On the anniversary of Big L‘s untimely passing, the devoted NY rap community congregated to pay their respects, as they do every February 15 without fail. Largely overlooked during his short-lived career, the former D.I.T.C. member is commonly regarded as the greatest punchline artist of his era, now that he’s passed. To use a well-worn baseball metaphor, Big L was the equivalent of a leadoff hitter who batted for percentage, his punchlines seldom missing “contact.”

Lord Finesse@LordFinesseDITC

20 Years later.. Love Always bro. 🙏🏽

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Whether it’s through a passing glance or some grand lecture, Big L is a polarizing figure, whom some regard as a one-trick pony, others view him in more comprehensive terms as a resonant storyteller – the latter being the truth. Big L’s ability to string together linearity and create mood, all the whilst deviating into punchline hysterics, was and is a singular feat that few in hip-hop have come close to emulating.

DJ Premier


We Miss You BIG L.
Flamboyant 4 LIFE.
Harlem’s Finest.

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When Big L passed away in 1999, he left the game as one of the founding fathers of a burgeoning rap scene in Harlem World, USA. And thus, his influence lingered on for years in the works of his contemporaries: fellow Harlemites like Cam’Ron, Party Arty (RIP), Herb McGruff and the Murderous version of Mason Betha. The following is but a small clattering of Big L’s most astounding lyrical moments. “Big L, rest in peace!”

Immortal Technique


Rest in Power BigL. You will always be Harlem’s Finest. Peace.

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“All Black” – Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous

“Ducks be gettin’ thrown off platforms like P.M. Dawn**
I’m catchin’ bodies like a villain’s supposed to.”

“Me being a virgin, that’s idiotic
Cause if Big L got the AIDS every cutie in the city got it.”

– in reference to KRS-One tossing P.M. Dawn offstage for disrespecting his name**

“Platinum Plus” – The Big Picture

“Yo, I’m straight loco, to hell with you and your broke ho
You ain’t a big dog, you more like Toto, you got no dough
I smoke ‘dro mixed with cocoa, strong as bolo
I pack a fo’-fo’, platinum ro-ro.”

“Danger Zone” – Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous

“I jumped out the Lincoln, left him stinkin’
Put his brains in the street
Now you can see what he was just thinkin’.”

“’98 Freestyle” – The Big Picture

“Put your raggedy house up n**** or shut your mouth up
Before I buck lead and make a lot of bloodshed
Turn your tux red, I’m far from broke, got enough bread
And mad hoes, ask Beavis I get nothing Butthead.”

“Return of the Devil’s Son (Freestyle)” – Return of the Devil’s Son

“I’m livin’ up to my extortion image
I be stalkin’ Lennox
Catchin’ more bodies than abortion clinics.”

“Ebonics” – The Big Picture

“Your bankroll is your poke
A choke hold is a yoke
A kite is a note
A con is an okey-doke
And if you got punched that mean you got snuffed
To clean is to buff
A bull scare is a strong bluff.”

Mobb Deep already explained the meanin’ of shook
If you caught a felony, you caught an F
If you got killed, you got left
If you got the dragon, you got bad breath
If you 730, that mean you crazy.”