R.I.P. Big Pun…

Hip-hop fans always remember the anniversaries of the deaths of hip-hop legends, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, but one legend that doesn’t get as much love but had as much of an impact during his life is the late Big Pun.

Monday (February 7) marks the 11th anniversary of Big Pun’s death, who passed just as his career began to take off at the young age of 28 as the result of a heart attack.

Pun (real name: Christopher Rios) lived an unhealthy lifestyle, food being his guilty pleasure. At the time of his death, he weighed nearly 700 pounds.

11 years after his death, the music industry and his peers remembered him, sending off tweets and giving statements to various media outlets.

“Pun was my 1st friend in Hiphop,” Noreaga tweeted Monday. “[The] 1st industry dude I trusted and hung out wit and he turned into being my brother.”

Estranged Terror Squad member, Cuban link, also gave a shout out to Pun via Twitter. “Repping my brother Big Pun that’s love miss u twin.”

Jadakiss also remembered Pun, but made fans’ mouth water when he revealed that an unreleased battle between himself and Big Pun existed. “Green lantern has a friendly battle wit me and Pun that never got released!” Kiss tweeted.

MTV spoke to a few influential bloggers and journalists, whom gave their thoughts on the late, great Latino rapper.

“Pun was one of the most prolific MC’s of his generation, who garnered, not only the respect of his peers but the people,” Thomas Harden, Editor-in-Chief of Urban Latino Magazine, told the network. “His lyrical prowess not only changed the perception of Latino rappers in hip-hop, but set a benchmark for all MC’s. It’s been eleven years since Pun’s untimely death and his music still resonates with us today.”

“Big Pun had a mastery of flow and cadence that was way ahead of his time,” David D of TheSmokingSection.net added. “He just almost had an instincts ability to take a ginzu knife to a beat and slice it to shreds. One thing that people overlook is his superb breath control. For such a big guy, he was able to rail off those lines from ‘Deep Cover’ without losing his breath.”

Complex’s Paul Cantor also weighed in, recalling the first time he heard Pun and his impression of the New York rapper.

“I remember being in junior high school when I first heard Pun freestyle over the ‘Ice Cream’ beat, and was just blown away,” Cantor said. “He had a very precise rapid-fire flow, where the words kind of all lined up both rhythmically as well as sonically. It wasn’t just two or three words rhyming in a couplet. It was like 8 or 9 and they all made sense. Not to say he was the first guy to do this, but at that time, guys were still doing the a-b-c 1-2-3 type flows.

“Lastly, when I hear the word lyricist thrown around nowadays, Big Pun is always my reference point. He was a lyricist,” he continued. “A master of wordplay and of flow and he had the technical proficiency to put it all together on a record so that it sounded musical without sounding forced. Very few lyricists have the ability to do that.”

Pun’s mentor, Fat Joe, checked in on Twitter, by simply sending out an RIP. “R.I.P. MY BROTHER BIG PUN!!!!!!” Joe tweeted in all caps.

Big Pun was one of the most prolific Latino rappers in history, and the first solo Latino rapper to go platinum, He even earned a Grammy in 2000 before his passing. His breakout and most memorable hit was the club smash, “Still Not a Player,” off his debut, Capital Punishment.

Rest in peace to Big Pun.



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