Big L Cause of Death: The Unsolved Murder of a Hip Hop Legend

Who was Big L?

Big L, whose real name was Lamont Coleman, was an American rapper who emerged from Harlem in New York City in 1992. He was known for his freestyling ability and his use of wordplay. He released his debut album, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, in 1995, and founded his own indie label, Flamboyant Entertainment, in 1998. He also collaborated with other hip hop artists such as Lord Finesse, Jay-Z, Fat Joe, and Cam’ron. He was widely regarded as one of the most talented and influential MCs in hip hop history. According to AllMusic, he was “one of the most auspicious storytellers in rap history”. Wikipedia

How did Big L die?

On February 15, 1999, Big L was shot nine times in the face and chest in a drive-by shooting on 45 West 139th Street in Harlem. He was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital Center at the age of 24. The motive for the shooting remains unclear, but some sources suggest that it was a retaliation for something that Big L’s older brother, Donald Phinazee, had done. Phinazee was allegedly involved in drug dealing and had angered some local criminals. The SourceWikipedia

Who killed Big L?

The identity of Big L’s killer is still unknown. The police arrested Gerard Woodley, one of Big L’s childhood friends, three months after the shooting, but he was later released due to insufficient evidence. Woodley was also shot and killed in Harlem in 2016. Some people believe that Woodley was the gunman, while others think that he was a scapegoat or a witness. No one has been officially charged or convicted for Big L’s murder. BMF WikiAmbrosia for Heads

Why is Big L’s death important?

Big L’s death is important because it robbed the hip hop community of a talented and promising artist who had a lot of potential to achieve greater success and recognition. Big L had been working on his second studio album, The Big Picture, which was released posthumously in 2000 and went certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album featured guest appearances from Tupac Shakur, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, and Guru. It also showcased Big L’s lyrical skills and versatility, as he rapped about various topics such as street life, crime, love, and humor. Wikipedia

Big L’s death also highlighted the violence and danger that many hip hop artists faced in their neighborhoods and careers. Big L was not the only rapper who was killed in the late 1990s. Other notable examples include Tupac Shakur (1996), The Notorious B.I.G. (1997), and Big Pun (2000). These deaths had a profound impact on the hip hop culture and industry, as they sparked debates about the causes and consequences of violence, as well as the role and responsibility of rap music in society. World Health Organization

How is Big L remembered?

Big L is remembered as a hip hop legend who left a lasting legacy on the genre and influenced many other rappers who came after him. His style, flow, and lyrics have been praised by critics and fans alike, and have been sampled and referenced by numerous artists such as Nas, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Drake, and A$AP Rocky. His songs have also been featured in various media platforms such as video games, movies, documentaries, and podcasts. A documentary titled Street Struck: The Big L Story is currently in the works and aims to tell his life story and celebrate his achievements. The Source

Big L is also remembered by his family, friends, and fans who continue to honor his memory and legacy through various tributes and events. His brother Donald Phinazee has been involved in organizing annual memorial concerts and fundraisers for Big L’s foundation, which supports aspiring musicians and provides scholarships for students. His mother Gilda Terry (who died in 2008) also established a mural of Big L on 140th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem, which has become a landmark for hip hop fans and tourists. His grave is located at George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey. WikipediaAmbrosia for Heads

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