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Big Punisher

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

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