all sides, it can happen that former friends and partners suddenly face each other as enemies because of a series of misunderstandings (see 2Pac and Biggie). But business is business and friendship is friendship as Gangstarr and MOP explain in their collaboration track from the "Moment Of Truth" album.
But when it really comes to an argument, the fists almost always fly and, unfortunately, the bullets too, as is common in ghetto gang wars. In contrast to the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, the rappers Freaky Tah (Lost Boyz) and Big L do not fall victim to any beef in the rap game, but have to atone for the misconduct of close relatives. The Wutanger Ol'Dirty Bastard and Rubbabandz (G.P.Wu) are also pumped lead into their bodies because of this, but the two lucky ones survive the assassination attempt. Ol'Dirty even leaves the hospital (illegally) on the same evening of the attack. But back to Big L.
Lamont Coleman, 24, was shot dead in the street near his Harlem apartment building on Feb. 15, 1999. The murder can be traced back to the problems his brothers had in prison with their cellmates. Big L, by far the most hopeful rap talent of the new millennium, dies. Young, and deeply rooted in hip hop, far from any cast, smooth-ironed gangsta Hollywood shit, he has always been on his straight path. The charismatic freestyle specialist and lyricist (a rare mix), however, has to bake many small rolls before he can get his own label, two albums and membership in Fat Joe's DITC crew.
"In the beginning, all I ever saw me doing was battling everybody on the street corners, rhyming in the hallways, beating on the wall, rhyming to my friends (with his 8 Iz Enuff posse, the author). Every now and then , a house party, grab the mic, a block party, grab the mic. I never really thought about making records and traveling the world. I didn't even think I could get a deal. I knew was a good MC. And then I went and made some demos, the first four or five labels just turned me away instantly. I was, like, heartbroken behind that because I felt I was better than a lot of MCs at the time. "
So it could have ended dull with the great Lamount, after all, life is not a dream concert, not to mention the music business. The 93 single "Devil's Son" would have remained his only sign of life. But as an Oliver Kahn never tires of emphasizing: You have to work for happiness. Big L must have played very well, because one day none other than the old school legend Lord Finesse will get in touch with him. "All of a sudden, Lord Finesse is calling me, like, 'Yo, one of the A and Rs from Columbia Records is really feelin' your music and he wants to sign you. 'You don't know what's that like, man . All my dreams came true. "
The first result of these realized dreams is his debut "Lifestylez Ov Da Poor and Dangerous" in '95, which contains the underground hits "No Endz, No Skinz," "Street Struck" and "Da Graveyard". Despite these bangers and a good criticism in the source, who dub the album as "pure nineties b-boy them music", it sells rather badly. This is not necessarily due to the tracks, but rather to the lack of promotion. In addition, Big L is still an absolute rookie in the rap game back then.
But you learn from mistakes, and so Big L begins to see rapping as a business too. He looks for a strong crew to support him and, thanks to friend Lord Finesse, finds them in the Diggin 'In The Crates family (including Diamond D, Fat Joe, Show And AG, Big Pun, OC, Remy Martin). Then he founded his own Flamboyant entertainment label. In this way, he gave up-and-coming young artists like Cam'ron, Ma $ e and even a Jay-Z their first contacts in the music business. After two years of radio silence, Big L suddenly reappeared on the scene again in 1997/98. The single "Ebonics (Street Slang)" took the college charts and mixtapes by storm. And after he is featured on the DITC joint "Dignified Soldiers", the hype cannot be stopped. Everyone is just waiting impatiently for Big L's second album.
But before that happens, the unjust fate takes its course. On the evening of February 15, 1999, Big L, aged 24, was shot dead on the way to his apartment in Harlem. The perpetrator, Gerard Woodley, was arrested in the Bronx three months later. Woodley is no stranger to the police, as the police had him on the wrap for attempted murder as early as 1990 and 1996. However, she has to let him run again both times.
Of course, his homies from DITC get to work immediately to pay their respects to Big L. Supported by the Rawkus label and the creme de la creme of the New York rap scene, namely Pete Rock, Freddie Foxxx, Roc Raida, Sadat X, Gangstarr and Kool G Rap, the guys around Fat Joe bring his album to a worthy end. "The Big Picture" appears at the turn of the millennium and sells over half a million copies. It can be assumed that there are also some 2Pac fans among the buyers, because they are known to buy everything from their darling. This is featured on the record thanks to modern technology, although the two rappers never met in person. DJ Ron G, a friend of the late Mr. Shakurs, makes the collaboration possible.
A few verses by Big L have also been saved for the DITC debut "Diggin 'In The Crates". Although his legacy is not as huge as the 2Pac estate, it is still enough for a few guest appearances at Wutang youngster Shyhiem and the Lyricist Lounge 2 sampler. So all that remains of Big L are the songs mentioned and the sad certainty that the rap world has lost a true hip hop head again through his loss.
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