October 16, 2014

Big Pun "Next" Feature In Vibe Magazine (February, 1998)

"Big Punisher laughs a lot. The Puerto Rican, Bronx-bred behemoth behind last year's brilliant Loud singles "You Ain't A Killer" and "I'm Not A Player" can't stifle a chuckle even when resurrecting acerbic childhood memories of his disciplinarian Vietnam vet stepfather. "Your reflexes are sharp when you get your ass whupped all the time," Pun says while pounding the pavement of his old neighborhood. "My stepfather would walk every morning to the bathroom. I could hear the toilet bowl flushing. Whoooshhh. Then he'd walk past my bedroom door," Pun pauses. His black eyes are piercing; he's lost in a trance. "Next thing you know," the Punisher says, "he would kick in my door and (say) 'Early, soldier! smack me around, and make me do f#ckin' push-ups Ha-ha." Pun brought an end to that pain when, at 15, he became big enough to fight back. "I use that experience for my writing," he says. "You can hear the anger." Big Punisher's gusts of fiery breath were first on 1995's "Watch Out" from Fat Joe's Jealous One's Envy. Pun has since flexed his self-described sophisticated hardcore flow on solo Bone Thugger Flesh-N-Bone's 1996 "No Mercy" as well as the Beatnuts' recent-blazer "Off The Books." Throwback live video: Terror Squad runnin' through their joints...

"But the juiciest slab on Pun's menu is is own full-length debut, Capital Punishment (Loud). It's a relentless collection of bone-crushing bravado. Check for the banging, Buckwild-produced "Dream Shatterer" as well as the exacting "Twinz," a "Deep Cover"-esque duet with Pun's manager Joey Crack aka Fat Joe. "People got me blushin," says the nearly 400-pound 26-year old father of three. "They stop me and go, 'You Pun?' All my life I didn't feel special, so it feels good to finally be spoiled." Later that day, Pun treks down to his label's Manhattan offices. "I'm gonna try to write some ballads too, man," he says, stone serious. "I'll sing this one song for you..." The tumultuous conference room is ripe with crazed interns and Pun's lifelong, round-the-way amigos and fellow rhyme slayers Cuban Link and Tripe Seis. They simmer down. "You stupid," Pun says. "Like I'm gonna sing a song for you. Ha-ha-ha." Ouch. Big Punisher - hip-hop's newest heavyweight champion - has punchlines that will knock you out." - Vibe Magazine, February 1998. Rest In Peace, Big Pun.