Monday, February 07, 2005
As hip hop grows older we have started to lose many of our artists to death, several of whom have subsequently become icons of the music and culture. Biggie and 2Pac are, obviously, the two main ones but on other levels so are Big L, DJ Screw and Souljah Slim. One MC who seems to perennially fall through the cracks and be overlooked, getting far less attention than his talent and achievements warrant though is the Bx's Big Punisher (aka Big Pun).
Fat Joe's brother-from-another-mother, protege and right hand man in the Terrror Squad, he had as much presence, charisma and lyrical skill as Biggie. He wrote songs that crossed over into MTV-land but weren't cheesy and could still hold his own on underground bangers with real MC's like Black Thought spittin' flows and verses that'll split your wig.
As much respect as I have for Joe, one can only imagine where Pun's career could have gone had he been given more of a chance to work with cats outside of the Terror Squad circle or if he had worked with a mentor like Puffy who, whether you like his music or outlook on hip hop or not, has a proven track record of being able to create superstars out of the raw material in artists far less promising or talented than Pun.
Christopher Rios, much respect because, like Joe always says even now four years later, you were one of the best to ever do it and will be always remembered by boricuas, morenas and all other b-boys and fans of real hip hop everywhere.
Christopher Rios (aka Big Pun) 1971-2000.
Read more about Big Pun:
- Big Pun Forever
And one of my favorite ever hip hop records that went pop but is still hood-approved "Still Not A Player (feat. Joe)" from the excellent Capital Punishment album.