Time has snuck up on us all and sixteen long years have passed since Big Pun’s untimely death at the age of 28.
His former partner-in-rhyme, Fat Joe has never let up off the throttle when it comes to keeping his legacy alive and in one month’s time, he and his “All the Way Up” co-star Remy Ma will be putting on A Tribute to Big Pun concert in Los Angeles at The Novo DTLA.
Time has also allowed it to be convenient to scream “RIP Big Pun” without directly acknowledging why the late Bronx heavyweight accomplished so much in so little time. Immerse yourself in the best Big Pun lyrics below to fully rectify the situation.
“I’ve seen it all up close, shit out the movies you’d be buggin’/My cousin JuJe, barely a juve’, lost it and turned on the oven/He wasn’t playing, blew out the flame and started inhaling/Baring a secret too deep to keep on the street for sharing/Wearing the virus Acquired Immune Deficiency dishin’ his dick in every thick promiscuous fish in the sea”
Just in case you didn’t get it the first time, always practice safe sex, kiddos.
“The Dream Shatterer”
“I shatter dreams like Jordan, assault and batter your team/Your squadron’ll be barred from rap like Adam and Eve from the garden/I’m carving my initials on your forehead/So every night before bed you see the ‘BP’ shine off the boardhead”
Capital Punishment’s most favored street single shatters at lot of so-called lyrical joints, even some on this list. Can rappers these days confidently scream out “BARS!” on :15 second social media clips after hearing this?
“Try to supply your physical with my spiritual side of this lyrical/I’ll appear in your dreams, like Freddy do, no kidding you/Even if I stuttered I would still sh-sh-sh-shit on you/Soon as I chitter chatter, your shit’ll shatter/I’m the kid out of Bronx, that’ll stomp you to death like it didn’t matter”
Like Biggie before him, Pun mastered wordplay to the affect where he felt comfortable enough to play around with onomatopoeia.
“Banned from T.V.”
“Uzi into your hearse, leave you double-dead/I’m a bubble head, I never listen to nothing my mother said/Ay yo I hold niggas ransom for money/Like Johnny Handsome/Been sonning niggas for so long, I think I got a grandson”
A couple of Big Pun clones would be welcomed right around now, don’t you think?
“A beaten horse like a slave getting minimum wage/Feeling the gauge, front page, these are the last days/Cash pays, and rules, the root of all evil/Shooting amigos for loot and perico polluting our people”
What goes around, comes back around, generally with additive qualities.
“Just call me Baby Jesus cause lately niggas be praising me/Just for the way I blaze the beat crazily, tape to CD lasery/It pays to be amazingly flavery/Gaze into my rhymes that basically hypnotize you occasionally”
We’re not going to say he bested Black Thought on this joint but Punisher certainly rose to the occasion when visibly challenged.
“Fuck all y’all non-believers/I roll with God, the Squad and TS/Out with the B.S. we platinum/They even doubted Jesus/Niggas is 85%, I’m 400 solid/Brainbolic with knowledge, cock-diesel scholars/Holding it down, walking around with gold by the pound/Frozen and drowned with diamond boulders all in the crown/Talk of the town, soaking you down wit toast ’til you drown/Ghost you and pound your corpse with a force that’ll open the ground/Save the jokes for the clowns…”
Talk about pushing your weight around on the track.
“I’m Not a Player”
“Capital Punishment, when I’m up in it, suckin it/Bustin it out, nice blouse, let me unbutton it/You’re fuckin wit King Papi Chulo when knockin culo/Pop your mulos out the socket tryin to ride with the sumo”
Pun could get straight-up nasty on the mic. In every variation of the word.
“Tres Leches (Triboro Trilogy)”
“Drop by your dwellin, got the nueve right behind your melon/Ain’t no telling when the bullet’s behind the trigger/I do it to live niggas and Pulitzer Prize winners/You wouldn’t survive nigga, if I chose you/Froze you from ear-to-ear, showin your whole vocal/Who told you, you could roll through, my lyrics practically rose you/From the grave, like The Crow’s do”
Pun was resurrecting Hip Hop enthusiasm and creating lyrical seances in the process.
“The best and the champion, that means I’m far beyond/Dionne read my palm, told me to get on and put my army on/Come along, follow the Don, my motto and song/Live for tomorrow, cause today’s almost already gone/Lets get on, split your belly with the machete, long/Tear your arms of your shoulders, and tell you to…HOLD ON!”
It was mighty difficult for rival MCs to attempt to rock the mic without any arms. Real talent handicaps the competition; simple as that.
“Drop it Heavy”
“We the best there is TS, ain’t nobody else/We probably Dove, cause we all way on top of the shelf/I’m locking your wealth with the master keys, freeze/Don’t try to breeze, or I’ma squeeze and blast the back of your knees/Just pass the cheese, please don’t test the toaster/My tech’ll roast ya body faster than Ferraris Testarossa”
This record was, and still is, of the CD player rewind with the :45 second skip protection lineage.
“I’m deadly/Niggas already dread me in every scary area/Beware of the jaw burier/Big dogs to terrier/Tearing the ears off of artistses/That’s mostly cartilage, No bullshitting, you rip em right off/Just pull em hard enough/Rolling with us, you must be ready for death/Hit you with so many rights/You going beg for a left”
100 percent rabid pit bull rap. Also, how underrated/overlooked was Cuban Link?
“I’m investing mils on a hunch over lunch/Puffin’ on a Chesterfield, who wants to test
The real scandalous/I’m at the Sands in Los Angeles/Planning hits with an ananymous philanthropist/Spanish kids, close to God, like evangelists/Choppin’ niggas up and makin’ sandwiches”
Food and eating rappers were ranked high amongst Big Pun’s loves. He found a way to juggle both like acrobats here.
“The Dream Shatterer”
“It’s Big Pun!/The one and only son of Tony, Montana/You ain’t promised mañana in the Rotten Manzana/C’mon pana/e need more rhymers/Feel the marijuana snake bite, anaconda/A man of honor wouldn’t wanna try to match my persona/Sometimes rhymin’ I blow my own mind like Nirvana, comma!/And go the whole nine like Madonna/Go try to find another rhymer with my kind of grammar”
We’ve been looking, but they don’t exactly grow on trees, y’know?
“The Hidden Hand”
“It’s like this/My soul was lifeless/I earned stripes fighting the nicest in the crisis I slice em in half and make em dash like hyphens/Inviting any rapper to clash with the titan/I’m writing’s like fighting cause rappers be biting like Tyson/I’m hypin’ the crowd, keepin’ em Loud like my label/I’m proud I’m able to lift from the bowels of the ghetto”
“I only flow with the real horrorcore/C-4 to your door, Pearl Harbor/We can bring it back
Pack the explosives and mini Macs/Gats in the holsters/Strapped to the shoulders of maniacs
Where we at? The projects/Where’s your gat? The closet/Aw shit, clidda-clack/Shoulda brung that, ya’ bastard”
“Twinz (Deep Cover ’98)”
“Dead in the middle of Little Italy little did we know that we riddled two middlemen who didn’t do diddly”
Arguably more impressive than the infamous “Little Italy” was the fact that Pun actually didn’t want to include it in their classic Death Row update.
Years ago, Fat Joe told Complex that it was like pulling teeth just to keep it on the record.
““I had to argue with him to put ‘Dead in the middle of Little Italy…’ in the song,” Crack said. “I was like, ‘That’s the hardest shit on earth.’ He was like, ‘Are you crazy? That’s a fuckin’ joke. Niggas will laugh at me. Are you serious?’ Then he did it, and it was the illest shit.”
Yes it was. Now, a “RIP Big Pun” seems more fitting, don’t you agree?