From 1994 Single: "M.V.P."
Lamont Coleman (R.I.P.) (May 30, 1974February 15, 1999), also known by his stage name Big L, was an American rapper. He was a significant participant in and contributor to the New York hip-hop scene in the mid- to late 1990s. Big L was a member of the hip hop collective D.I.T.C. He released his debut solo album, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous. In February 1999, while working on his second album, Big L was shot and killed.
While Big L was still in high school, he caught the attention of Lord Finesse, Diamond D and Showbiz of the Diggin' in the Crates Crew (DITC). L's first recorded appearance came on the B-side of "Party Over Here" by Lord Finesse in 1992, the song was the remix of "Yes, You May". Soon after this Big L made appearances on the debut albums by Diamond D and Showbiz & A.G. which were both released in 1992. Soon L officially became a part of the DITC crew and signed with Columbia Records in 1992. He regularly appeared on the fellow DITC members albums, and also contributed to the works of Success - N - Effect. He appeared with the group regularly, notably on their single "Dignified Soldiers" and their later self-titled LP release, sometimes known as Worldwide Big L's debut solo album, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, was released in March 1995. The album featured guest appearances from a number of artists, notably Kid Capri, Cam'ron, and Jay-Z. Two singles, "M.V.P" and "Put It On", were released from the album, both of which reached the top twenty-five of Billboard's Hot Rap Tracks. The album itself also reached the Billboard 200. From 1997 to 1999, Big L worked on his second album The Big Picture. The album featured cameos from Fat Joe, Tupac Shakur, and Big Daddy Kane among other MCs. Jay-Z has said that Big L was set to sign with his Roc-A-Fella label, but died the week before. The Big Picture would be his last recorded album, released posthumously in August 2000. It was put together by his manager and partner in Flamboyant Entertainment, Rich King. It contains songs that L had recorded and a cappella recordings that were never used, completed by producers and guest MCs that Big L respected or had worked with previously. The album was certified gold a month later.
Big L was shot and killed in Harlem on the night of February 15, 1999. Gerard Woodley, one of Big L's childhood friends, was arrested in May for the crime. At the time of his death, L had two brothers in prison. "It's a good possibility it was retaliation for something [Big L's] brother did, or [Woodley] believed he had done," said a spokesperson for the NYPD. Woodley was later released and the murder case remains unsolved.