It’s been 15 years since Big Pun’s saddening death, and the hip hop community is still feeling his loss every day. The iconic rapper passed away on February 7, 2000, but he is still celebrated by the music industry as often as possible, especially today, as it is his birthday. Pun would have been turning 44 years old today if he were still alive, but his legacy is very much still going strong through his peers, rap fans, and artists who were influenced by him.
The MC started out his career by writing raps in the 80’s before joining together with the group, Full A Clips, where he went under the alias of Big Moon Dawg. While recordings from the group were never released in the 90’s, he soon became a solo artists as Big Punisher, collaborating with Bronx rapper Fat Joe in 1995 on his second album. This would lead to him releasing the original version of “I’m Not A Player,” which was an underground hit.
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By 1996, Pun released the remix to “Not A Player,” featuring Joe, and it became a smash hit single in mainstream music. He then worked on his debut album, Capital Punishment, which was nominated for a Grammy that year. It also peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200 chart. In 1998, Pun became a member of the Terror Squad, and was featured on the group’s collaboration album with Fat Joe in 1999.
Despite enrolling in a weight loss program in North Carolina, losing 80 pounds, Pun being overweight became a health issue for the rapper. He eventually gained back the weight that he lost through the program, and tragically suffered a heart attack while staying with family as his home was being renovated. He was at his peak weight, coming in at 698 pounds, having left behind his wife, Liza, and their three children, who are grown up now.
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