The great Big L died seventeen years ago today. His potential as an artist was never fully realized – and he missed out on fame, super stardom, and hip hop’s glory days – but Lamont Coleman left behind a legacy as one of the most creative, vicious freestyle rappers of all time. Big L laid the blueprint for every great battle rapper since the mid-90s. As such, I figure it’s only right to pay homage by listening to the man do what he did best. Along with two Big L frees are a few other legendary clips from greats that no doubt used L as inspiration.
Below we’ve got the notorious 1995 Big L/Jay Z freestyle, a ridiculous quick-hitter from Jada, another Big L killer, a tough 8-minute go from Slim Shady on WestwoodTV, and – my all-time favorite – the infamous Shady 2.0 Slaughterhouse cypher (Slaughterhouse with Eminem and Yelawolf). Enjoy.