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Big Punisher

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Biography

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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Top Tracks

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