May 30 marks the birth date of one of the greatest rappers of all time; Big L (R.I.P.). On that date this year, I decided to pay a visit to the mural dedicated to him.
I first got the chance to see it face to face when I moved 2 blocks away few years ago. Even though I’m now closer to lower Harlem, I try to frequent the 137th stop on the 2/3 line as much as possible and stare at Big L.
I also decided to take article 01 for a spin
“What’s this motherfuckin rap game without L?
Yo, that’s like jewels without ice
That’s like china without rice
or the Holy Bible without Christ
or the Bulls without Mike
or crackheads without pipes
The Village without dykes
or hockey games without fights
Don’t touch the mic if you unable to spit
Flamboyant is the label I’m with, motherfucker”
– “The Big Picture Intro” from The Big Picture
Big L was the quintessential punchline rapper. That rare gem whose jaw dropping skills never hampered his song structure no his ability to create essential albums.
Some essential Big L: