On this day, March 28, in hip-hop history...

1995: on March 28, 1995, Big L released his debut album Lifestylez ov da Poor and Dangerous. Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the MC's solo debut.

In 1991, the budding Harlem rapper founded Children of the Corn alongside fellow Uptown natives and future hip-hop stars Cam'ron and Ma$e. However, L wouldn't gain national exposure until he appeared on Showbiz and A.G.'s "Represent" a year later. In 1993, L went on to sign a deal with Columbia Records, the same year the "Devil's Son" rapper officially joined Lord Finesse's Bronx-based Diggin' in the Crates collective.

It would be another two years until Big L released his debut album, Lifestylez ov da Poor and Dangerous, in 1995. Peaking at No. 22 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, the album spawned three singles; "Put It On," "M.V.P." and "No Endz, No Skinz." Features on the LP include Kid Capri, Lord Finesse and Jay Z. Although the album was critically acclaimed at the time for L's lyricism and its gritty, underground feel, he was dropped from Columbia Records in 1996.

L's second and final studio album, The Big Picture, would come out posthumously in 2000; the Harlem legend's career was cut short when he was murdered in his native neighborhood in 1999. Many believe L's shooting death was a retaliation against his older brothers, both of whom were incarcerated at the time, though the murder remains officially unsolved to this day.

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