Fat Joe claims MCs were scared to rap with Big Pun
(Credit: Mika Väisänen)

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Fat Joe claims MCs were scared to rap with Big Pun

‘What’s Luv?’ emcee and founder of the Terror Squad, Fat Joe, once revealed in a radio interview that rhymers used to be scared to rap alongside Big Pun and unveiled that he had to trick artists into rapping alongside his late counterpart.

During a sit-down with renowned radio personality Angie Martinez, the pair reflected on the contributions of Puerto Ricans to hip-hop following New York’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade. Partway through their discussion, the emcee (real name Jose Cartagena) unveiled that he had to use some sly tactics to get other MCs to feature on his 1998 single ‘John Blaze’ alongside Big Pun.

Telling a story about the Illmatic legend Nas, Cartagena disclosed, “In the most respectful way, it’s kinda like I set up Nas on that record because Pun really wanted to get on a record with Nas…Nas did the record one million percent, but there was artists, not Nas, but there was artists that was really scared to jump on records with Pun!”

He continued, “So we almost had to like gas guys like, ‘Yo, it’s my record’, and then throw Pun on it. The story is, you know, he waited for Cannabis about 30 to 100 sessions, and he never walked in the door to do the song with Pun.”

Cartagena revealed that Nas never knew Big Bun was on the song until it got released, stating, “He didn’t know. [Nas] came. He came twice, and he rocked, and he did it, and then Pun came on there…and we had to do that a lot with Pun. Like I had to get artists on his shit that didn’t know he was on the shit.”

Big Pun (real name Christopher Rios) was on several hit rap records before the turn of the millennium. From Fat Joe’s ‘John Blaze’ to Noreaga’s ‘Banned From TV,’ Rios ran rings around African-American lyricists.

More, during a 2020 interview with his prodigy child and fellow Bronx native Remy Ma, the iconic female lyricist unveiled that following the release of The Slim Shady LP, Big Pun was eager to collaborate with Eminem, revealing, “I can honestly say that he was waiting for Eminem. That was his thing. He was like, ‘I can’t wait to get on a track with him.’ That was his goal.”

You can listen to Fat Joe’s interview with Angie Martinez in the video below.