Fat Joe, Noreaga Celebrate Big Pun’s Life
Christopher “Big Pun” Rios exclaimed, “I just lost 100 pounds, I’m trying to live, I ain’t goin’ nowhere,” on the adlibs of the chorus of his hit single featuring Donell Jones, “It’s So Hard.”
It’s been 11 years since we lost Pun on this day, February 7th, but he was prophetic with his claim of eternal existence.
Rios’ music still resonates in artists that mimic his flow, borrow his poly-syllabic signature style and even take his words and reuse them in tribute.
He first appeared alongside The Beatnuts stealing the show on their “Off The Books” underground classic, then he made his mark featuring on Fat Joe’s Jealous One’s Envy LP before signing to Loud records.
With the commercial success of the “I’m Not A Player remix” featuring R&B crooner, Joe, Pun’s debut album Capital Punishment went on to sell one million copies.
The posters read, “Latinum” as the Puerto Rican emcee became the first solo Latino rapper to achieve that goal.
Pun struggled with weight loss and eventually in the year 2000, a fatal heart attack took one of hip-hop’s greatest lyricists at only 28 years old.
His 2nd album Yeeeah Baby, completed before his death, hit shelves in April 2000.
It peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts and went gold in three months. A posthumous compilation album, Endangered Species, was released in April 2001.
The charismatic rapper, often compared to the late Notorious B.I.G, was one of the early members of Fat Joe’s Terror Squad and is said to be responsible for Joey Crack’s resurgence in the game.
Since his death, there have been plenty of emcees that credit Pun as their influence.
His versatility, clever lines and ability to put words together with a swift, yet audible delivery was unmatched.
We’ll always love Big Pun.