Big L was the third and youngest son of Gilda Terry and Charles Davis. As a child, he was given the nicknames "Little L" and "mont mont". At the age of 12 he formed the group along with 2 other "Three the Hard Way". He met Lord Finesse in the summer of 1990 on 125th Street during an autograph session. Big L freestylde, and then traded Finesse and Big L songs from. Coleman went to Julia Richman High school.
He got a record deal In 1992 and in 1995, he released his debut album Lifestylez Ov Da Poor and Dangerous. In this album he works together with Kid Capri, Cam'ron and Jay-Z. 2 singles from the album Put it on'MVP and came in the top 25 of the Bilboard charts of America,
From 1997 to 1999 worked Big L on his 2nd album called The Big Picture. In this album he raps along with Tupac Shakur, Fat Joe and Big Daddy Kane and it contains works by DJ Premier. The Big Picture would be Big L's last album, it was released 2 August.
Big L was in 1999 by nine bullets (two of them in his head) shot in Harlem. Gerard Woodley, a childhood friend of Big L, was arrested but then released after the murder. The murder is still unsolved. During the assassination was Big L's brother in jail, some people think that it is a revenge action was focused on Big L's brother Leroy Phinazee. Also in 2002 was eventually shot Phinazee in the same district in Harlem, after he had been looking for information about the death of his brother.