Following the release of his version of “Big Pun’s Back,” Joell Ortiz came under fire after Pun’s widow, Liza Rios, blasted him for being “disrespectful.” The Slaughterhouse member elaborated on the controversy, explaining that he never had to seek approval from Rios before and that he was shocked she took offense.
“First of all, I’m not sitting here without someone like Big Pun. You understand? They did Tupac and named Biggie and I was like, here’s my dude. I got this one, let me do this one,” he told Hot 97’s Angie Martinez. “When that kind of stuff happened, I was more surprised. I really didn’t get it. I don’t understand where it was coming from. From the beginning of my career, I’ve done tributes for him.”
After Rios spoke out against the song on her Facebook page, Ortiz tweeted that Pun’s sister supported the record and called him to thank him. But when it came to Rios, he couldn’t understand why she reacted negatively.
“I couldn’t grasp why Liza’s response was like that. She’s embraced me every time I’ve done something for her late husband. I’ve done tributes, I’ve put out freestyles on his birthday almost annually, I performed with the man’s urn on stage. For her. You understand?” he continued. “I don’t understand where this is coming from. I’m confused. I’m not angry - I can’t be mad at her, because she’s cool. I didn’t know I had to check in this time. I never checked in when I did something for her, her husband who I’m a huge fan of and would never feel like I’m disrespecting her by just doing it. I thought she would hear that and be like, ‘Yeah!’ again. And then I read that and I was like, huh? But it’s alright.”