Lamont “Big L” Coleman is a Harlem born and raised hip hop artist that burst on the hip hop scene in the early 90’s. Big L began writing rhymes in 1990 and began recording his demo’s in 1991. Lord Finesse was blessed with the opportunity to hear Big L’s rhymes and introduced him to the D.I.T.C. Crew which consisted of Lord Finess, Diamond D, Showbiz & A.G., Buckwild and Fat Joe.
Big L began to take the hip hop world by storm and catching the attention of some of hip hop’s to producers at the time such as Showbiz, Diamond D., Dj Premier and many more. Big L went on to form the group Children of The Corn (COC) which included Killa Cam, Murda Ma$e and Bloodshed. Big L made his debut on Lord Finesse’s remix of “Yes You May”, Check out the song below:
In 1993, Coleman released his first promotional single, “Devil Son”, and claimed it was the first Horrocore single released. He said he wrote the song because “I’ve always been a fan of horror flicks. Plus the things I see in Harlem are very scary. So I just put it all together in a rhyme. On February 18, 1993, Coleman performed live at the Uptown Lord Finesse Birthday Bash at the 2,000 Club, which included other performances from Fat Joe, Nas, and Diamond D.
Big L went on to released the radio edit of “Put It On”, and three months later the video was released.
L’s debut studio album, Lifestylez of Da Poor and Dangerous, was released in March 1995. The album debuted at number 149 on the Billboard 200 and number 22 on Top R&B /Hip HopAlbums. Lifestylez would go on to sell over 200,000 copies as of 2000. Three singles were released from the album; the first two, “Put It On” and “M.V.P.”, reached the top twenty-five of Billboards ’s Hot Rap Tracks.
On February 15, 1999, Big L was killed at 45 West 139th Street in his native Harlem after being shot nine times in the face and chest in a drive by shooting. Gerard Woodley, one of Big L’s childhood friends, was arrested in May for the crime. “It’s a good possibility it was retaliation for something Big L’s brother did, or Woodley believed he had done” said a spokesperson for the New York City Police Department. Woodley was later controversially released, and the murder case remains unsolved.
In a 2010 interview with Donald Phinazee, he commented on what led up to the death of Big L :
There was something that went down with a dude out here with my middle brother, “Big Lee” (Leroy Phinazee), and, uh, Lee went upstate for five years. It was a little problem like I just said, “divide and conqueror” with the fellas between all of us, and, uh, Lee went upstate, then I went upstate, and then Lee sent word to do something to someone. He sent word to somebody else to do something, but Lamont went with him, which Lamont shouldn’t have went with him. It didn’t go down the way it was supposed to have went down and they seen Lamont face. So, uh, both of us is gone, and Lamont was out here by himself. And so you can’t get one brother, you get the other one. That’s it in a nutshell.— Donald Phinazee,
A movie title Street Struck: The Big L Story was set to be released in 2012. It is directed by a childhood friend and independent film director, Jewlz. Approximately nine hours of footage was brought in, and the film is planned to be 90 to 120 minutes long. The first trailer was released on August 29, 2009. Street Struck contains interviews from his mother Gilda Terry; his brother Donald; childhood friends E-Cash, D.O.C., McGruff, and Stan Spit; artists Mysonne and Doug E. Fresh; producers Showbiz and Premier; and recording DJs Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg. A soundtrack will be made for the documentary, and it will be put together by Lamont’s brother Donald.
REST IN PEACE Lamont “Big L” Coleman
Check Out Big L’s Debut Album:
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Hosted by: Redbeard aka Mr. Flynt