|Big Pun Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 7½ in|
|Date of Birth||November 10, 1971|
Big Pun was an American rap artist and actor who was a product of the underground hip hop scene from The South Bronx, New York City, New York, United States. The first Latino rapper to have a certified platinum album as a solo artist, he was also a celebrated rapper of his time. Big Pun started composing raps in the late 1980s and made his commercial debut in Fat Joe’s album, Jealous One’s Envy, in 1995. He had a troubled childhood and, hence, suffered from depression. To cope with the depression, Big Pun often resorted to eating which made him gain weight at a tremendous pace. His debut album, Capital Punishment, was released on April 28, 1998, and it gained him all the deserved praise and attention and it was nominated for a Grammy as well. Big Pun was also a member of the hip hop group, Terror Squad, and worked on its debut album alongside the other group members. Most of Big Pun’s works were released posthumously as he died at the age of 28. He had also appeared in a couple of TV shows and films and some of his albums included the likes of Endangered Species and Yeeeah Baby.
Christopher Lee Rios
Big Pun, Big Punisher, Big Moon Dawg, Chris
Big Pun was born on November 10, 1971.
He died on February 7, 2000, after suffering from a heart attack and respiratory failure at the age of 28 in White Plains, New York, United States. He was rushed to the hospital but paramedics were unable to revive him. Later, he was cremated and buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, New York on February 12, 2000.
The South Bronx, New York City, New York, United States
Big Pun attended the Stevenson High School. However, at the age of 15, he decided to drop out. He had also taken some training in boxing.
- Father – Unknown
- Mother – Gail Tirado
- Siblings – Nicole Rodriguez (Sister), Christine Rios (Sister), Nyree Rios (Sister), Piña Rios (Sister). Big Pun also had a brother.
- Others – Carmen de la Tajera (Grandmother)
5 ft 7½ in or 171.5 cm
300 kg or 661.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Big Pun had dated –
- Liza Rios – Big Pun got married to his high school sweetheart, Liza Rios, on May 5, 1990, in the Bronx, New York. The duo got married using the handsome amount of the settlement money that Big Pun received from the city for an incident that occurred in 1976 in which 5 years old Big Pun broke his leg while playing in a park. Soon after, they moved into a home and started their married life. The couple was blessed with 3 children – 2 girls named Amanda Rios and Vanessa Rios and a boy named Christopher Lee Rios Jr. (aka Chris Rivers). Chris Rivers is the youngest child of the duo and was born on November 15, 1993. He has followed in the footsteps of his late father as a rap artist and is also known as Baby Pun. Moreover, Liza Rios was there for all the ups and downs that Big Pun went through both professionally as well as personally and they were together until the last of his days.
- Karrine Steffans (2000) – It was also speculated that writer, former actress, and former video vixen, Karrine Steffans, and Big Pun had a fling in the year 2000.
Race / Ethnicity
Big Pun was of Puerto Rican descent.
- Imposing physique
- Round face
- Often used to wear a cap
- Sported a goatee
Big Pun’s song, Still Not a Player, ft. Fat Joe was used in Google Pixel 2 TV Commercial, ‘Funny You Should Ask …’ in 2017.
Best Known For
- Releasing his debut album, Capital Punishment (1998), which became a major success and was also nominated for a Grammy
- Being a member of Terror Squad alongside Fat Joe, Cuban Link, Prospect, Armageddon, and Triple Seis
- His work that was released posthumously which included albums such as Endangered Species and Yeeeah Baby
Big Pun released his debut studio album, Capital Punishment, on April 28, 1998. It included tracks such as Taster’s Choice, The Dream Shatterer, Still Not a Player, You Ain’t a Killer, I’m Not a Player, Capital Punishment, The Rain & the Sun, You Came Up, Charlie Rock Shout, and Parental Discretion.
The album ranked at number #1 in the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart, at number #5 in the Billboard 200 chart, and at number #11 in the Top Canadian Albums chart. Also, in 1999, the album got nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Rap Album” category.
As a member of the hip hop group named Terror Squad, Big Pun released his first studio album, The Album, on September 21, 1999. It consisted of songs such as In for Life, Pass the Glock, Whatcha Gon Do?, Triple Threat, Feelin’ This, As the World Turns, War, Tell Me What U Want, and My Kinda Girls.
In 1999, Big Pun made his first theatrical film appearance as Don Flip Crew in the comedy movie, Whiteboyz, which starred the likes of Danny Hoch, Dash Mihok, Mark Webber, Piper Perabo, and Snoop Dogg. However, Big Pun was not credited for his role.
Then, he made his first feature film appearance as Punny in 1999 in the drama movie, Thicker Than Water. Big Pun starred alongside the likes of Mack 10, Fat Joe, MC Eiht, Kidada Jones, and Ice Cube in the movie.
Big pun made his first credited theatrical film appearance by starring as himself in the drama film, Boricua’s Bond, in 2000. His co-stars in the film included Frankie Negrón, Method Man, Tyson Beckford, Redman, Treach, and Sticky Fingaz.
First TV Show
Big Pun made his first TV show appearance as himself in an episode, titled A Terrible Thing Happened on My Tour of College, of the family comedy-drama series, Moesha, in November 1998.
Big Pun struggled with his weight throughout his adult life. At the age of 18, he weighed around 82 kg or 180.5 lbs which only went on to increase at a great pace reaching somewhere around 140 kg or 308.5 lbs as he turned 21. As a solution to his fluctuating weight problem, he decided to get enrolled in a weight-loss program at Duke University. It helped him lose around 36 kg or 79.5 lbs but he then dropped out of the program and, as a result of that, regained all the weight.
Big Pun Favorite Things
- MCs – KRS-One, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim
Source – AmbrosiaForHeads.com
Big Pun Facts
- Big Pun was raised in the South Bronx neighborhood of the New York City, New York, United States.
- While growing up, he used to play basketball and other sports as well and was counted as a star athlete.
- At the age of 15, he decided to move out of his mother’s house due to which he became homeless for some time in the late 1980s.
- Big Pun started his musical pursuits in the late 1980s and began composing rap lyrics.
- He also founded the underground group, Full-A-Clips, alongside Lyrical Assassin, Joker Jamz, and Toom. During this time, he was known by his alias Big Moon Dawg.
- He was introduced to Fat Joe in 1995 and soon after, Big Pun made his commercial debut on Fat Joe’s second album, Jealous One’s Envy.
- Big Pun was also a member of the hip hop group, named Terror Squad, founded by Fat Joe, alongside Cuban Link, Prospect, Armageddon, and Triple Seis.
- Big Pun had a rough childhood which made him suffer from depression and as a coping mechanism, he would turn to food which furthered his extreme weight gain journey. He gained so much weight during his lifetime that it became impossible for him to tie his own shoelaces. He weighed around 136 kg or 300 lbs at the age of 21. Moreover, at the time of his death, his weight reached a maximum of 317 kg or 699 lbs.
- The celebrities that either attended Big Pun’s funeral or sent flowers included Whitney Houston, Eminem, Cypress Hill, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Lil’ Kim, LL Cool J, Mack 10, The Lox, Wyclef Jean, and Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony.
- His increasing weight problems always haunted him and all his friends often argued with him about the same. As a result, Big Pun often avoided eating with or around his friends.
- He had a Saturday Night Live performance scheduled alongside Fat Joe and Jennifer Lopez but on February 5, 2000, he had to cancel the plan due to his health issues.
- His debut studio album, Capital Punishment, is the only album that was released while he was still alive. It is also the first solo Latin hip hop record to go ‘Platinum’.
- His 2nd studio album, Yeeeah Baby, was released on April 4, 2000, as his posthumous work. It secured the number #3 position on the Billboard 200 chart and sold more than 179,000 units during its first week of release. It was also ranked at number #1 in the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and was also certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
- Big Pun’s compilation album, Endangered Species, was released on April 3, 2001. The posthumous album consisted of tracks such as You Ain’t a Killer, Intro, How We Roll, Still Not a Player, Off the Books, Banned from T.V., and Brave in the Heart. The proceeds from the album were supposed to be received by Big Pun’s wife and their children but his wife later claimed that she only received a small royalty check.
- In June 2005, Big Pun’s wife put her husband’s $100,000 custom Terror Squad medallion up for an auction on eBay as she was facing financial difficulties because she did not receive any royalties from the sales of Big Pun’s albums.
- A documentary named Big Pun: The Legacy was released in September 2009 as a tribute to the well-known artist.
- Fat Joe was one of his best friends and after the death of Big Pun, he told New York Times that ‘I lost a brother.’
- Big Pun was ranked at number #25 in the “50 Greatest MCs of All Time” list by About.com and MTV2 ranked him at number #11 on its “22 Greatest MCs” list.
- He was placed at number #19 on the “Top 50 Lyricists of All Time” list created by the hip hop and entertainment website and magazine, The Source, in 2012.
- Follow Big Pun on Spotify and iTunes.
Featured Image by BIG PUNISHER / Instagram