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