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Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous

Big L

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Album Review

Having made a name for himself as a guest MC on D.I.T.C. (Diggin' in the Crates) projects such as Diamond D.'s Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop and Showbiz & A.G.'s Runaway Slave, the flamboyantly gifted Lamont Coleman (aka Big L) dropped his debut in early 1995. A product of the mean streets of Harlem, L made his bones in the rap game with his rapid fire freestyle delivery and clever punchline-peppered rhymes. A patchwork album with a few outstanding cuts, Lifestylez fails to package the lightning-in-a-bottle talent of this cut-above MC. The album showcases L as a master of the lyrical stickup undressing his competition with kinetic metaphors and a brash comedic repertoire. The lead track, "Put It On" produced by Kid Capri, is a party cut with a criminal attitude. "M.V.P." snatches a brief segment from DeBarge's "Stay With Me" (later aggrandized on the Notorious B.I.G.'s popular remix of "One More Chance"). "Da Graveyard" features a young Cam'ron (here Killa Kam) and most notably a superb verse from a pre-Jigga Jay-Z (at the outset of his solo career). With better production and marketing, Big L might have found himself with a platinum album but instead he settled for platinum respect. This album captures the dynamic potential of a street legend, a legend who would later be gunned down in his prime. ~ M.F. DiBella, Rovi

Biography

Born: 30 May 1974 in New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A member of Fat Joe's DITC crew, rapper Big L was born Lamont Coleman on May 30, 1974. He made his solo debut with 1995's Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous, scoring a series of underground hits including "No Endz, No Skinz," "Street Struck" and "Da Graveyard"; Big L's best-known effort, the single "Ebonics," followed on his own Flamboyant label in the summer of 1998. Around the same time, he joined the Bronx-based hip-hop supergroup DITC (Diggin' in the Crates), appearing on their single, "Dignified...
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Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous, Big L
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