February 15th of 1999 was a different age. The century was nearing its end, internet hadn’t yet become the ubiquitous presence in the world, the twin towers were still standing and we were blissfully unaware of what reality tv would become. It was at this cultural crossroads that Lamont Coleman, better known as Big L, lost his life. Struck down in the streets by a bullet that wasn’t even intended for him. While he was a well-respected member of the legendary DITC, a group his mentor Lord Finesse was also part of, the stardom some of his peers had reached eluded him. But his career was at a crossroads too though, something co-signs by Gang Starr in the prime of their career and a rumored signing to the then flourishing Roc-a-Fella Records would make sure of.
Alas, it was not to be. Only posthumously did real commercial success reach him with the Rawkus-released ‘The Big Picture.’ But don’t mistake the late success as being caused by mere sentimentality, Big L was a skilled wordsmith who was a master of both cadence and punchlines, had strong storytelling skills and oozed confidence and humour on the mic. A great talent was lost to rap in a random act of meaningless violence, but to properly reminisce on the gifts he did give us in his short lifetime, we’ve asked the TRU Brain Trust what there favorite Big L joints are and why. Here goes.
Reason: Just listen how much personality that “Listen Columbo” sneer packs!
Reason: Why? Because it scares the bajizzle outta me.
What’s your favorite Big L track?