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 Lâ€™s death today, I wanted to dedicate this offering to him.
TRACKS: Timez Is Hard, I Shoulda Used A Rubba, & School Daze.
My first meeting with him was somewhat of a humbling experience. It was in the Summer of â€˜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 Gravâ€™s Momâ€™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 â€œpreachingâ€ 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 â€œYou MC?â€. I was like, â€œYeah, since 1980, but now Iâ€™m more focused on the business side of things and journalism…my man Zeke is an MC.â€. Heâ€™s like, â€œYeah, I rhyme too. I got a deal with Columbia and Iâ€™ll be dropping soonâ€. Being that in New York everyone rhymes and got a deal I didnâ€™t think much of it and sort of blew him off with a â€œOh word. Whatâ€™s the name? Iâ€™ll check for you….â€. Heâ€™s like â€œLâ€
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 itâ€™s the cross streets of Lenox and 133rd (or something like that). Then my rap computer brain kicked in and I was like â€œHold up…â€. I go back inside and Iâ€™m like â€œBig L???â€. His face lit up a bit and heâ€™s like â€œYeah. You heard of me?â€. At this time, he only had the verses on â€œRepresentâ€ and the â€œYes You MayRemixâ€…â€Devilâ€™s Sonâ€ promos might have just started leaking out.
I was like, â€œYeah man. You killed it on those guest appearance jointsâ€. I apologize for blowing him off but tell him why and he knows the deal on the â€œeveryone raps and got a deal in New York steezâ€ so we are all good. We talk a bit. I tell him about my promotions company in Chicago and that Iâ€™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 itâ€™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. Itâ€™s not really my kind of scene but Iâ€™m trying to network for my upcoming magazine (Caught In the Middle) and my promotions company (Rage Promotions). Iâ€™m just chilling and out of nowhere Big L steps up and is like â€œWhatâ€™s Upâ€. 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 whatâ€™s going on with his project and whatever. While we are talking Puffy comes by to say whatâ€™s up to Big L and someone asks to snap a flick. Iâ€™ve seen the flick but never got my hands on it. I imagine that picture is somewhere with the caption, â€œPuffy, Big L and unknown friendâ€…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 â€˜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 youâ€™ll hit them up â€œwheneverâ€ because you got time…though thatâ€™s not always true and we shouldnâ€™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….) â€˜95
2)No Pity Committee/M.A.T.s Crew feat Twista-The Padded Room â€˜94
4)Kwest The Madd Ladd, Rhymefest, Vakill Time Travel Freestyle 7-4-96