February 07, 2015

Big Pun "Rest In Peace" (CMJ, February 2000)

"Rapper Big Punisher, born Christopher Rios, died on February 7 of an enlarged heart and attendant complications. According to MTV News, Big Pun, known for an aggressive rhyming style on the order of Biggie Smalls, was pronounced dead on arrival at the White Plains Hospital in New York at 4pm. He was 28... The Puerto Rican MC came to hip-hop prominence through guesting on records by Fat Joe, Raekwon and the Beatnuts. His debut record, 1997's Capital Punishment, which featured Beatnuts, RZA, Inspectah Deck, Wyclef Jean, Kool G Rap, Noreaga and Busta Rhymes, was certified double platinum, and earned him critical praise and a Grammy. During this time, Big Pun worked with Fat Joe and their collective the Terror Squad. It was 1998's "Still Not A Player," however, that brought him widespread fame. A former basketball player and boxer, Big Pun also hosted the Rap City channel b-ball documentary Soul In The Hole and contributed a song to the soundtrack." Cont'd below...

"Despite his athletic past, Big Pun's weight at the time of death was nearly 700 pounds. His size mad it difficult for him to perform or move about. (According to the Daily News, paramedics had to use a construction dolly to take the rapper to the ambulance.) Though fans and family voiced concern, Big Pun brushed it off. "When a big guy could do something that skinny people can do, it's even more impressive. It looks even better," he told MTV News in 1998. "When you got a fat guy... it'll stand out even more. It's like, 'Wow, I didn't expect him....' Like when (Fat) Joe will rhyme and I'll come out people will think I'm his bouncer and I'll be spittin' ... people are like 'Wow!' Big Pun was expected to release third album, Yeehah Baby, in April. His publicist told the Associated Press that the record would be released posthumously. He is survived by his wife, Liza, son, Christopher, and two daughters, Vanessa and Amanda." - CMJ New Music Monthly, February 21, 2000. R.I.P., Big Pun.