The pseudonym “big” has been tagged to many of hip-hop’s most promising and legendary wordsmiths. Often used to describe something monumental, impactful or high-powered, “big” couldn’t have been any more suitable for one Harlemite who kept rapper’s hearts pumpin’ like Reeboks, Lamont “Big L” Coleman. By far one of the game’s highly touted lyricists, L was destined for worldwide attention. However, on February 15th, 1999 things would be cut short.

At the mere age of 24, Big L was fatally gunned down in the city he repped since day one, Harlem. While his murder remains unsolved, the rapper’s legacy continues to loom larger each day. A master with the punchlines, a vivid storyteller and all in all one of the greatest lyricists to ever touch the mic, XXL takes a moment to reflect on the life of Big L. Now that it’s been 14 years since his unwelcomed passing, we line up 14 of his hardest verses ever.

The crown is still mine cause I drop ill rhymes…” R.I.P. L

  • “Let Em Have It L"

    Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous (1995)

    “I knocked out so many teeth the tooth fairy went bankrupt”

  • "American Dream"

    “I invited company, murdered the four guests put a cap in each whore chest and ate they raw flesh”

  • “98 Freestyle (The Big Picture)"

    The Big Picture (2000)

    "Fu*king punk you ain't a leader, nobody followed you, you was never shit your mother should've swallowed you..."

  • "No Skinz, No Endz"

    Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous (1995)

    "They wanna know why I'm so fly, a girl asked me for a ring and I put one around her whole eye"

  • "Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous"

    Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous (1995)

    “I told him, ‘Give up the dough, before you get smoked’/Oh you broke? [shot fired] now you're dead broke”

  • "Danger Zone"

    Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous (1995)

    “Some nigga named Dex was in the projects layin threats/ I jumped out the lincoln/ Left him stinkin/ Put his brains on the street/ Now you can see what he was just thinkin”

  • "All Black"

    Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous (1995)

    "I'm placin' snitches inside lakes and ditches, and if I catch AIDS I'ma start rapin' bitches”

  • "Stretch & Bobbito '95 Freestyle (Part 1)"

    "I'm tellin you shit is about to get drastic soon/I'm quick to blast a goon/And break a motherfucker like a plastic spoon”

  • "Stretch & Bobbito '98 Freestyle"

    "Take that suit off, before I shoot off, and tear your roof off, leave your clothes bloody-red like the nose of Rudolph"

  • "Stretch & Bobbito '98 Freestyle"

    "I've got a left hook, that be leavin' guys knocked out, keep frontin', and I'm a choke you till your eyes pop out”

  • "Da Graveyard"

    Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous (1995)

    "A tec-9 is my utencil, fillin' nigga's with so much lead they can use their dick for a pencil"

  • "Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous"

    Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous (1995)

    "Some say I'm ruthless, some say I'm grim Once a brother done broke into my house and I robbed him”

  • "Strecth & Bobbito '95 Freestyle"

    "Old folks get mugged and raided/Crimes are drug related/And we live by the street rules that thugs created"

  • "Sandman 118 Freestyle"

    "Clothes bummy, Nose runny, it wasnt funny, a lil dummy, who tried to kill his mother for insurance money"

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