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Big L, ‘Return of the Devil’s Son’ (Distrolord/SMC)

Lamont “Big L” Coleman was tragically murdered in 1999, leaving behind a revered debut, a classic single (“Ebonics”), and dozens of radio freestyles and demos that continue to inspire awe among rap purists. Return of the Devil‘s Son officiallycollects the odds and sods of that discography into a portrait of a young rhyme animal who could not only blast MCs for days, but also discipline himself into a compelling prison narrative like “I Won’t.” Fans will quibble over the track selection — his legendary ten-minute freestyle with Jay-Z is sorely missed — but this may be the best distillation to date of the late Harlem MC’s potential.