In the present state of Hip-Hop, it's amazing to find the incredible gems that have been lost in the "commercial" fray. Take for instance, Harlem native Big L, who was killed in '99. He attributed to "Real" street Hip-Hop, with his debut off of Columbia in '95 called "Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous". I was a slave to the commercial rhythm until I heard the powerful single "MVP" straight off this album. The entire album hits many conceptual peaks, from Big L's point of view out of 139th street in Harlem known as the Dangerzone. The first song single is "Put It On" with a great Kid Capri Melody that is a spotlight for Big L's suave flow. Next comes the low-tempo ruggish "MVP" in which the hardcore metaphors come out. The next few tracks all approach different levels lyrically and conceptually and one standout is "Da Graveyard". This track spotlights a young Jay-Z, who is being "Put On" by Big L in his first big appearance. Later in the album, "Fed Up Wit The Bullsh*t" is a great narrative of everyday happenings in NYC which pit unfair young black man against the crutching streets. And last but definitely not least is "Let 'Em Have It L", where L lashes out with a lyrical rage. Spitting such legendary rhymes as "1, 2, 1, 2.. fools I run through.. F*ck Karate, I practice Gun Fu.. Step to this and get shanked up.. I knocked out so many teeth the tooth fairie went bankrupt.."
When I heard this CD I was hooked. By his incredibly smooth, yet hard hitting flow, captivating narratives, to his somber street anthems and evil melody. He did it all in this album, and in his very own way. No one sounded like him, and I believe, couldn't touch him lyrically for his time. To me I believe's another "ahead of his time" and since this album I've tracked down songs that were left off the album which have become quite possibly my favorite Hip-Hop songs to date.. If you can agree to this, check online for a hit known as "Timez Iz Hard On Da Boulevard".. A true legend.. RIP MVP