Today in Hip Hop History: November 10, 1971
Christopher Lee Rios, aka Big Punisher aka Big Pun, was born in The Bronx, New York in 1971. The Latino MC and actor was the first one to receive Platinum status as a solo artist, which occurred with his debut album Capital Punishment. Big Pun emerged from the underground hip hop scene in the mid-90’s, first appearing on Fat Joe‘s “Jealous One’s Envy,” prior to signing to Loud Records.
In 1996 Pun began recording for his debut album. The remix of his song “I’m Not a Player” became known as “Still Not a Player,” featuring Joe. The song became Pun’s first mainstream hit and was a breakthrough for his career.
His full length debut album was his only one released before his untimely death. His struggle with a weight problem eventually took a hold on the MC. On February 7, 2000 Pun suffered a heart attack and respiratory failure that killed him. He was at the peak of his weight at the time, 698 lbs.
Big Pun is known as one of the greatest MCs to have ever graced the mic despite his short career and abrupt death. His notable technical skills combined with his quick flow delivery and alliteration abilities remain legendary to this day. Several notable pubications, such as MTV2, The Source and About.com have ranked Big Pun as one of the greatest lyricists of all time. Happy would-be 44th birthday Big Pun and RIP.