Born Lamont Coleman,
May 30, 1974, the Harlem native was on the come up when he was killed in a drive-by shooting on February 15, 1999.
In 1995, Big L released his debut album, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous to much acclaim as he had the underground hip-hop scene buzzing, and many top tier artists wanting to work with him, such as Lord Finesse and the D.I.T.C. Crew.
After disputes with Columbia records over his subject matter and rhyming style, Big L left the label and went independent. He later released the single Ebonics in 1998 which The Source called a Top 5 independent single of the year, and garnered him the attention of Roc-A-Fella Records CEO, Dame Dash. Big L was on his way to signing with Roc-A-Fella when he struck down in a hale of gunfire.
Big L makes the list at the #25 position due to his witty rhyme schemes, vivid storytelling, wordplay, and his potential to being a game changer in the heavy 90s when there was so much competition amongst artists. He was a rising star who's light was snuffed out before it got to shine its brightest.