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Anniversaries aren’t always celebratory occasions. This past weekend (Feb. 15), Hip-Hop suffered through the fifteenth year without the Harlem rapper Lamont “Big L” Coleman.

There have been plenty of rappers who have passed away with one or fewer albums released to general public but the 25-year-old rapper talent greatly reflected a young man who was on his way to actually making it.

There were talks that his Flamboyant label was nearing towards closing a deal with Jay Z’s Roc-A-Fella imprint (and in 1999, that was a really big deal), but tragically his life was cut short before anything could be materialized.

It has been widely speculated that Big L was murdered by a close associate of his brother’s in a case of mistaken identity or classic web of revenge. Gerard Woodley was charged with the murder but “word on the street” wasn’t enough for a court of law.

Before the hashtag came into play on social media, Big L was renown for his overly rugged lyrics delivered in couplets and sly phrasings backed by a rapid-fire delivery that was completely audible. He only released one album in Lifestylez Ov Da Poor and Dangerous while he was alive but his posthumous material was enough to keep his legacy afloat, even to this day, 15 years after his demise.

Hip-Hop Wired has compiled the 15 best Big L punchlines in hopes of giving old fans a bit of reflection and newcomers a glimpse on what made 90s rap so exciting.

Photo: Coup That

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