The great Big L was taken from this world 18 years ago, but Harlem's finest would've turned 44 today (May 30).

There's barely any debate as to Big L being an esteemed MC. When it comes to the combination of flow and punchlines, no one has topped Big L. He was coming up with the hardest, coldest lines ever in hip-hop. The list is packed: "I knocked out so many teeth the tooth fairy went bankrupt," "Some say I'm ruthless, some say I'm grim / Once a brother broke into my house and I robbed him," "I'm so ahead of my time my parents haven't met yet" and "Filling n----s with so much lead they can use they d--- for a pencil." Do note that this is a very truncated list.

Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, the only Big L released while he was alive, is an underrated gem. However, perhaps the entry point for Big L's greatness lies in his famous 1995 Stretch & Bobbito Show freestyle, where he spit an utter blitzkrieg of bars. The freestyle is also known for featuring Jay Z, who's only introduced as Big L's "mans." Before Hov became the King of New York, he was heard being clearly outmatched in this freestyle. You can hear him struggling to keep up.

Big L is still known as one of the greatest to ever rep New York City.

Watch Big L's "Put It On" Video

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