on August 31, 2004
There have been plenty of MCs with more intelligent and enlightened content to their rhymes than Big L. There have also been a few (though not many) with more distinct delivery--and perhaps one (Nas circa "Illmatic"?) with a more natural flow. But for sheer, unadulterated rhyming skill...there's just no one that touched L. Ever. Period. His gift was so unbelievable that I half wish they would have studied his brain when he died (morbid as it may seem)--because there had to be something abnormal about it. If anyone in the hip-hop game was ever a bona fide "genius" in the true sense of the word (meaning blessed with an almost freakish mental gift) it was L.
Don't sleep on the posthumously released "The Big Picture," but make no mistake, this grittier and more vibrant first album was L's magnum opus. Any one of these tracks contains more stunning, astounding, OHHHH (...)!-inducing rhymes than most MCs ever pen in a lifetime. Just listening to the relentless, incendiary first verses of "8 is Enuff" and "Da Graveyard" is enough to blow you straight off your feet. The numerous collaborators on those tracks are stunning, too, but they're clearly just sweeping up what fragments remain of the mic after L annihilates it.
Accompanying L's absolutely unparallelled talent for rhyme is a penchant for vicious, shock-value lyrics--which is a deadly combination. The faint of heart do NOT want to pick up this album. In fact, even the not-faint of heart should be advised--if you're going to be offended by references to cop-killing, child-killing, mother-killing, GRANDmother-killing, NUN-killing, Satanism, general blasphemy, rape and other violence against women...just click on over to another album. L obviously lived and died under tough, violent circumstances. His music not only reflects it, but magnifies it to the point of satire (one of the sickest things about all this is you'll find yourself LAUGHING at lines like "Every Sunday, a nun lay from my gunspray").
The occasional more thoughtful moment on the album (such as the cautionary "Street Struck") should reassure you that no, L doesn't really mean all these terrible things. Is he posing? I don't know, was Mick Jagger posing when he sang from Satan's perspective in "Sympathy for the Devil?" It's my considered opinion that lyricists, writers, poets, etc. have the right to don whatever guises they wish in their quest to enlighten and entertain--and I certainly don't begrudge Big L that right.
This disc sometimes catches flak for having weak production, but I disagree. The arrangements boast driving drumbeats and basslines to support L's dazzling vocals, while some occasional mellow, jazzy samples round out the tracks with a nice touch of sophistication without crowding L's flow. Anyone expecting huge, flashy arrangements should pick up "The Chronic" or something by Handsome Boy Modeling School--this is production designed purely to support the MC, and in my humble opinion it succeeds.
If you have ever nodded your head in appreciation of a rhyme, buy this disc now...but be careful not to break your neck.
on August 28, 2000
Well, there's too much to say about this album, but I'll try to keep it within a thousand words. L was, and still is, simply the best. He proves it with crazy metaphors like "when it comes to gettin' nookie, I'm not a rookie, I got girls that make that chick Toni Braxton look like Whoopi," and "I told him give up the dough before you get smoked... 'Oh, you broke?' (gunshots)... now you dead broke!" Definitely the most clever MC there ever was, regardless of whether he achieved gold or platinum status. This album in particular is special because of the stellar production from Showbiz, Buckwild, and Lord Finesse(D.I.T.C.- the best crew in hip-hop for those that didn't know) and dope guest spots from Herb McGruff, and the rest of his crew in Harlem. People are just catching on to L's greatness even though this joint came out in '95. It's a shame that L didn't live to see the success of his new joint, but buy this joint and his legacy will live on.... R.I.P Big L 1974-1999.
on January 31, 2002
One of the best debuts i've ever heard, along with Illmatic, Ready to Die, and 36 Chambers.
The beats have an old school feel to them, even though some tracks are dark-sounding (Danger Zone, Street Struck)and others are funky (No Endz No Skinz, MVP), and the lyrics are just perfect; very simplistic, but at the same time extremely clever and most of all very ILL. L proves that you don't have to use big words and rap about the moon and the sun to be underground.
I also noticed how he influenced some of today's rap starts, like Cam'Ron and Jay-Z. A young hova (literally) shows up on Da Graveyard, dropping a decent verse along with some other MC's. Just imagine what L's career would've been like if he was signed to Rocafella, it's just too bad this album didn't seel many copies and L was murdered before he dropped his second effort.
Big L's carrer was cut short if you ask me, and the same happened with 3 other GREAT MC's, you know who they are.
L lives on in the hearts of real hip-hop heads, go cop this album if you don't have it, it's a must.
on October 7, 1999
Earlier this year, we lost one of the true geniuses of the art of emceeing. We throw around praise a lot in Hip Hop for those who we lose tragically early. Not to take anything away from Biggie or Pac, but much of their praise came due to the commercial success they had. On the other hand, Lamont "Big L" Coleman obtained praise on the strength of his talent alone. For real, this kid was always nice. The first time I heard him was on Showbiz & AG's "Represent" in 1992, with Lord Finesse. The kid showed flair early on as somebody who was very anxious to give a second colon to anybody who dared intrude on his open mic time. As time went on, the kid started getting even nicer. The thing about L was that, he really never had a prime (or he was tragically robbed of the chance to reach it). He kept getting nicer. On this, his one and only LP (although Rawkus Records does plan to cut a posthemous release of some material that L was working on shortly before his death, and arguably, it's his best work), you get a taste of his true capability. You hear clever punchlines, such as "I put his brains on the street, so you could see what he was just thinkin." You also get early appearances from the likes of Jay-Z, Herb McGruff, and Cam'ron, all before they had released their own material. It's questionable whether Hip Hop will remember martyrs such as Big L, MC Trouble, Paul C, or the recently departed Slang Ton of the Outsiders 30 years from now. However, genius cannot be denied. This is a snapshot of Big L's maturation to genius that is forever available to observe.
on March 2, 2000
Big L's lyrics are phat. I find myself reciting them in my mind often. On D.I.T.C.'s album, L shined like the sun. He's a great rapper but wasn't in the lime light like other far less skilled, well no-skilled rappers. His lyrics amaze me and I'd put him at the top of the pile of lyricist. L and Lord Finesse hooking up on this album was a blessing to the hip-hop world. It's a shame that we don't have more hits that he made and a bigger shame that L never got the props that he deserved. L would smash 99% of rappers today because battling L "is like fighting a gorilla in a phone booth." Simply one of the best lyricist that I've heard and I've been listening to hip-hop every since it began in the 70s. Rest in peace Big L and much love.
on April 21, 2002
First I just wanna say that Big L is one of favorite artists, if not my favorite. He is the illest lyricist of all time. No other MC even comes close. Sure there are some who are acknowledged as tight lyricists (Biggie, Nas, etc.) but Big L is just he best. In this debut album, he displays his unique style. 1)Put it On-This was the first single from this album. Big L's style was too good for the commercial public. It was too complex.
2)M.V.P-Awesome beat supplied by Lord Finesse. This song is really catchy.
3)No Endz, No Skinz-I think this track has the best beat on the cd. I wish they would play this on the radio. If you requested it, they would be like, What?
4)8 Iz Enuff-This is a cool song featuring 7 other people, a couple of them being Cam'ron and Herb McGruff.
5)All Black-Like all songs on the cd, Big L shows amazing wordplay like: "Yo ever since I was young, I ripped mics and I killed beats
6)Danger Zone-Big L rappin about his hometown, 139 & Lenox, Harlem.
7)Street Struck-A darker beat on this song, some people be hatin on this song, but it still awesoem.
8)Da Graveyard-A hot song featuring some MCs like Lord Finesse and a young and hungry Jigga.
9)Lifestylez Ov Da Poor and Dangerous-It was a shame Big L got killed, there's no telling what he could've done if he would've of signed with Roc-a-Fella, but in a way I'm glad, he didn't because he might've sold out.
10)I Don't Understand It-In this song Big L is rappin about how rappers who don't have any talent go platinum, while MCs with real talent don't even go gold.
11)Fed Up With The ...-Big L rapped about dark things, but his skill was undeniable. No one talks about him when they talk about deceased rappers. No disrespect to Biggie or Pac, but just because L didn't sell millions of records didn't make him any less skillfull.
12)Let Em Have It "L"-Catchy as ... Big L is the least boring artist of all time. He could rap to any beat, and you could still listen. Some of these rappers out right now are boring even with beats by top beat makers.
The only downfall about this album is the few amount of songs, but everyone is great. So if someone else had 20 some songs on their album, but only 5 of them are bangin, why waste space. So R.I.P Big L, and you must buy this album if you are a fan of hip-hop.
on January 11, 2005
This is not just a stupid rapper cussing and saying mean things about people.Instead this is a guy talking about his real life tabloids of the Ghetto Lifestyle.And I mean Ghetto lifestyle.This is a bunch of street based rap that is on the real.The First song was Put it on and had a nice party groove as does the following song MVP.The next song he starts to spit at the haters and does not understand why his s*** wont even go wood."8 iz enough" is a 1990's style Posse cut and sounds brutally honest to it's listeners.The Next song is All Black which I feel maybe my favorite one of the album.This one talks about brutal murders and his crazy sexcapades with the women.
The Danger Zone is just that a Danger Zone.The Next track is another classic cut called Street Struck and it talks about other careers besides Crack selling are being in a gang could be.The Graveyard is another posse anthem with a bunch of pissed of Male Thugs that tell there stories.Jay Z was on this one a year before Reasonable Doubt and is hungary as was Killa Kam on the song 8 iz enough.remember the Charlotte song Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous yea then listen to Lifestylez of Da Poor and Dangerous it is the complete opposite.He prooves he is Living the Ghetto lifestyle.I dont understand is a personal diss to all the crap emcees and he also has a spectaculer verses
as always on it.Then on the next song he sais if a cop shot me he would get payed and if I shot him I would never see the street lights.This song is called Fed up with the Bullsh**.The next and final track is Let em have it L.Which he does where it is all about the Lyrics.He was one of the top emcees in top form on this CD.This album lyrically is only behind the great Illmatic.It is either my second are third favorite album ever.
"This ain't Cali, it's Harlem n we do walkby's"-All Black
"Ducks better scat when the gat goes click-clack"-All Black
"Leavin f***s in bodybags with tags on they big toe"-All Black
"My girls are like boomer-rangs No matter how far I throw them, they come back"-MVP
"I got a crime record longer than Manute Bol"-MVP
"Every Sunday, a nun lay from my gun spray"-Danger Zone
"I put more holes in there a** then swiss cheese"
"Cause where I'm from you can choke from the gunsmoke"
"Got thirty-five bodies, buddy don't make it thirty-six"
"Through your neighborhood armed with nothing but a rep-Jay Z
I'm giving these ladies something they can feel cause I'm real"
"Aiyo, picture me gettin a job Takin orders from Bob, sellin corn on the cob. Yo, how the hell I'ma make ends meet Makin about a hun 20 dollars a week Man, I rather do another hit"Poor
"Your rhymes are not up to par, you fake superstar"
"When a rapper gets the credit that he don't deserve
Goin platinum and don't have no soul
Some rappers are mad nice and don't even go gold"
"Used to be on top, then you fell like rain drops
You turned pop, now you no longer gain props"
"Your technique and everything you speak's weak
You got a little airplay because of your beats
Your fame and your name, but your lyrics are lame"
"F*** karate Big L practice Gun Fu"
"MCs be talkin' about breakin' jaws when they couldn't break a promise"
"Cause battlin' me is like fightin' a gorilla in a phone booth"
"Even if my grandma violate she gotta go"
"Everybody be like Mike but Mike wanna be like L"
Thats some of the Dope lines you will here when you buy this
Man, I rather do another hit
on February 16, 2006
More than likely Big L wouldn't be notice today like he was when he was alive. Then again he could of been one of the most known rap artist if he was still alive, but we don't know and never will. By the way if you say this album is lame, then you must be death or very, very stupid.
1. Put It On- A good way to start an album, this is going to be the best beat you get on the album too. (5/5)
2.MVP- An okay hook, Big L tells why he is MVP, this is the same beat from Biggie's "Big Poppa" (4/5)
3.No Endz, No Skinz- Big L tells you if you don't have any money, then your not getting any p****. He made a video of this song by the way. (5/5)
4.8 Iz Enuff- good song with alot of people. (4/5)
5.All Black- He's going to have your family at a funeral, in all black. (4/5)
6.Danger Zone- The evil big L. (4/5)
7.Street Struck- This is the only positive message Big L has. (5/5)
8.Da GraveYard- Big L, Lord Finesse, Jay-Z and others are on this song, taking whack MCs to the graveyard.(5/5)
9.LifeStyle Ov Da Poor&Dangerous-Big L telling what life is long living poor and dangerous. (4/5)
10.I Don't UnderStand It- He doesn't know why whack rappers are rich and talent ones are like him, not getting notice. (4/5)
11.Fed Up Wit The BullS***- fed up with everything. (5/5)
12.Let 'Em Have It "L"- This song has the best hook on the album. (5/5)
Peace. RIP Big L
on February 8, 2005
A lot of reviews have said the beats weren't great. This album was made in 96' so all the "new" hip-hop fans might not like it. But the old-school cats out there will find nothing wrong with it. Beats in this era usually ride over the MC so his voice is not the center of attention (ex: Dirt Off Yo Shoulder, and many other singles out today, no disrespect intended to Jay-Z).
The beats have a 90's rhythm. The lyrics and punchlines are incredible. "All Black" defines what a gangsta in the streets really is. With sick punchlines of brutal reality and somehow involving humor give Big L a unique position in hip-hop(So don't step to this cause I got a live crew/ you might be kinda big but they make coffins yo size too/)
A classic album contains no track skipping songs. Every song has a message and a certain style. For example, "Fed Up With Dat Bullsh*t" reveals another side of Big L which contains his struggle and resentment towards rascism(I'm not only fed up with the cops/ I'm also fed with the punk a$$ cabdrivers who don't stop/ they don't care if it's snowin/ first they slow down, then they see the skin is brown, and they keep goin'/)
Big L holds a unique style and a unique voice that give this album 5 stars. It is a classic and if anyone is considering rap as a career, this album would be one of the albums you would need to listen to.
on June 25, 2006
ladies and gentlemen, i bring to you big l, the most underrated rapper ever to touch a mic, if you have not yet checked him out, i strongly suggest you do, he was an unbelievable lyricist, and had breathtakingly good punchlines, the beats on this album are all dark, street beats, matching the mood of the songs perfectly, big L had a smooth voice, an amazing flow, and an amazing multi syllable rhyming scheme, and although alot of the stuff he says on this album is shocking, you have to take it all lightly, and although people act like eminem was the first rapper ever to be extremely brutal or shocking in his raps, listen to this, and youll see how much eminem was influenced by this guy, big l does not only rap about guns on this either, he raps about a range of different things, how kids should go to school instead of selling drugs, girls who are golddiggers, the violence of where he grew up, and racism of police, like i said earlier, he had the best punclines ever, and i guarantee you will wear out your rewind button to make sure you got the punchlines, when big l died it was a great loss to rap, and he was most certainly up there with greats such as nas, biggie, jay z, etc. buy this today if possible