The list of fallen rap legends is alarmingly extensive, but that doesn't mean that those very same artists will ever go forgotten. Not with such extensive and memorable musical legacies to their names. Case in point, Big L's Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous, released on March 28th, 1995, continues to withstand the test of time as a bonafide classic. On the anniversary of his death twenty-two years ago, it feels appropriate to highlight one of L's biggest tracks in "Put It On," a single that puts his storied lyrical dexterity on full display.
Over a minimalist boom-bap instrumental, L makes the most of his space and showcases an absolutely deadly multisyllabic flow. "I'm known to have a hottie open, I keep the shotty smokin," he spits. "Front, and get half the bones in your body broken / And when it comes to gettin' nookie I'm not a rookie, I got girls that make that chick Toni Braxton look like Whoopi." What makes the track so engaging is L's own enjoyment, evident as he treats the instrumental like his own personal playground. In hindsight, the impact his flow has had on the rap game at large is extremely notable, though he might not receive the credit he rightfully deserves.
Revisit Big L's "Put It On" right here, and show some love to the late lyricist in the comments below.
I'm puttin' rappers in the wheelchair
Big L is the villain you still fear
Cause I be hangin' in Harlem and shit is for real here
If you battle L you picked the wrong head
I smash mics like cornbread
You can't kill me, I was born dead