Album Review: Big L – Return of the Devil’s Son

Big L – Return of the Devil’s Son
SMC Recordings: 2010

Save the rare gem, hip-hop fans have unfortunately learned that posthumous releases are never comprised of an artist’s best work. And the more time that has passed, the less likely the “new” tracks are going to satisfy. It’s often the case that if the songs were really that great they would have already been released. Whether it’s greedy labels, fame-hungry hanger-ons or foolish family members, albums from the deceased often get put out for the wrong reasons (i.e. those that don’t maintain the artistic vision and integrity of the musician). Sadly Return of the Devil’s Son from Big L represents everything wrong with posthumous releases.

You might not remember where you were on Feb. 15, 1999 — the day Big L was tragically killed. Considering his under-the-radar success at the time, you might not even have been familiar with his music at the time. Certainly you know the name by now though, especially in a community where death often elevates a man’s reputation. His punch lines, nimble-burst flow and ability to craft a tale frequently put him in the endless debates over who is the greatest emcee of all time. Regardless of whether you think Big L deserves to be in those conversations, simply showed promise he never had time to deliver on or is just one of many skilled emcees of his era and location, this album won’t do much to change your thoughts on the New York rapper.

Big L’s talents and abilities have little bearing on the success of this disc. If you listen to Big L there isn’t much new to hear on the LP. Its filled with recycled and already bootlegged verses from different times of his career lain across production from the likes of J-Love, Showbiz and Domingo that sound somewhere between dated and appropriate for the time L was recording. The audio quality varies throughout as well as the strength of the verses. Some of this might be excusable if it weren’t being passed off (by family members no less!) as something unheard.

This album shouldn’t have been put out, and only the most rabid Big L fan should think about buying it. Big L no doubt had considerable talent, but to appreciate it one should listen instead to Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous or The Big Picture. Coming over ten years after his death, The Return of the Devil’s Son disrespects Big L and his fans by being a lazy and lame attempt to squeeze money from the beloved artist.

1 out of 5

6 thoughts on “Album Review: Big L – Return of the Devil’s Son

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  1. I simply can not believe I read this entire review, this is probably the worst I’ve ever witnessed! But I will not waste my time trying to criticize this piece of nonsense, because everyone has a right to their own opinion.

    I’m not the biggest Big L fan out there, but I’m definitely a fan of his talent and his music. I’ve listened to the album, and I had heard it all before but this album is quality! All tracks are much better than the ones out on the web. I am a hip hop enthusiast and I really loved this album! For Real! If you like Big L, you gonna love this album! Period! If not.. you ain’t a fan of Big L, and neither of hiphop in general.. for real!

  2. David Reyneke|

    @WellYourDumb When you try and shit on people for being stupid, at least attempt to be coherent. This project was complete garbage, and any real Big L fan would agree.

  3. WellYourDumb|

    All of you commenters and the author obviously have no clue what your talking about. Author don’t be ignorant, the album was a disk release of the bootlegs the anyone can get a the biglblog. There are also higher quality UNRELEASED recordings on there.

    Your review blowed as you didn’t mention a single song.

    From a real big l fan, go suck a dick

  4. I appreciate the honestly of this review a lot.

    And I am so disappointed that its accurate.

  5. Agreed 100%. Just an attempt to get money off of his name.

  6. Cosign on all what’s been said here by 100% Sad true…

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