11 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Big L is a legendary emcee whose life was cut short just as he was finally blowing up. Known for his hyper-dense lyricism and charismatic mix of ultra-violent street stories and chuckle-inducing punch lines, L used to run with a group called Children of the Corn, which also included Uptown homies McGruff, Bloodshed, Mase, and Cam'Ron. Lord Finesse brought him into the esteemed Diggin’ in the Crates crew, alongside O.C., Showbiz & A.G., Fat Joe, Diamond D, and Buckwild. For most of the ‘90s Big L paid dues, dropped amazing records, built up a reputation as one of the game’s illest rappers, and was about to sign a lucrative deal. Then, he was murdered at age 24. Since his death there have been several posthumous releases. This is a good one, with a smattering of new material (specifically McGruff's “Nigga Please”), much-loved 12-inch classics (“Ebonics” and “Devil's Son”), slept-on features (“Queens Most” with Royal Flush), and rare radio freestyles (“Stretch and Bobbito Show '95,” featuring a young Jay-Z). If you're just now getting hip to him, this is a great place to start. Big L rest in peace.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Big L is a legendary emcee whose life was cut short just as he was finally blowing up. Known for his hyper-dense lyricism and charismatic mix of ultra-violent street stories and chuckle-inducing punch lines, L used to run with a group called Children of the Corn, which also included Uptown homies McGruff, Bloodshed, Mase, and Cam'Ron. Lord Finesse brought him into the esteemed Diggin’ in the Crates crew, alongside O.C., Showbiz & A.G., Fat Joe, Diamond D, and Buckwild. For most of the ‘90s Big L paid dues, dropped amazing records, built up a reputation as one of the game’s illest rappers, and was about to sign a lucrative deal. Then, he was murdered at age 24. Since his death there have been several posthumous releases. This is a good one, with a smattering of new material (specifically McGruff's “Nigga Please”), much-loved 12-inch classics (“Ebonics” and “Devil's Son”), slept-on features (“Queens Most” with Royal Flush), and rare radio freestyles (“Stretch and Bobbito Show '95,” featuring a young Jay-Z). If you're just now getting hip to him, this is a great place to start. Big L rest in peace.

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