August 01, 2022

Big L "The Big Picture" (August 1, 2000)

In recent years, hip hop fans have become all too familiar with the once inconceivable idea of posthumous album. In many ways, Big L was to the underground what Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur were to the mainstream -- a fan favorite as well as an icon. Although his 1995 debut, Lifestylez ov da Poor and Dangerous, lacked focus and dimension, his talent was evident. Over the next several years, L honed his writing and began to release songs, like 1998's "Ebonics," that truly reflected his cleverness and relentless flow. But when he was tragically murdered in 1999, it looked like his gifts would never be fully displayed. Fortunately, Rawkus has pieced together a collection of Big L's previously released classics and unheard new material, Born Again-style, as a final testament to his legacy. Featuring highlights like "Flamboyant," the Mike Heron-produced future classic, The Big Picture truly captures L's energy and rhythm. No matter what the beat, he remains in the pocket like wallets and car keys. Problems arise only on "Holdin' It Down": Despite Pete Rock's hot track, L's lyrics are poorly synced, and, consequently, painfully offbeat at times. Thankfully, the majority of the disc--which boasts such unlikely guests as Tupac, Big Daddy Kane, and Sadat X--shows L at his best. The Big Picture proves once again why he was the Most Valuable Poet on the M-I-C. - Vibe Magazine (October, 2000). Dig into the archives for more about this album and Big L. Rest In Peace.

The full review in Vibe is below. Rest In Peace, Big L.