The first Latin rapper to baffle your skull...
11 years ago (plus a day). Damn, time flies. I remember being in the office when I heard Pun passed. I was working in the music industry back then. Yes, I did work at one point in my life. My desk sat across from Don Pooh Records, a subsidiary of the label. One of their artists was Sunkiss, Pun's right hand man. A cool cat, who'd always shoot the shit for a sec before stepping into do whatever they did. Rarely in a somber mood, you knew something was up that day. He broke the news and it was a straight shock. It was obvious that Pun was in extremely poor health, but dude was young and in the prime of his career. I just remember getting on the horn and hitting my circle, who at that time were major hip hop heads. Silence, followed by "Get the fuck outta here", in some form or another was the overwhelming reaction.
It only takes a verse to understand what you're dealing with. Straight nasty. Quotables upon quotables. However you were introduced to Big Dog Punisher, be it "Firewater", "Off the Books", "You Ain't a Killer" or the Clue freestyle over "Clones", that rapid fire, crystal clear profound inteligente spit was arresting. Shit made you stop whatever you were doing and just listen. I'm an unapologetic Fat Joe fan and it's understandable to think the 2 might sound similar based on appearance- they did dub themselves "Twinz"- but once Pun spewed a lyric, game over. No surprise that... Latins going Platinum was destined to come... became a reality.
"You Ain't a Killer" was the joint that caught me hook, line, and sinker. My favorite joint off of Capital Punishment. It was a promo only 12" and pretty hard to get your hands on. I found a copy at Kim's on W. 4th and was happy as a pig in shit. Young Lord blessed the beat with those sinister pianos and Pun went berserk. You be the judge.
Big Pun- You Ain't A Killer
"Ask anybody if my men are rowdy,
Give me the mini-shottie I body a nigga for a penny probably,
I'm obligated to anything if it's crime related,
If it shine I'll take it, still in my prime and I finally made it,
I hate the fact that I'm the last edition,
Rob me a stash magician,
Could of went to college and been a mathematician,
Bad decisions kept me out the game,
Now I'm strictly out for cream,
Doing things to fiends I doubt you'll ever dream,
My team's the meanest thing you ever seen,
Measured by the heaven's Kings, down to the devil's mezzanine"
Fat Joe & Armageddon- Firewater (Big Pun Tribute)- SOBs 7/27/10
This past summer Fat Joe performed at SOBs and ripped it more than you could imagine. Even the staunchest Joey Crack hater would have to cede that Joey did his thing. As you can see, he and Armageddon blessed "Firewater" then let the track ride out with Pun's verse. It was really dope to see Joe rhyming along to the words he he could remember and just being into it, a fan, paying homage to his former Terror Squadian. I can't call whether the Liza Rios slander was hyperbole or not, but you'd be lying if you didn't acknowledge Joe repping for his boy. Don't forget, I support Pun in anything he does, anything he loves, a brother from another mother, sent from the above.
Fat Joe - Firewater (feat. Raekwon, Armageddon & Big Pun)
A classic ad Loud did for Capital Punishment. Yankees and the Bronx. Dopeness. Since I'll never have the platinum plaque I got the next best thing, the poster, even with tack holes in the corners. It will be framed one day.
Never had a chance to catch Pun live. I don't recall there being many opportunities. His career was so short-lived with poor health playing a major factor in such limited performances. My brother hit the above show at Latin Quarter when on 96th and Broadway. Why I didn't attend, not a clue. Look at that line-up- Fat Joe, Pun, MOP, Black Rob and a young unknown Eminem. Look at him playing tertiary status. Damn. Below is another heavy hitter.
Big Pun & Ghostface- Yeah Yeah Yeah (Green Mix)
Green Lantern took the a cappella from "My World" off Endangered Species and freaked it. Apropos to use Terror Squad's "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah." It's tough listening to Pun late in his career. Compared to his earlier recordings, the breathing, or panting if you will, became more pronounced and his machine gun flow became semi-automatic, if not the speed of a revolver. The toughest part is knowing he died shortly after and his weight was the direct result of that. In an eerie way it's as if he's rhyming from his deathbed. I'm here to celebrate Pun's life and not wallow in the melancholy, but it's impossible to ignore and not make mention of it. He clearly was suffering and it's evident in the music.
I'm not a player, I just fuck a lot!! Holla. When doing so you best to wrap that shit up B. One of the best promo items ever. I wouldn't suggest using this one though. Expired back in January 2001.
And last but not least, DJ Soul just released an hour plus tribute mix to Pun that I highly recommend you peep. Exclusives, freestyles, hard to find tracks and top notch mixing. Get it HERE.