Today I’d like to take a moment to remember a great artist on the day that should be his 37th birthday, May 30th. The Harlem Legend’s life was tragically cut short on February 15th, 1999; at the age of 24.
Lamont Coleman a.k.a. Big L has been one of my all time favorite artists since I discovered his music in 07, since then I’ve downloaded his two studio albums and most of his posthumous work. L’s production style tends to be very minimalistic, but occasionally flirts with jazzy melodies that were commonplace in Harlem during the 90’s.
What puts Big L in an entirely different echelon than most other artists that came out of Harlem in the 90’s are his lyrics. His ability to express a complex concept in a few lines is unparallelled by many, including some of the historically revered greats. Somehow L manages to jump back and forth from satanic, murderous lines and random bits of laugh-out-loud humor in the same song and sometimes even the same line.
This all adds up to a great artist that will be interesting to listen to over and over. It’s impossible to catch all of his jokes, references and bits of awesome 90’s era Harlem vocab, but that shouldn’t keep you from trying. I’ve decided to include a ton of songs, but there’s a lot more out there just waiting to be found and appreciated by everyone who’s reading this.