Arguably one of the fiercest representatives of Harlem, 139th and Lenox's Big L still lives on as one of The Danger Zone's most talked about. He had a series of underground hits that were his underlying vehicle to the tip of mainstream stardom; some of which include "Da Graveyard" and "Ebonics."
Before he could move further than his role in DITC (Diggin' in the Crates), L was shot right around the corner from his house on the evening of February 15, 1999.
The era of Mase has passed and, taking into consideration his senseless behavior, will probably be gone forever. How do you go from Harlem World to Harlem's Fool? How do you hold down the 'hood, then turn around and shit on the people that believed in you? How do you represent as one of Harlem's icons and turn around and disrespect? I'm sure no one really cares at the moment, but for those who do, they're all saying the same thing: Mase has lost his way, and ALL credibility. They say he left because he was afraid of being the next victim on the other side of the glock, but regardless of the situation, there's other ways to handle fright.
Now the Dipset "movement" has followedâ€"though not nearly as successfully (with the exception of Cam'ron). They're hot in the streets, but that's all that stands for them. Besides that, Harlem is dry. A piece of trash blowing in the wind. A puddle of piss in the back of the 2 train. The Heights with no haze. Hip-hop with no Kool Herc or Flash.
So, where would Harlem be had Big L still been here? I believe, looking at the heavy swagger in his lyrics that Harlem would be doing much better at this moment in time. With all the garbage Harlem is putting out, it's apparent that it takes a leader in order for others to step their game up.