Big L Cause of Death: Devastating Death of American Rapper!
One of America’s best-known rappers, Big L, was Lamont Coleman (May 30, 1974–February 15, 1999).
Coleman, a freestyle from New York’s Harlem, rose to prominence in the underground hip-hop scene in the early to mid-1990s. In 1995, he released his debut album, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, on Columbia Records.
The Beginnings of A Person’s Life
Gilda Terry (d. 2008) and Charles Davis had three children, the youngest of whom was Lamont Coleman, who was born on May 30, 1974, in Harlem, New York City.
As a child, Davis abandoned the family and never rejoined them. Gilda and a man named Mr. Phinazee have two elder children, Donald Coleman and Leroy Phinazee (d. 2002). “Little L” and “‘monument” were the nicknames given to Coleman as a child.
As a 12-year-old hip-hop aficionado, Coleman began freestyling with friends in his neighborhood.
In 1990, he formed a band called Three the Hard Way, but it disbanded immediately due to a lack of interest from the other members.
There were three of them: Coleman, Doc Reem, and Rodney, all of whom were involved. As a result of Rodney’s departure, the band was renamed Two Hard Motherfuckers. Coleman began to be referred to as “Big L” during this period.
Coleman met Lord Finesse in a 125th Street record shop during an autograph signing in the summer of 1990. Finesse and Coleman swapped phone numbers after he performed a freestyle routine.
Coleman graduated from Julia Richman High School in Manhattan. Coleman freestyled in his hometown when he was in high school, and in a recent interview, he revealed,
“There were a lot of times in the beginning when I only envisioned myself fighting with strangers and rhyming with my buddies.
Every now and then, whether at a house party or a block celebration, seize the microphone and sing your heart out.” In 1992, he received his degree. In 1990, Coleman started creating rhymes.
On February 15, 1999, at about 8:30 p.m., Big L was shot nine times in the face and chest in a drive-by shooting in his hometown Harlem at 45 West 139th Street. Three months later, Big L’s boyhood friend Gerard Woodley was arrested on suspicion of the crime.
An NYPD spokesperson stated, “There’s a high chance that it was payback for anything Big L’s brother did, or Woodley perceived him to have done.”
A lack of evidence led to Woodley’s release from custody, and the murder investigation remains open and unsolved. When Woodley was shot in the head on June 24, 2016, he was rushed to Harlem Hospital where he eventually died.
Leroy “Big Lee” Phinazee, Coleman’s eldest half-brother and the commander of the NFL crew, allegedly met and hired a hitman in prison to kill three members of the NFL gang, including one of the group’s leaders, Gerard Woodley.
Phinazee had tasked Big L to identify the targets for the hitman. Approximately a week before Big L’s murder, Woodley evaded the hitman’s assassination attempt.
Woodley suspected that Big L had been involved in the assassination attempt because he had been spotted with the hitman several times in the days leading up to the incident.
Coleman’s death was not Woodley’s fault, according to the Woodley family.
The remains of Big L are interred at the George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, NJ.
Early recordings and a record deal in the years 1992–1995
On his debut album, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Coleman produced several recordings, some of which were used in the group Children of the Corn (COC) he founded with Killa Cam (Cameron), Murda Mase, Bloodshed, and McGruff in 1993.
To promote Finesse’s new studio album, Return of the Funky Man, Coleman performed alongside Lord Finesse on Yo! MTV Raps on February 11.
“Yes You May (Remix),” the B-side of Lord Finesse’s “Party Over Here,” was Coleman’s first professional debut, and his first album appearance was on Showbiz & A.G.’s Runaway Slave’s “Represent” (1992).
In the same year, he triumphed in an amateur freestyle battle sponsored by Nubian Productions, in which roughly 2,000 people competed.
Columbia Records signed Coleman in 1992. During this period, L joined Lord Finesse’s Diggin’ in the Crates Crew (DITC), a hip hop group based in the Bronx, which included Finesse, Diamond D, O.C.
He launched his debut album, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, in March of that year and it went platinum in the United States. On the Billboard 200, the album debuted at position 149, while it debuted at position 22 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
As of 2000, Lifestylez had sold more than 200,000 copies. “Put It On,” “M.V.P.”, and “No Endz, No Skinz” were all released as singles from the album; “No Endz, No Skinz” failed to chart.
The Second Album Was Released by Columbia in 1996 and Independent Artist in 1999
Coleman was dropped by Columbia in 1996 due to a rhyming style conflict with Columbia’s production. “I was there with a lot of people that didn’t really know my music,” he admitted later.
He began production on The Big Picture, his sophomore studio album, in 1997. When Bloodshed was killed in a car accident on March 2nd, 1997, COC was forced to fold.
On The Go, Magazine published an article about DITC in their July issue. On O.C.’s second album Jewelz, Coleman appeared on the single “Dangerous” with O.C. He opened for O.C. on his European Jewlez Tour in November.