Today would have marked the 42nd birthday of Lamont Coleman, known to most of the world as Big L. The Harlem native’s life was cut short by a drive-by shooting in 1999. He was 24 years old.

Before he died, Coleman gifted generations with some legendary flows. One of his most famous songs was “Ebonics.” Released in 1998, before websites started trying to crowdsource the meaning of the slang that permeates rap music, Big L served his definitions with much more humor and authority. As a tribute to Coleman’s life and career, we created this video companion to “Ebonics” to help you see the late rapper’s vision.

Video by ZLA