Today In Hip Hop History: Big L Was Shot and Killed in Harlem 24 Years Ago


On February 15, 1999, the Hip Hop legend was murdered at 45 West 139th Street in Harlem after being shot nine times in the face and chest in a drive-by shooting. The shooting was said to have retaliated for something Big L’s brother did. Gerard Woodley, one of Big L’s friends shot in the head near the same street in 2016, was arrested three months later but was shortly released. Unfortunately, his murder case remains unsolved.

Big L began his career with the Hip Hop trio, Three the Hard Way. His first notable appearance came on Lord Finesse’s “Yes You May (Remix).” He released his debut album, Lifestylez of da Poor & Dangerous, in 1995, and 98′, he founded Flamboyant Entertainment, his indie label, through which he released one of his most popular singles, “Ebonics.” His second studio album, The Big Picture, was put together by his manager, Rich King, and released the year after his death. It went certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

A documentary is in the works titled Street Struck: The Big L Story. Big L is buried at George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey.