Big L Rarities & Press Kits

The Redefinition Of Time Travel w/ Kevin Beacham: Big L Rarities & Press Kits

Usually I do something to focus on the Redefinition Radio shows, but with the anniversary of Big L’s death today, I wanted to dedicate this offering to him.

TRACKS: Timez Is Hard, I Shoulda Used A Rubba, & School Daze.

Here’s the three rare joints taken off his debut album from the original promo tape (scans included). I also included all of his press kit stuff I had which includes: original Columbia bio, original Columbia press photo, Rawkus bio, 2 Rawkus press photos, & a few press releases.

Big L was a good dude. I won’t go far as to say we were “friends” or anything like that, but we crossed paths a few times and talked about Hip Hop, lyrics, and things of the sort.

My first meeting with him was somewhat of a humbling experience. It was in the Summer of ‘94 and I was on one of my regular trips to New York to take in the scene, buy new music and check out Rock Steady Anniversary. It was me and my man Zeke. We were staying in Harlem at Grav’s Mom’s place (at the time Zeke and Grav were a group called Indigenous Theory). There was this late night chicken shack not too far from his spot so it was a nightly adventure to walk up there any time past midnight.

On one of the first nights, we are at the spot in a long line and something must have got me excited or whatever cause I was “preaching” about the state of Mcing or something like that. It started out as just a convo between Zeke and I but as it went on and we noticed people starting to take interest it got more elevated. There was one guy in particular about 4 or 5 people back really checking us out and listening in. On our way out, he was like “You MC?”. I was like, “Yeah, since 1980, but now I’m more focused on the business side of things and journalism…my man Zeke is an MC.”. He’s like, “Yeah, I rhyme too. I got a deal with Columbia and I’ll be dropping soon”. Being that in New York everyone rhymes and got a deal I didn’t think much of it and sort of blew him off with a “Oh word. What’s the name? I’ll check for you….”. He’s like “L”
and we give pounds and say peace.

I walk outside and something just hit me with an interest to know where we were so I look up and it’s the cross streets of Lenox and 133rd (or something like that). Then my rap computer brain kicked in and I was like “Hold up…”. I go back inside and I’m like “Big L???”. His face lit up a bit and he’s like “Yeah. You heard of me?”. At this time, he only had the verses on “Represent” and the “Yes You MayRemix”…”Devil’s Son” promos might have just started leaking out.

I was like, “Yeah man. You killed it on those guest appearance joints”. I apologize for blowing him off but tell him why and he knows the deal on the “everyone raps and got a deal in New York steez” so we are all good. We talk a bit. I tell him about my promotions company in Chicago and that I’ll have his back out there when he drops so we exchange numbers and say peace.

A little less than a year later, Notorious B.I.G had a Platinum party in Chicago (at Club Drink I think…) and it’s a star-studded affair; Puffy is there, Lorenzo Tate is chilling at the bar, still hot off his Menace To Society rep, and so on. It’s not really my kind of scene but I’m trying to network for my upcoming magazine (Caught In the Middle) and my promotions company (Rage Promotions). I’m just chilling and out of nowhere Big L steps up and is like “What’s Up”. I’m can’t remember why he was there in Chicago, but it was unexpected. We kick it for a bit and catch up on what’s going on with his project and whatever. While we are talking Puffy comes by to say what’s up to Big L and someone asks to snap a flick. I’ve seen the flick but never got my hands on it. I imagine that picture is somewhere with the caption, “Puffy, Big L and unknown friend”…ha.

Anyway, L and I stayed in contact for about another year or so, off n on thru phone calls. Then I hit a stressful point in life and was sort of unreachable for a while and in that time I lost contact with a lot of people (mostly artists) who I was talking to on the regular. In any event, Big L was killing it with every release and I continued to love and support his music on my Time Travel radio show and by word of mouth.

When I heard about his death I was in the middle of my first break from the radio show since ‘95 cause I never missed a show for any reason, but I was getting real frustrated with things so I was thinking about quitting the show. When I found out about Big L getting shot it hit me. I just thought about the senseless murder, the loss of a great artist, the loss of good person, and also how you can stop contact with people thinking you’ll hit them up “whenever” because you got time…though that’s not always true and we shouldn’t take those things for granted. I came back to show the next week to do a dedication to Big L. I stayed on the air strong until 2002 and I moved to MPLS.

R.I.P Big L (May 30, 1974 – February 15, 1999).

Also, this week on Time Travel Radio:

1)All Natural-Liquid Paper (Ghostface diss….) ‘95
2)No Pity Committee/M.A.T.s Crew feat Twista-The Padded Room ‘94
3)D2ThaS-Doomsday ‘92
4)Kwest The Madd Ladd, Rhymefest, Vakill Time Travel Freestyle 7-4-96
5)Twista-Suicide ’94

–Kevin Beacham

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