The OED has these early citations:
1834 W. G. Simms Guy Rivers I. viii. 102 He did have a power of money.., but they did say he was going behind hand, for he didn’t know how to keep what he had. He was always buying, and living large—but that can’t last for ever.
1868 R. Browning Ring & Bk. I. iii. 185 Let him share the mat with the mastiff, he Who lived large and kept open house so long.
Somehow Robert Browning and hip-hop just don’t go together, but the phrase seems to have arisen in Britain and remained current in African-American usage through the late-twentieth century.