DJ Premier & Lord Finesse Remember Big L On 15th Anniversary Of His Death

posted Sunday February 16 ,2014 at 07:00PM CST | 26 comments

DJ Premier & Lord Finesse Remember Big L On 15th Anniversary Of His Death

Rappers and producers such as DJ Premier and Lord Finesse take to social media to remember Harlem emcee Big L.

This weekend marked the fifteenth anniversary of the passing of Diggin’ In The Crates Crew emcee Big L. Big L, whose given name was Lamont Coleman, was 24 years old at the time of his murder in 1999. The rapper was killed in a drive-by shooting before the release of his sophomore album.

In 1995, Big L released his debut album, Lifestylez of da Poor & Dangerous, on Columbia Records. The 12-song release featured production almost exclusively from DITC members Showbiz, Lord Finesse and Buckwild. Big L’s Lifestylez followed his founding the Hip Hop group Children of the Corn in the early 1990s. Besides Big L, Children of the Corn featured future stars Cam'ron and Mase, who then went by Killa Kam and Murda Mase, respectively. The group also included fellow Harlem emcee Herb McGruff, who was featured on Big L’s debut, and Cam'ron’s cousin, amongst others.

Besides Children of the Corn, Big L quickly became associated with the Bronx-based Diggin’ In The Crates group before joining officially as one of its members. On Facebook and Instagram, crewmember and long-time collaborator Lord Finesse reminisced on Big L’s life. “I’ve been in the game for a minute,” Finesse wrote on Facebook, “this by far was my greatest blessing [and] accomplishment.. The Harlem Renaissance Man. Before him you had Doug E Fresh, Kool Moe Dee, Rob Base, Treacherous Three and others. But when he came out he took Harlem’s rap to another level. We Miss You.. This weekend on his anniversary, I’ll be posting something special. People always ask me about how we met. I’ll let him tell it.”

In a video posted with the message, Big L describes meeting Lord Finesse and initiating work with the DITC producers for his demo. “I met Lord Finesse in 1991 in a record store,” he says in the video. “I told him, ‘homie, I’m kind of nice, put me on.’ He was like, ‘drop a little something.’ I dropped a little something for him, he liked it, we exchanged numbers, he started letting me rock out in his shows, open up for him. He put me on one of his remix singles, introduced me to Showbiz and AG, they put me on they album. Made some fat demos, took themem to Columbia, boom, got signed.” The remix single L references as his professional debut in the video was the B-side of Lord Finesse’s sophomore album single “Party Over Here.”

Finesse also encouraged fans to post their favorite Big L quotes on Twitter before sharing one of his own.


DJ Premier took to Instagram to remember the rapper. “Big L,” he wrote, “your old rhymes still can wax any new MC that thinks they have dope lyrics. Forever Flamboyant 4 Life !!! I miss your jokes and your heated debates with Showbiz in the studio over Malcolm X & MLK while we waited for Fat Joe to write his verse for ‘The Enemy.’ R.I.P. Big Lee & Pinky #D.I.T.C.”

Lifestylez ov da Poor & Righteous produced three official singles for Big L. In 1996, Columbia released “Put It On” as the album’s third single. The video for Big L can be streamed below.

In 2010, Lord Finesse broke down the making of Big L's Lifestylez for an exclusive HipHopDX feature. 

RELATED: Lord Finesse Breaks Down Big L's "Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous"

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Comments 26 Posts

  • Anonymous
    Nobody cares about some trash talking never was. None of his songs were classic, and his run would have been brief anyway.
    • Anonymous
      well you're terribly misinformed
    • Anonymous
      Yeah, sure. Nobody cares, even though there are people saying "RIP Big L" and even quoting his lyrics on this very page. Bitch.
  • Bappre
    up to I saw the bank draft 4 $6088 , I accept that my friend was realey making money in their spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt started doing this 4 only about ten months and by now repaid the dept on their villa and purchased a new Ford Focus . look at this web-site............
  • RHX
    I drive up n down Harlem blocks iced out watch, knots in my socks cops think I'm sellin rocks! That enemy joint was harddd Big L the Harlem king
    • Anonymous
      Sorry no, that goes to Sadat X
  • Anonymous
    One Of The Best To Ever Do It.. #RIPL Peace god !!!
  • Kyle
    To this day, I really don't understand the circumstances of Big L's passing. I've heard he wasn't the type to look for trouble so why would anyone want him dead? Maybe we'll never know but I'm sure he would have made a massive talent had he survived. Were the rumors true about him signing to Jay-Z and Dame Dash label before his death?
    • Anonymous
      I think I once read that the killers were after his brother, and they thought it was him....cuz didnt a few years later his bro got killed on the same street? I remember reading that but who knows how accurate the info was.
  • Anonymous
    R.I.P. to one of the greatest.
  • Corleone
    Oh man! Big L.. 15 years already! I just remember the first time i put the Lifestylez album on, and Danger Zone started! That shit was so meaan! "I jumped out the Lincoln, left him stinkin Put his brains in the street, Now you can see what he was just thinkin" "I'm breakin hottie hearts, niggaz drop when my shotty sparks It ain't no food in my fridge, just body parts" Mean record! The whole album is incredible!
  • Dvillan
    One of the nicest MCs to ever breathe on a mic. Sitting at the same table with Pac, Biggie, Dilla and insert name here_______
  • HNIC
    RIP to the punch line king. Big L could drop bars hotter than 99 percent of cats in the game now while taking a shit in his sleep. "Got mad hoes ask Beavis I get nothing but head"
  • JuFu
    About time they made this article. Yea I can't believe it's been 15 years already. I was hoping for more unreleased material or some kind of documentary on his life/career. RIP Big L. You will never be forgotten.
  • Harlem's Reckoning
    Crazy how long it's been. 15 already! Gone but not forgotten
  • Pay Jay Person on the far right shot him point blank. He was a friend of big L. But something with his older brother, Big L's.. they wanted him, but they got L instead cause his big brother was locked up
  • Anonymous
    this should have been up 2days ago......
  • Anonymous
    Ni883R music.
    • Harlem's Reckoning
      The precise reason your bitch, mother, and sister likes it. They're probably all the same person anyway.
  • deframon
    nah it was on his stoop he got shot in the face like five times. they couldn't get his bother cause he was doing time so they got him instead
    One of the greatest MC's in hip hop history, he is probably rolling in his grave with how wack the rap game is now. R.I.P Lamont Coleman
  • Japs
    he wasn't killed in a drive-by shooting, someone walked up to him on the street and shot him in the back of the head. rip big L one of the rawest and greatest to spit
    • Anonymous
      they mistook him for his brother right?
    • Anonymous
      "this ain't cali this is harlem nigga we do walk bys"... RIP BIG L!!
  • ray
  • Anonymous
    if big l slow hell no bitches get fucked on the roof when i aint got no hotel dough