The Big Picture [PA]
11. Heist, The
Performer: Big L
Artist: Sadat X; Tupac Shakur; Guru; Big Daddy Kane; Kool G. Rap; O.C.; Fat Joe; A.G.; Missjones; Stan Spit; Remy Martin
Distributor: Universal Distribution
Notes: Personnel includes: Big L, Tupac Shakur, Sadat X, Guru, Kool G. Rap, Fat Joe, Stan Spit, A.G., Miss Jones, Big Daddy Kane, O.C., Remy Martin. Producers include: DJ Premier, Ron Browz, Ron G, Lord Finesse, Pete Rock. Engineers include: Dejuann "DK" Richardson, Max Vargas, Erik Lynch. Personnel includes: Big L, Tupac Shakur, Sadat X, Guru, Kool G. Rap, Fat Joe, Stan Spit, A.G., Miss Jones, Big Daddy Kane, OC, Remy Martin (vocals); DJ Sebb (cuts). Producers include: DJ Premier, Ron Browz, Ron G, Lord Finesse, Pete Rock. Engineers include: Dejuann "DK" Richardson, Max Vargas, Erik Lynch. Considering the mortality rate of rappers, which often seems slightly higher than that of kamikaze pilots, Big L's tragically early passing isn't such a shock. What brings the listener up short on the posthumous BIG PICTURE (released over a year after Big L's death) is the way L's descriptions of violence seem like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The great acclaim he's earned isn't based on the graphic quality of his gangsta tales, though. As THE BIG PICTURE makes clear, L's worldview extends beyond street crime to a broader sociological scope. He even displays a fair amount of humor, as on "Ebonics," a virtual glossary of street slang terms. Even his proclamations of sexual prowess on "Size 'em Up" have an air of fun about them, as though he knows how far over the top he's going in his statements of machismo. Though he may allow himself a degree of ironic detachment, it's clear that Big L firmly believed everything that came out of his mouth, and it's that combination of commitment and sarcasm that makes THE BIG PICTURE work.
Rolling Stone (9/14/00, pp.174-7) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...The finest posthumous hip-hop album yet....[He] is a whirlwind of word and wit....ripe with life-as-art irony....[It] reveals an MC who is more alive in the grave than most rappers are onstage." Spin (10/00, p.184) - 7 out of 10 - "...Collects new material alongside disparate gems - a grim breakthrough..." Mixmag (9/00, p.169) - 4 out of 5 - "...An acomplished joint of raw, funky hip hop and sharp observation....this is well worth checking." CMJ (8/14/00, p.31) - "...A fitting legacy to a career fossilized in underground iconoclasm and platinum promise....capturing his appetite for MCing in all its smooth-yet-ragged glory." Vibe (10/00, p.175) - 3.5 records of 5 - "...Proves once again why he was the Most Valuable Poet on the M-I-C." The Source (10/00, pp.241-2) - 4 mics out of 5 - "...An accurate depiction of the talent the deceased MC possessed....one of the most valuable poets on the M-I-C." NME (Magazine) (8/5/00, p.28) - 8 out of 10 - "...Lyrical genius and slamming beats. Simple as that."
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