Shyheim talks about Big L
Shyheim July 2008 Interview for Big L Online
Shyheim & his Big L tattoo:
(Interview by Francesca Djerejian, Edited by The Big Sleep)
Although they only released one song together, Furious Anger, Big L and Shyheim were close friends in the rap game. In a display of loyalty, Shyheim commemorated Big L's memory by having an L tatted on his neck. From their days chilling uptown, to L's lyrics, to his open casket funeral, Shyheim reminisces about Harlem's Finest in this interview with BigLOnline.
BigLOnline: How did you and Big L first meet?
Shyheim: Met L like say like 1993, he was signed with Columbia Records and I was just about to sign to Virgin Records. It was either Virgin or Warner; that was one of the biggest bidding wars in '93, between Virgin and Warner Bros. for me. We used to see each other; I used to always go to Harlem. We used to always bump heads at Gram's Tunes, it's like some party shit they used to have in Harlem. I don't know if they still have it because I haven't been there in a while. It was blocks of people partying and I was just uptown doing my one, two and he spit, I spit. He came out with his music, but our relationship wasn't forced. We used to see each other, we exchanged numbers. By the time it came to my third album, when we really started fucking with each other, I had a budget and L was pushing his shit independent at the time. This was the time Ebonics was dropping, and I had a budget so I was like, "Yo son, I got a budget, come get on the album, boom, I bless you with some paper, get you to produce a joint" and we were working. There was more to come out and we did a few more songs, I don't know where them shits is at now. Like we had some shit with me, L, Cocoa Brovas, I don't know where that shit went.
BigLOnline: How did the idea for the Furious Anger collabo come about?
Shyheim: The collabo came about because we was in touch, we was politicking. I knew the situation he was pushing for with his music, I was doing the same. I got into a situation where I was more in control of my career. And at that point I decided to do a deal with RZA and Wu-Tang at the time, instead of taking my option with Virgin. I just thought it was something else at that time.
BigLOnline: What was it like recording with L?
Shyheim: L was cool, man. It was like…I record and niggas that record around me know I do my shit, and he was one of the people that could correct me and I wouldn't take it no way, because it wasn't nothing but what it was.
BigLOnline: How would he correct you?
Shyheim: He'd be like…aight, we doing a song like Furious Anger. I wrote three verses in the studio and he said yo, I think you should use these [two verses] and that was L, so I was like aight.
BigLOnline: What was he like in the booth?
Shyheim: I don't know all that shit, 'cause when it's your dude, it's just your dude. He did what he did; I did what I did it. It wasn't one of those things like, "aw this is L, let me study how this nigga gonna write his dart." It's like "yo, he write his dart, I write my shit, boom." We talk about ideas and boom, we created music. His skills speak for itself, we all know that. All I can really talk about is how he was as a person, that's what I know. He's a legend, the same as Pac, the same as Big. [But it was] I rhyme, you rhyme. You not lookin' at the nigga like that. "You respect my handle, I respect your handle, we make something, we bust it down", I can't really say nothing else.
BigLOnline: What was he like as a person?
Shyheim: L was funny. We just snapped, we would joke around and shit like that.
BigLOnline: What was your fondest memory of him?
Shyheim: Every moment, really. It's not one time. It could've been a phone conversation when I was going through things and needed somebody to talk to. It's like that with Big Daddy Kane for me, a dude who I could call, whatever. But L was definitely a good dude.
BigLOnline: You have him tatted on your neck…
Shyheim: The tat came from…'cause I know what he was pushing for. I was like "yo, if I ever get to the level of getting a fuckin' Grammy or some shit like that, and I'm standing there it's like Big L, like what nigga? I'm here, you here, they gonna look at me wherever I go and remember you." That's what that was for. I got another one for my man Sacks, every tattoo I got is for my niggas.
BigLOnline: Do you think L was underrated?
Shyheim: He was who he was, to me underrated…that's like you can only be you. Those that can relate to you is gonna relate to you. Some looked at him as underrated, but then some looked at him as the greatest. So you can't, can't really…fuck that, nah, he wasn't underrated, not to me. Maybe to someone who didn't understand him. That don't mean he not as just good, you just don't understand it. He was still underground like me, we was one and the same.
BigLOnline: He always seemed to be reaching for that platinum success…
Shyheim: You know why? Because it's like he deserved it. And like I said, sometimes it's more so who into what you into, who can understand. More people understood something else. I understood him, I understood his pain; I understood everything, every story. He wasn't on no sit there and pour your heart out, 'cause we niggas and shit, but he'd tell a story.
BigLOnline: He also talked about the streets, was he in the streets?
Shyheim: I mean well you gotta answer that question. If you not in the street, street things don't happen, really. I don't really wanna talk about that part of it though. L's was one of the first niggas I seen…this nigga used to rock a mink, black mink word up. Even...God bless him, even at his wake he was dap. I'll never forget that, ever. There was no way I wasn't gonna be there and my son was blue Coogi-ed out, frames on.
l was one of the illest cats in the game
I guess Big L is underrated in the sense that the mainstream hasn't given him his proper due, but the underground knows what's up. Jay z should be gloating about him 24/7 the same way Diddy gloats about B.I.G. but the faggot doesn't say shit about him anywhere
wasnt there a freestyle battle or some shit were l outshine jay?
jay and L was freestyling on a joint like 7 min long or something.
yeah i remember someone posting it online back in the day and the majority of people say L outshine him
Originally Posted by FMJ
wowwwww there's a track out there w/ Big L, Shyheim & the Cocoa Brovas from around 1999....he needs to locate that shit
BIG L & PUN >>> 2 WACK AND PIGGIE SMALLs