Essential Mixtape: The 25 greatest Big Pun tracks ever made
(Credit: Hip Hop Hero)


Essential Mixtape: The 25 greatest Big Pun tracks ever made

Big Pun was undoubtedly one of the most influential Hispanic rappers of the 1990s, who broke down many doors during his short but sweet career as a recording artist. Born Christopher Rios, the rapper first gained fame due to his association with Fat Joe and quickly grew in popularity. Known for his tongue-twisting rhymes and lyricism, Pun also had the reputation of being a cheeky lothario.

Akin to Remy Ma, Rios grew up in the inner city projects of Castle Hill. As an adolescent, he was inspired by other artists hailed from the Bronx, such as Rakim and KRS-One. After seeing Fat Joe break into the mainstream, as a Puerto Rican from the Bronx, Rios was more convinced than ever that he could succeed as a rapper.

Desperate to enter the world of hip-hop, Big Pun tracked down Fat Joe, who was one of the most prominent Puerto Rican rappers of the early ’90s. After having successfully found the rapper (real name José Cartagena) Rios waited for him outside one of the Bronx’s many Bodegas. As Cartagena left Pun approached him. He then proceeded to ask him if he could rap for him. Cartagena was so impressed by Rios, as the head of a crew, Joe made Pun the face of the Terror Squad.

Upon Fat Joe’s recommendation, Rios signed to Loud Records, in 1998 Pun released his debut album, Capital Punishment. debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 and was certified as platinum by the RIAA. Furthermore, it was even nominated for a Grammy but ultimately lost to Jay-Z’s, Vol 2…Hardknock Life. As part of the Terror Squad, Rios also recruited Remy Ma, who in 2001, after appearing on the ‘Ante Up (remix)’ shot to fame.

Just before his death in 2000, Pun released a second album, Yeeeah Baby which debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 and, akin to Capital Punishment, was certified platinum by the RIAA. Clearly, on a rise to the top, Rios’s journey was cut short after he suffered a cardiac arrest in 2000 due to obesity-related heart issues. In tribute to the rapper we have compiled a thorough playlist to showcase his 25 best tracks of all time.

The 25 greatest Big Pun tracks ever made:

  • ‘Twinz (Deep Cover ’98)’ ft Fat Joe
  • ‘I’m Not A Player’
  • ‘Still Not A Player’ ft Joe
  • ‘Capital Punishment’ ft Prospect
  • ‘Caribbean Connection’ ft Wyclef Jean
  • ‘You Came Up’ ft Noreaga
  • ‘Fast Money’
  • ‘Parental Discretion’ ft Busta Rhymes
  • ‘Glamour Life’ ft Fat Joe, Triple Seis, Cuban Link, Fat Joe & Armageddon
  • ‘Super Lyrical’ ft Black Thought of The Roots
  • ‘It’s So Hard’ ft Donell Jones
  • ‘Ms. Martin’ ft Remy Ma
  • ‘New York Giants’ ft M.O.P
  • ‘You Ain’t A Killer’
  • ‘100%’ ft Tony Sunshine
  • ‘Fire Water’
  • ‘Fat Joe & Big Pun Freestyle’
  • ‘Leatherface’
  • ‘The Dream Shatterer’
  • ‘Boomerang’
  • ‘Banned From TV’ ft Nature, Noreaga, Cam’Ron, Jadakiss, Styles P
  • ‘My World’ ft Big Pun
  • ‘Brave In The Heart’
  • ‘Watcha Gon Do?’
  • ‘Rudeboy Salute’