March 28, 2014

Big L "Lifestyles Ov Da Poor & Dangerous" (The Source, 3/95)

"Big L is an MC that many have been checking for since his appearance on Showbiz & A.G.'s "Represent." Since then, everybody's been so busy trying to represent that hip-hop is now being mis-represented by thousands of wannabe MC's. But Big L has finally re-emerged with Lifestyles... to make MC's think twice before picking up a mic. He comes with ill animated lyrics, combined with metaphors that stun: a combo sure to have suckaz on the run. From the smooth beginning of "Put It On" to the crashin' conclusion, "Let Em Have It L," Lifestyles... is pure nineties B-boy theme music coated with rough basslines and innovative horn loops. From the demonic life of the city ("Danger Zone") to layin' pseudo gangstas to rest ("All Black"), L dominates like few MC's before him." Cont'd...

"There are two posse cuts to check for and both are dangerous collaborations. The first, "8 Iz Enuff," features Big L's crew. Each member is nice enough to take out most MC's, but none impresses more than L. The other, "Graveyard," features missing-in-action favorites Lord Finesse and Grand Daddy I.U., who gives his best performance since his debut. "I Don't Understand It" is a joint that every MC that's ever picked up a mic, pad or pen should listen to. Big L expresses his views on the game and how shit's got to change, and advises MC's: "If ya ruff stay ruff if, ya dapper stay dapper / and don't try to look or even sound like another rapper." Lifestyles... is done on a pure street level and may not appeal to some, but all will be able to respect Big L's lyrical skill." RIP.