Twenty-three years after his death, rapper Big L, whose real name was Lamont Coleman, will have a street named after him in his beloved village of Harlem.
The rhyme-spitter, most notably associated with the Diggin In The Crates and Children of the Corn rap crews, helped pave the way for Hip-Hop acts like Dipset (including Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, and Jim Jones), Mase and so many more.
One person who attributes a lot of his style to Big L is Grand Champion Rex (aka as T-Rex), the founding member of the DOT MOB.
“There are few more deserving in rap music to get a street named after him in Harlem than Big L,” the lyricist says. “He has inspired and influenced so many people. In fact, he saved lives. He saved mine. I would have been out in the streets doing God knows what. Without him, there is no T. Rex. Without a T. Rex, there is no DOT MOB.”
In a similar manner, as he mentored his group Children of the Corn (Killa Cam, Murda Mase, Bloodshed, and McGruff), he also took Rex under his wing. A 15-year-old T-Rex can be heard spitting the chorus of the song “Ebonics,” the first single from Big L’s debut album The Big Picture.
“Choosing to give Big L a street shows that someone is listening to the streets and understands what really resonates with the people.”
The family announced on social media that the honor will happen on Saturday, May 28th, on 140th and Lennox Ave from 12 Noon to 3:00 P.M.
Known as Harlem’s Finest, Rex (arguably one of the greatest battle rappers to ever touch the stage) joins many of Big L’s friends, family, and fans who believe his light was cut down way too short.
Tragically, on February 15th, 1999, around 8:30 P.M., the star’s light was cut short by nine bullets to the face and chest on 45 West 139th Street. At the time, AllHipHop.com reported the killing, noting he was only 24 at the end of his life.
His publicist said, “It’s always sad when someone young, especially in the prime of their career, is killed. It looked like ’99 was going to be a great year for Big L.”
Though Gerard Woodley, one of his childhood friends, was initially charged for Big L’s drive-by-style murder in May of that year, police could not keep him detained without sufficient evidence.
However, Woodley would meet his demise seven years later.