“Big” is usually a word that describes extravagance, something tremendous, monumental, ambitious, influential, or great. These descriptions are only a mere depiction of the eternal void that’s scarred hip-hop in the tragic deaths of some of its most promising lyrical heavyweights. Among this void, was that of a skinny Harlemite equipped with a lyrical tenacity like no other and a charisma that deserved global attention. Unfortunately, that would be the last thing said of Big L.

On February 15th, 1999 Lamont Coleman, better known as, Big L was fatally gunned down in the neighborhood he’s represented since day one, Harlem. He was 24 years old. It goes without saying that L was gone too soon but his prevailing legacy remains pristine. He was a wordsmith that was able to present such vivid pictures through his uncanny story tales. A professor when it came to presenting lyrical wittiness. Most notably, a master when it came down to spitting a quick punchline or too. These punchlines were not to be taken lightly however. L offered some of the most robust punch lines yet, carving out a page in hip-hop’s book as some of the most memorable, if not iconic, lines yet.

Now, 12 years following his unwelcomed death, XXL makes a toast to the life of a man that’s been hailed by many as one of hip-hop’s most revered lyricist to ever touch a mic. Take a look at 50 of Big L’s memorable punch lines throughout his career.

Big L rest in peace! — Ralph Bristout

[gallery template="xxl"]