Big L - The Danger Zone

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The Danger Zone may be a must-have for die-hard fans, but it probably could have gone unreleased. After all, Big L's raw talent will shine regardless.

There was always something raw about Big L’s abilities on the microphone. He was a unique talent that blessed the culture with legendary rhymes in a manner that made it all seem far too easy. After a tragic shooting, Big L’s death left a dent that has impacted the art of rhyme in ways that can’t be calculated. Thankfully, his voice lives on in his recordings, those raw gems that continue to make heads nod more than a decade after his untimely passing.

The beauty of The Danger Zone is that it provides a platform for Big L’s work to continue breathing. L’s work has influenced many established artists directly or indirectly and his techniques with a pen, pad and mic remain celebrated for the manner in which L paved the way. Look to Fabolous, Joe Budden, Lloyd Banks and others to see just how influential “rap’s M.V.P.” has been. For the uninitiated, his strength was in his rhyme schemes and clever wit, effortlessly delivered with a nonchalant style. All of that is present here, as one would expect. “I’m running with a real smooth crew that’ll shoot at you. You wanna knuckle up? Whatever. We could do that, too,” he rhymes on the album. L didn’t just boast, though. He took braggadocio to new heights when he rhymed. His subject matter wasn’t always the cleanest or safest but his technique was always one of the sharpest. This often caused rewind buttons to pop with lines like, “I put chumps to rest fast when my Smith-Wes blasts so just dash or trespass and get your chest smashed.” He didn’t just say what he wanted; he rhymed it better and made it wittier than most others could have at the time.

The Danger Zone, however, is not without flaws. The biggest concern lies with the repetition of verses. On this release, the same verse is heard on “Tru Master,” “98 Halftime Radio” and then again on “Cluemanati.” While the verse is strong, hearing it three times on a release is too much déjà vu for one album. A minor gripe fans may have exists in the inevitably dated punchlines. Today, few kids would know what L means when he says he’s “got more dimes than that Sprint lady, and that’s ill.” Shout outs to Candice Bergen aside, Big L’s rhymes could make many of today’s emcees retreat so that remains a minor blip. 

Hearing Big L is always a blessing for a fan of emceeing. His similes, wordplay and multisyllabic rhyme patterns continue to shine with time. The Danger Zone may be a must-have for die-hard fans, but it probably could have gone unreleased. After all, Big L’s raw talent will shine regardless.

Purchase The Danger Zone by Big L

20 Comments

  • Adam Rapology Aldo

    I was talking to Lord Finesse earlier on in the year, in paticular i asked him if there was any (truely unreleased) Big L songs in vaults that he was aware of. The answer is, there are only a couple of songs he knows of, and the price of them... well you couldnt put a price on them. Shyiem did a couple of joints with Big L as well as a few others, but where those songs are, the answer may be they could of been lost. Im sure a few rapper have Big L gems but they may never see the light of day.

    • dsdafdasdf

      You are wrong there are a lot of Big L unreleased songs. There are enough for more than one CD. Big L was recording a lot of stuff at different studios during the late 1990s.

  • Guest

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8r8377zGew We Killin It - Barton Block "Like" us on facebook @ www.facebook.com/bartonblock

  • Cold Blood

    BIG L IS A LEGEND! 5/5 YOU CAN HATE ME NOW!

  • koopa

    poop zingers be flyin out my nose maaaaaaaaaannnn

  • tripple D!

    BIG L! LOVE IT!

  • angry

    These are a disgrace to a legacy.

  • Anonymous

    whens the big l movie coming out

  • Don Whyte

    Most of the tracks have the same lines...... Anyways, it's Big L, enough said!!

  • BWS-Fish

    Big L = hip hop royalty Which means that it pains me to point out YET AGAIN on an DX album review, that they gave a higher rating to Gucci Mane ' The State Vs Radric Davis'. unbelievable...

    • Anonymous

      You don't get the point of the review system, you can't mix up the ratings of two completely different artists, every projects stands for itself. These albums aren't meant to be compared and you don't rate projects based on the legacy of the artists. If a project is whack, you gotta tell how it is, you can't rate a project with 4,5 or 5 stars just because a name of a well respected rapper is standing on the cover.

    • BWS-Fish

      well then DX needs to have a way of being more consistent with their reviews, because every time i see a brilliant artist getting 3 stars, i immediately thinko fhte rating they gave Gucci's album. And I'm genuinely not hating gucci right here (i know it seems like it). I actually have the album im referring too. but im also not blind or deaf and to say that anything Big L produced is inferior to anything gucci mane has is pretty unbelievable and really brings the site's credibility into question.

    • hmmm..

      ... you do no that its not the same guy writing all the reviews so obviously there is going to be some variation. For example anyone who like Big L won't like Gucci and vice versa... because lets be honest Gucci is shit and no-one in their right mind could like what he does

  • Lol

    You know, DJ Premier and Finesse is doing an "official" Big L album with unheard material. They got it all in the chamber, this is just a collection of all released music that perhaps not everyone has heard.

  • Pat Neeland

    If they felt the need to include 3 different songs, each containing an identical verse, they're obviously hurting for new/untouched material. Let the man and his legacy rest. Huge Big L fan, but I've never ever been a supporter of posthumous releases, as most of them end up sounding like a quick cash-in. Thankfully, this isn't totally the case with this one, but as I mentioned above, 3 songs with identical verses leaves me with an inkling of wonder with this one...

  • Bauce

    These last two posthumous albums haven't had much new music at all. Most of the verses are off of The Archives 1996-2001