Big L

Born 30 May 1974. Died 15 February 1999.

US rapper

Biography

Lamont Coleman (May 30, 1974 – February 15, 1999), better known by his stage name Big L, was an American rapper. Coleman was born and raised in Harlem, New York City, New York, where he started his rapping career with Three the Hard Way. His first professional appearance came on Lord Finesse's "Yes You May (Remix)". He released his debut album, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous in 1995, and significantly contributed to the underground hip hop scene. He created his own independent label, Flamboyant Entertainment, in 1998 where he released one of his best known singles "Ebonics" (1998).

On February 15, 1999, Coleman was killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in his native Harlem. His second studio album, The Big Picture, was put together by Coleman's manager, Rich King. It was released the following year and certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Four posthumous albums have been released, mainly consisting of unreleased songs which were put together by Rich King and his brother, Donald. Multiple tributes have been given to Coleman, including in The Source, MTV, and HipHop DX. A documentary is in the works titled Street Struck: The Big L Story (2012). About.com called him the twenty-third best MC of all time, and multiple writers at Allmusic have given him high praise.

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