Fifteen years ago, on February 15th, 1999, Harlem rapper Big L (aka Lamont Coleman) was tragically gunned down in the same neighborhood that he consistently repped in his rhymes. His murder came at a time when he had one of the most-talked about singles out, “Ebonics,” his D.I.T.C. crew was making major noise with posse cuts like “Day One,”and his mixtape and radio freestyles were scorching in the streets, which all led to his sophomore album being one of the most anticipated projects by a New York MC to drop. There were even rumors that he was signing to Roc-A-Fella Records, the hottest and most successful young label in the Big Apple at the time led by his rapper friend Jay Z. Unfortunately, his moment to shine at the next level never came.
To celebrate Big L’s rap career today on the fifteenth anniversary of his death, it was only right that we link up with our brethren at UpNorthTrips for a proper audio tribute to one of the greatest MCs of all time. Though Big L’s first album Lifestylez of da Poor & Dangerous is a classic in its own right, and he’s got plenty of notable singles and guest appearances in his catalog, we thought to truly highlight the essence of Big L’s lyrical greatness, charisma, performance ability, and bottomless pit of bars, we’d round up 15 of his dopest radio, mixtape, and live freestyles (plus a few bonuses because that’s how we do), and put them all together in one mix for you to enjoy.
Read about each of our selections below while you stream/download our exclusive NahRight x UpNorthTrips mix The Big Picture: 15 Classic Big L Freestyles, courtesy of UNT's in-house DJ The Vinylcologist. RIP Big L, one love:
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Monday, February 10, 2014
Thursday, February 6, 2014
…within the DJ battle circuit, maybe right around 2001, things just got TOO technical for some. The funk was lost. Your style seems to balance both old and new. Can you touch on that at all?
I don’t think battling has really lost any type of funk since the 80′s. Sure, a lot of things have changed like the style of routines but that’s just how stuff works. In the 90s, it was all about funky juggles and clean cuts, in the early 2000s, people got more creative with feedback routines and stuff like that. Then in the mid to late 2000s, more people started to use routines that were pre-produced. Although I’m not very fond of pre-produced routines, who am I to judge what you do in your routine? This happens way too often in DJing and you can relate it to nearly every subject, like Basketball. When someone said that a peach basket shouldn’t be used for a hoop, but rather something different, I’m sure people were upset and had their negative opinions because a peach basket had always been used before that, but it improved the game, rather than destroyed it! Kinda like DJing and the direction its heading in.
What’s your practice schedule like? Do you practice scratching and juggling equally? How much time is spent on routines and how much on just practicing techniques and stuff? How many hours do you practice every day?
I usually get home from school and head up to my room to practice for a couple hours. I definitely prefer juggling over scratching as you can probably tell from a lot of my routines haha. I feel like scratching gets kind of boring to practice but that may just be ’cause I’m not good at it. As for my DMC routine, I spent about 10 months working on it. It went through massive changes since the first day obviously. I practice maybe 3 to 4 hours each day depending on homework, but I break the practice into parts.