Over a decade ago, Hip Hop was dealt a major blow when news broke that the Bronx rhymer Big Pun had suddenly passed away from a heart attack. Now, Pun’s family is looking to celebrate his legacy by lobbying to have a street named after him in his beloved Boogie Down borough.
According to a recent article in the NY Daily News, Pun’s sister Nicole Rodriguez is relaunching an effort to have E. 163rd St. and Rogers Place in Longwood officially named Big Pun Place in his honor.
“I feel I owe this to my brother,” she said. “He was not only my brother, he was a father figure. He stepped in when my parents couldn’t. So I want to push for this. He deserves it…It would become a visual cemetery for everyone. My brother was cremated, so there’s nowhere to visit him. This way, his legacy will live on close to home.”
Rodiguez will be holding a a rally in support of the street name change this Saturday at 1 PM at the corner of the street in question. She has already acrued over 1,200 signatures in favor of the name change since establishing a website for the reinvigorated campaign in February. Rodriguez and her mother Gail Tirado will also be going before th Community 2 board to plead their cause.
“I want them to know that he was a regular person with imperfections and flaws like anyone else,” said Rodriguez. “If you have to be perfect to have a street named after you, then they would have to knock down every street here because no one is perfect.”
This isn’t the first time fans and family have lobbied to name a street after Big Pun. The original campaign was shot down by city council when it was first proposed in the summer of 2000.