On the anniversary of Big L’s untimely passing, the devoted NY rap community has congregated to pay their respects, as they do every February 15 in passing. Largely overlooked during his short-lived career, the former D.I.T.C. member was widely regarded as the greatest punchline artists of all-time. To use a well-worn baseball metaphor, Big L was the equivalent of a leadoff hitter who batted for percentage, his punchlines seldom missing “the stroke.”
Whether it’s through a passing glance or a grand lecture, Big L is a polarizing figure, whom some regard as a one-trick pony, others view him in more comprehensive terms as a resonant storyteller – the latter being the truth. Big L’s ability to string together linearity and create mood, all the whilst deviating into punchline hysterics, was and is a singular feat that few in hip-hoppers have come close to emulating.
When Big L passed away in 1999, he left the game a founding father of a burgeoning rap scene in Harlem World, USA. His influence lingered on for years in the work of his contemporaries: fellow Harlemites like Cam’Ron, Party Arty (RIP), Herb McGruff and the Murderous version of Mason Betha.
Platinum Plus- The Big Picture
“Yo, I’m straight loco, to hell with you and your broke ho
You ain’t a big dog, you more like Toto, you got no dough
I smoke ‘dro mixed with cocoa, strong as bolo
I pack a fo’-fo’, platinum ro-ro.”