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Big Punisher

The first solo Latino rapper to go platinum, Big Punisher was also yet another member of the hip-hop community to fall victim to an early death -- though in his case, it was due to health problems, not violence. In contrast to his large frame, Big Pun was a surprisingly graceful and nimble rapper, delivering his often clever, tongue-twisting rhymes at a torrential pace. Big Pun was born Christopher Rios on November 10, 1971, and grew up in the South Bronx's Puerto Rican community. He endured a rough childhood in an unstable home, and moved out when he was 15, dropping out of high school around the same time. Still, he continued his education on his own, and became interested in rapping and breakdancing (he was a solid athlete during his teen years). In 1989, under the name Big Moon Dog, he and several friends formed a street-corner rap group called the Full a Clips Crew. He later changed his name to Big Punisher, after the Marvel Comics superhero, and caught his big break when he met and impressed fellow Bronx rapper Fat Joe in 1995. He guested on a couple of Fat Joe tracks, "Fire Water" (which also featured Raekwon) and "Watch Out," and following an appearance on Funkmaster Flex's The Mix Tape, Vol. 1, quickly made a name for himself in the underground community. He guested prominently on the Beatnuts' "Off the Books" in 1997, and also worked with B Real and Flesh-N-Bone. Pun scored an underground hit of his own with "I'm Not a Player" in 1997, and also contributed "You Ain't a Killer" to the Soul in the Hole basketball documentary. With Fat Joe's help, he secured a deal with Loud Records. Big Pun's solo debut, Capital Punishment, was released in 1998 and debuted in the Top Five thanks to "Still Not a Player," a club-ready remix of "I'm Not a Player" that proved massively popular. Earning credibility in the hardcore rap world as well, Capital Punishment went on to sell over two million copies. The following year, Pun teamed up with his mentor, Fat Joe, and several up-and-coming MCs to form the Terror Squad, which released a self-titled debut album. Pun stayed in the public eye with guest work on records by Noreaga and Jennifer Lopez (the hit "Feelin' So Good," which also featured Fat Joe) while working on his second album. Unfortunately, his longtime struggles with overeating and obesity were beginning to get the better of him. At Fat Joe's urging, he checked into a weight-loss clinic in North Carolina, where he lost 80 pounds. However, he returned to the Bronx before finishing the program, and gained back everything he'd lost, plus some extra; reports had his weight fluctuating between 450-700 pounds during his last few years. Tragically, but perhaps not unpredictably, Big Punisher suffered a fatal heart attack on February 7, 2000; he was only 28 years old, and left behind a wife and three children. His completed second album, Yeeeah Baby, was released two months later to positive reviews and entered the charts at number three. 2001's Endangered Species was a compilation mixing hits, guest appearances, and unreleased material; it, too, was a Top Ten seller. Big Pun's life was the subject of the 2002 documentary film Still Not a Player. ~ Steve Huey
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Stations Featuring
Big Punisher

    '90s Hip-Hop

    '90s Hip-Hop
    3 songs

    Classic Hip-Hop

    Classic Hip-Hop
    1 song

    '00s Hip-Hop

    '00s Hip-Hop
    1 song

    Top Hip-Hop

    Top Hip-Hop
    1 song

    Hip-Hop Party

    1 song

Albums by
Big Punisher

Top Songs by
Big Punisher

  1.   Song
  2.   Still Not A Player by Fat Joe
  3.   It's So Hard
  4.   Twinz (Deep Cover 98)
  5.   Beware
  6.   Banned From TV
  7.   I'm Not A Player
  8.   Watch Those
  9.   100%
  10.   Punish Me by Miss Jones
  11.   My Turn
  12.   Caribbean Connection by Wyclef Jean
  13.   You Ain't A Killer
  14.   Off Wit His Head
  15.   Capital Punishment
  16.   LLeatherface
  17.   How We Roll
  18.   You Came Up
  19.   Intermission
  20.   Super Lyrical by Black Thought
  21.   Glamour Life featuring Fat Joe
  22.   Whatcha Gon Do?
  23.   You Ain't A Killa by Dr. G
  24.   Off the Books
  25.   Wrong Ones
  26.   Leather Face
  27.   Whatcha Gonna Do by Dr. G
  28.   Cross Bronx Expressway featuring Lord Tariq
  29.   How We Roll '98
  30.   Pina Colada
  31.   Boomerang
  32.   The Rain & The Sun (Interlude) by Dead Prez
  33.   Laughing at You
  34.   Quiet on Tha Set
  35.   Big Pun Outro
  36.   Big Pun (Intro)
  37.   Livin' la Vida Loca
  38.   John Blaze
  39.   Brave in the Heart featuring Fat Joe
  40.   Parental Discretion by Busta Rhymes
  41.   Fast Money
  42.   Tres Leches (Triboro Trilogy)
  43.   The Dream Shatterer
  44.   You Was Wrong
  45.   Ms. Martin
  46.   New York Giants
  47.   We Don't Care
  48.   My Dick
  49.   Respect by 20th Letter
  50.   Freestyle with Fat Joe & Big Pun by Fat Joe
  51.   Freestyle With Remy Martin
  52.   Wishful Thinking
  53.   Top of the World
  54.   Pakinamac, Pt. 1 (Skit)
  55.   Nigga Shit
  56.   The Creation
  57.   From The X
  58.   Lyrically Fit (The Bigger They R) featuring Chris Rivers
  59.   Pakinamac
  60.   Classic Verses (Drop It Heavy and Fantastic 4)
  61.   Fire Water by Fat Joe
  62.   My World
  63.   The Beat Box
  64.   Mamma
  65.   Charlie Rock Shout
  66.   Uncensored by Funkmaster Flex
  67.   Intro
  68.   N***a S**t
  69.   Air Pun
  70.   Taster's Choice
  71.   A True Emcee by 20th Letter
  72.   MidWest Respect by 20th Letter
  73.   Symphony 2000 featuring KRS-One
  74.   Inspiration by 20th Letter
  75.   Pakinamac, Pt. 2 (Skit)
  76.   Words With Fat Joe
  77.   Words From Nore

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