The brother of late rapper Big L has revealed the reasons as to why, despite much anticipation, the speculated record contact between the Harlem emcee and Jay-Z and Damon “Dame” Dash‘s Roc-A-Fella Records was never inked.
According to Donald Phinazee, L also wanted his affiliates to sign to the Roc as well.
“Jay and Dame came to get L every weekend. I grew up with Dame and the older heads. Right before he got killed, L was with Jay-Z every single weekend. He was going to sign with them…Dame would get Jay and come to scoop L, personally…Lamont didn’t want to just sign himself. He wanted Herb Mcgruff and one other dude to sign with him. But Jay just wanted him at the time. See, L was trying to get his mans in with him. He didn’t want to come back for them. But I was telling him to sign with Jay and get you own label popping. He was just such a loyal dude. They were in talks, but they couldn’t agree on L bringing his boys with him. He refused to leave his people behind. I think they would have worked something out, but L’s life got cut short.” (VIBE)
L was rumored to be in negotiations to sign with Roc-A-Fella in the late 1990’s.
From 1997 to 1999, Big L worked on his second album The Big Picture. It was released worldwide at the summer of 2000 to critical acclaim. Two singles, “Ebonics” and “Flamboyant”, both reached number one in the charts. The album featured cameos from Fat Joe, Tupac Shakur, and Big Daddy Kane among other emcees. The Big Picture was certified platinum in 2001. Jay-Z has said that Big L was set to sign with his Roc-A-Fella label, but died the week before. The two had mutual respect for each other, dating back to a dueling freestyle session on the radio and Jay-Z’s appearance on Big L’s first album. (Rap Basement)
Prior to his murder in 1999, L gained fame from his association with rap crew Diggin’ In The Crates.
A member of Fat Joe’s DITC crew, rapper Big L was born Lamont Coleman on May 30, 1974. He made his solo debut with 1995’s Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous, scoring a series of underground hits including “No Endz, No Skinz,” “Street Struck” and “Da Graveyard”; Big L’s best-known effort, the single “Ebonics,” followed on his own Flamboyant label in the summer of 1998. On the evening of February 15, 1999, Big L was shot and killed just blocks away from his Harlem home; he was just 24 at the time of his death. Both the DITC album Worldwide and the second Big L solo effort, The Big Picture, followed in 2000. (All Music)
A Big L documentary called Street Struck is currently in the works.
Produced by Dangerzone Films, the documentary will chronicle the life of the rapper with his rise in the music scene. It will show his early involvement as part of the group Children of the Corn, which was comprised of Mase, McGruff, Bloodshed and Cam’ronand then as a member of the D.I.T.C. collective. The story of Lamont Coleman will not just be about the rap game as it will feature rare stories and photographs of the fallen rapper which will be told through family, friends and those that associated themselves with him. The documentary will also give exclusive footage of Big L alongside the late Big Pun as they performed together on stage. (Hip Hop Wired)
Check out a preview of Street Struck: The Big L Story down below: