Saturday, May 20, 2017

Big L 'The Crate & The Good' (Hip Hop Connection, '98)

Big L 'The Crate & The Good' (Hip Hop Connection, '98)
Big L 'The Crate & The Good' (Hip Hop Connection, '98)

In 1996, Big L was a cautionary tale of when major labels sign real lyricists. Ultimately, “the people in the marketing department didn’t quite get it. Lack of promotion and record company politics inevitably led to a split — a perfect example of a label not knowing what they’ve got til it’s gone.” From 'Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous' to 'The Big Picture,' Big L had moved onto releasing music through his own Flamboyant label, which had manufacturing and distro through Fat Beats. Matter of fact, the 'Ebonics' b/w 'Size Em Up' 12" was one of the biggest independent 12" releases of 1998 at record stores like Fat Beats. 20 years later, the represses still flew off the shelves as DJs and tourists from around the world came into Fat Beats looking for classics. There aren't a whole lot of Big L interviews in circulation, so basically just sharing this interview in Hip Hop Connection to share parts of L's story in his own words. In Big L's 'Size Em Up,' he says "Peace to Biggie and Pac 'cuz they really were hot / Rap game, heavy hitters, it's a shame they no longer wit' us." Add Big L to that too; taken from us far too soon. Rest in Peace, Big L. You can hear 'Size Em Up' below.