Über Big Pun
A master on the mic and a hero of the people, Big Punisher left an impressive mark on the world of hip-hop. With his phenomenal flows and breath-control magic, he raised the standard for lyrical emcees everywhere. Born and raised in South Bronx, Pun was first put on by Fat Joe on his classic sophomore LP Jealous One's Envy in 1995. With a slew of collaborations and mix-tape appearances, he earned his reputation as a highly skilled lyricist. In 1997 Pun took the world by storm, releasing his first official single "I'm Not A Player." Showcasing his intricate verbal skills with freaky sex rhymes over a super-soulful track, it became an instant classic. The following year he unleashed his debut LP Capital Punishment. With all-star production by the likes of RZA, Juju, and Showbiz, the album shot up the charts, becoming the first hip-hop record by a Latino artist to go platinum (and double-platinum.) The year 1999 saw Pun working with a variety of artists, including the Terror Squad and Jennifer Lopez. Tragically, due to his failing health and weight problem, Big Pun died on February 7, 2000. Although he's gone, his legacy as an extraordinary emcee and much-loved hip-hop hero is secure.