Tuesday, February 8, 2011
A Look Back At Big Pun
Big Pun to me was one of the best rappers of all-time, his flow was mad nice and impeccable. This man passed away way before his time and it seemed like he was gonna change his life around health wise before he left us. Pun to me is one of those MC's that came out of nowhere and made his impact felt very fast. But also he was one of the coolest from what i read about him and he was every bit of a jokester. He was just a kool nigga that looked out for his friends as well. He was on the rise and the sky was the limit for him.
The 1st time i even heard of Big Pun was that freestyle he did wit Fat Joe on Funk Flex's Vol. 1 mixtape. That joint was crazy to me cause he was rippin it and i was like who is this? Also it didnt hurt that they was rhymin over Raekwon's "Ice Cream" instrumental. Now the 1st time i ever seen Big Pun and didnt even know it until later was LL's "I Shot Ya" vid. That big nigga with the wife beater on standing right next to Fat Joe...was Big Pun! To myself i was thinkin who was this nigga and he sure is wrong rockin a wife beater??!!!! Now this was '96, so when '98 hit and Big Pun came out wit "Still Not A Player" im thinkin he was a new artist cause i never heard anything from him up to that point since '95!! But remember yall, i live in TX and like i said many times we wasnt gettin mixtapes like that out here at all. So i had to go back and read the manuscripts on him, come to find out that this man had built up a rep on a couple of tracks and he was very anticipated. On that Fat Joe b-side single in '95 he had the illest verse on "Firewater", i myself didnt hear that song until sometime '05-'07. I know, i know. Then around '97 he was on the smash track "Off The Books" wit the Beatnuts, i myself didnt hear that song until a couple years later. And at that time i wasnt as big of a Beatnuts fan as i am now, so that track i didnt pay attention too. So late '97 some singles for his heavy anticipated LP started coming up and DJ's was playin it like crazy. Singles like "Beware" , "You Aint A Killer", "Lyrical Respresentin" (i think thats the name for it, it was that Rocky sample in it") was all over Clue tapes everywhere. And dont forget he was on one of the hardest posse cuts of all-time wit NORE on "Banned from TV". So thats what i mean by that he was buildin up a rep, so when '98 came around and "Still Not a Player" dropped he was set. But the track that made me a instant fan of his was his 1st single which was "Im Not A Player"!! This track had that dope O'Jays sample and Pun just ripped the joint and the vid was on point as well. Then i made the decision that when his LP drops im coppin it!!
When it dropped, i popped it in as soon as i got home and i was overly impressed!! Blown away! The way the LP was put together and how it sounded was top notch. Hard tracks like "Dream Shatterer", "Punish Me", "Glamour Life", "Twinz", " You Came Up" & "Tres Leches" had me at a loss for words. Then the LP had tons of funny moments like "Pakinamac", "Uncensored(Skit) w/ Funk Flex" & "The Rain and the Sun". These joints was mad funny especially that skit wit Funk Flex. So now a new star was born and he was a Latin artist. He was representin for a whole race and was holdin it down. The 1st Latin artist to go plat as he went double. But at times he felt he didnt get his just due cause of the competition he was facin was gettin more shine than him. Him and Jay Z had some sort of tiff, over what i dont know ( and dying to find out if anyone knows) but i did read in the Source that he said Jay's LP "Hard Knock Life Vol. 2" was a dope LP was one of the year's best. Also he felt dissed at the Source Awards cause he didnt win not 1 one award (thats crazy aint it? not one award he won). If u think about it, Pun came out at a time when hip-hop was blowin up all over and the competition at that time was fierce. We're talkin about Jay, Nas, DMX, Eminem, Busta- the heavyweights. And not to mention new jacks like Juvenile & Nelly was comin out in the scene and sellin records by the boatloads. But to me Big Pun did one huge thing for another artist, and that was bring out the best of Fat Joe.
If u listen to Fat Joe pre Pun and after Pun, he was a different rhymer. He taught him to hold his words together for long stretches and being a better song maker. We all know Joe let Pun be the man while he played the background. And thats cool cause he recognized the power Pun had as an artist and didnt hold him back. Pun made Joe the best he could be, and both as a tandem was a very killer combo! But i remember back in 2000 when i was overseas in the Navy and i called family to tell them how i was doin. I was talkin to my brother and he broke the news to me that Big Pun had died. I thought he was jerkin my leg or somethin, i told him stop playin. But my brother was serious, i asked him how he died and he told me from a heart attack. After we finished and talkin and hug up the phone i was just in shock more than anything. That was a death that totally caught me off guard. As i started reading more about him after that a few weeks later i read that he associated success with eating. I seen skinny pics of Pun!! This man was once a like a clothing model, i mean he looked real fit and everything!! So i couldnt believe he got to the point where he was when he died. Then like a week later the single "Its So Hard" dropped and this track was like its title.. so hard!! This was my shit when it came out and the stuff he was talkin about was real. He tryin to live, he lost some weight and was tryin claim his spot as that lead rapper.
Its amazing what happened when Pun passed. Joe fell off, Terror Squad broke up and Pun 's family was in financial help that they had to auction some of his stuff off. Plus some outlets was tryin portrey Pun as this big angry man who beats his wife as some footage got out there showing him doin these things. So its just sad man how this all ended up. But i know there is some sort of new Big Pun documentary supposed to be coming out and that is something i would love to see. I already saw some old footage of him and from what i saw all he wanted to do was rhyme. He had rhymes ready 24/7 for anyone that wanted to hear. That right there told me and showed me that this man loved hip-hop and his profession. He was a perfectionist and his rhymes was always on point. I remember seeing Joe say that when BIG was alive he never said one wack line. Can u say the same about Pun?