The Big Picture

Lyrical genius and slamming beats. Simple as that.

Lamont Coleman, aka Big L, was just 24 years old when he was murdered. The Harlem-born-and-bred MC was shot dead three days before he was due to attend a party thrown to celebrate his signing to Jay-Z's Roc-a-Fella label. Like with most rap slayings, his killer is still at large.

The deal would have made Big L a rap superstar, a title that had long eluded him, despite having been one of New York's best and most respected rappers for years.

This album features unreleased Big L material, team-ups with Tupac, Big Daddy Kane, Guru, Kool G Rap and Fat Joe as well as the classic 'Ebonics' single, where L gives us his own version of the rap dictionary: "My weed smoke is my lye / A ki' of coke is a pie / When I'm lifted I'm high / With new clothes on I'm fly".

As an insight into Big L's rap vision, 'The Big Picture' is fantastic and a worthy tribute to a true hip-hop maverick. Hopefully, Rawkus will now rerelease his early singles, particularly the psychotic comedy rap 'Devil's Son' - a song that features the chorus: "When I was 12 I went to hell for snuffing Jesus / I'm waving automatic guns at nuns".

Lyrical genius and slamming beats. Simple as that.
8 / 10

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