A member of Fat Joe
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 Soldiers."
On the evening of February 15, 1999, Big L
was shot and killed just blocks away from his Harlem home; he was just 24 at the time of his death. Both the DITC
album Worldwide and the second Big L
solo effort, The Big Picture, followed in 2000.