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Big Pun
Chrisopher Rios
Big Punisher
February 7, 2000
Age 28 
 Heart Attack 
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Editor's Pick: Capital Punishment

  Rapper Big Punisher Dead Of Apparent Heart Attack
                     Bronx, N.Y. rapper Big Punisher died suddenly Monday (Feb. 7) from an 
                     apparent heart attack. Details are sketchy at press time, but he 
                     reportedly had a history of heart problems. He was 28.  

                     The rotund rapper made noise in the hip-hop world with guest appearances 
                     on works by Fat Joe, Rakewon, and the Beatnuts. His 1998 debut CD, 
                     Capital Punishment (Loud Records), featured heavy-hitting 
                     guests like Wyclef Jean, Busta Rhymes, Noreaga, and 
                     Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and Inspectah Deck. A second CD was 
                     in the works.  

                     Big Punisher, born Christopher Rios, is survived by a wife and 
                     three children.  

                     Loud Records representatives were not available for 
                     comment. allstar will have further details when they become 

                                                    -- Donna DeChristopher -- CDNow

  Rapper Big Pun Dies at 28 

                            By SHARON L CRENSON 
                            Associated Press Writer  

                            NEW YORK (AP) -- Christopher Rios, the platinum-selling 
                            rapper known as Big Pun who was respected for his 
                            imaginative lyrics and smooth delivery, died Monday. He was 

                            Rios was pronounced dead at 3:53 p.m., and the cause of 
                            death was to be determined by the medical examiner, said a 
                            spokeswoman at White Plains Hospital in suburban New 
                            York. His publicist, David Granoff, said it appeared Rios died 
                            of a heart attack.  

                            "He was beloved, and admired, and accomplished, and rich,'' 
                            Granoff said.  

                            He credited Rios, who was Puerto Rican, with working to 
                            bring Latino entertainers into rap, a style traditionally 
                            dominated by black artists. 

                            The rap world started to take notice of Rios -- whose stage 
                            name was short for Big Punisher -- after appearances with  
                            fellow rapper Fat Joe and a feature on "The Mix Tape Vol. 1''  
                            put together by Funkmaster Flex. 

                            His street hit "You Ain't a Killer'' was featured on the "Soul in 
                            the Hole'' soundtrack and his first album, "Capital 
                            Punishment'' went double platinum and was nominated for a 
                            Grammy last year. 

                            Rios' second album, '' Yeah, Baby,'' was due out in April. 

                            "Big Pun possessed a lyrical gift of incessant breath control 
                            and a knockout punch with the rhymes,'' a reviewer wrote 
                            about rapper for sonymusic.com. 

                            Known earlier in his career as Big Moon Dog, the entertainer 
                            was once an avid basketball player and boxer, but later said 
                            he took to eating "until he couldn't tie his shoelaces.'' 

                            Jimmy Rodriguez, a longtime friend, said he would be missed. 

                            "Anybody that knew or ever come in contact with Big Pun 
                            would have walked away saying that they just walked away 
                            from a gentle giant,'' Rodriguez said. "He was so special.'' 

                            Rios, who lived in the Bronx, was survived by his wife Liza, 
                            and three young children: Christopher, Vanessa, and 

Update: Big Punisher Suffers Fatal Heart Attack 

                                       Rapper Big Punisher, currently heard on Jennifer 
                                      Lopez' "Feelin' So Good" single, suffered a heart 
                                      attack and was pronounced dead Monday afternoon 
                                      at the age of 28. 

                                      A hospital spokesperson declined to discuss details 
                                      of the rapper's condition, and told MTV News that Big 
                                      Pun (real name Christopher Rios) was dead on arrival 
                                      at the hospital at approximately 4 p.m. (ET) Monday 

                                      Rios is survived by a wife and three children. 

                                      Big Pun made his name in the hip-hop underground, 
                                      and then, in 1998, rode the made-for-radio vibe of 
                                      "Still Not a Player" to the top of the R&B chart... and 
                                      full-blown rap stardom.  

                                      His 1997 debut album, "Capital 
                                      Punishment" got rave reviews and a 
                                      Grammy nomination. For over a 
                                      year, Pun was in the limelight, 
                                      working with his friend, mentor and 
                                      fellow rapper Fat Joe and their group 
                                      The Terror Squad. 

                                      Hailed as a lyricist on the order the 
                                      late Biggie Smalls, Pun's sudden 
                                      stardom was accompanied and then 
                                      eclipsed by concerns about his 
                                      health, especially his disabling 
                                      weight. Friends and fans worried, but the man himself 
                                      tended to joke about it. 

                                      "When a big guy could do something that skinny 
                                      people can do, it's even more impressive. It looks 
                                      even better," Pun told MTV News in 1998. " When 
                                      you got a fat guy... it'll stand out even more. It's like, 
                                      'Wow, I didn't expect him...' Like when Joe'll rhyme 
                                      and I'll come out people will think I'm his bouncer, 
                                      and I'll be spittin' ... people are like 'Wow!'" 

                                      As his weight passed the 450-pound mark, Pun 
                                      found it increasingly difficult to perform, or even to 
                                      walk. Interviews had to be conducted at his home. 
                                      Big Pun had been slated to join Lopez and Fat Joe 
                                      for a performance of "Feelin' So Good" on last 
                                      weekend's edition of "Saturday Night Live," but not 
                                      turn up on the show. At the time of his death, the 
                                      rapper was preparing to release his sophomore 
                                      album, titled "Yeehah Baby," in April. 

                                                               -- Andréa Duncan

Business Wire
 Big Punisher Passes On


Hip-Hop World Mourns Loss Of Beloved New York Rapper  

The esteemed rapper Big Punisher (a.k.a. Big Pun, nee Christopher Rios) passed away of 
natural causes in White Plains, New York, on the afternoon of February 7, 2000.  

A South Bronx native of Puerto Rican descent, Big Punisher brought a sense of personal and community pride into his trademarked and highly influential rap style which led to his signing with Loud Records.  

``Pun was much more than one of the most talented rappers today,'' said Steve Rifkind, Chairman & CEO, Loud Records.  ``He was a true gentleman, family man, and friend. I, my partners Rich Isaacson and Jonathan Rifkind, and everyone at Loud have lost a close family member. Our hearts go out to his wife, his children, and his fans.''  

Big Punisher took the rap world by storm with his breakout single, ``Still Not A Player,'' and his 1998 RIAA double-platinum debut album, Capital Punishment. He was enjoying the current success of ``Feelin' So Good,'' a collaboration with Jennifer Lopez and longtime friend and mentor Fat Joe.  

``Pun was many things,'' said Fat Joe. ``To me, he was my brother; to the hip-hop community, he was a living legend; to Latinos everywhere, he broke down barriers in the entertainment industry. But most importantly, he was a man, a husband and a father.  He will be missed but never forgotten.  

At the time of his death, Big Punisher was preparing to release Yeeeah Baby, his eagerly-awaited sophomore album on Loud Records.  

Mr. Rios was born on November 9, 1971, and is survived by his wife and three children. 

Big Pun Funeral,  Memorials, and Tributes Compiled 
by Richard Louissaint in Blaze 

              After the abrupt passing of platinum-selling and 
          Grammy-nominated rapper Big Pun, whose real name is 
          Christopher Rios, fans and friends alike have come 
          out to pay homage the emcee. As we reported 
          yesterday, a memorial mural had been painted in the 
          Bronx, New York in honor of the rapper by the TATS 
          Cru, a graffiti art company. Since then, the mural has 
          become a makeshift shrine, with flowers being laid 
          out and liquor being poured by fans and friends in 
          remembrance of the rapper. In addition, famed 
          mixtape producer DJ Clue will release an underground 
          mixtape dedicated to Big Pun this Friday.  

          The Ortiz Funeral Home in the Bronx will open its 
          doors today and Friday to the public, and will allow 
          fans to pay their respects to Rios. Hours are today 6 
          p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. The 
          address for the funeral home is 2121 Westchester 
          Ave., Bronx, NY. For more info on the public viewing 
          call (718) 931-1500. A private service and burial will 
           take place this weekend. Big Pun died Monday, 
           February 7 at White Plains Hospital in New York. The 
           official cause of death has not been released, but it 
           was believed that his massive weight, which was 
           lose to 700 lbs, played a role in his death. 

Pun's Death Inspires Fat Joe to Diet
Reported in Spin 
This week's tragic death of friend and sometime partner Big Pun has inspired fellow overweight rapper Fat Joe to seriously address his weight problem. Although Joe, at 350 lbs is positively svelte compared to Pun's lethal 600-plus girth, Joe isn't taking the recent developments lightly.  The rapper told the New York Post yesterday: "I've got to drop some weight. I have no choice... I've got two kids and I want to be around to see them grow up. But it's very hard. I'm constantly battling with my weight." Joe will have to lay off his non-slimming celebrity sandwich (an honor bestowed earlier this month by the famous Stage Deli in Manhattan) which boasts a couple of fried eggs, turkey, and melted cheese (but the turkey's okay, isn't it?). Pun will be memorialized tomorrow in the Bronx during a two day wake at the Ortiz Funeral Home on Westchester Avenue (2 PM to 10 PM Thursday and Friday). 


All-Music Guide
  Born: November 9, 1971
 Big Punisher is a Bronx-based hardcore rapper who earned a solid underground reputation in the  late '90s by appearing on records by Fat Joe, Raekwon and the Beatnuts. He signed to Loud  Records, a division of RCA, in 1997, and a massive publicity campaign was launched to promote  him. Stickers, posters, advertisements and fliers boasting his "Big Pun" logo were circulated in large  cities, getting his name out to the appropriate circles. Before his debut album was released, his "I'm  Not a Player" single was an underground hit, and he hosted Rap City's Soul in the Hole television  special. His debut, Capital Punishment, was finally released in the spring of 1998. It featured a  number of guest rappers and big-name producers, including the TrackMasters, the Beatnuts, RZA,  Show Biz, B-Real, Inspectah Deck, Fat Joe, Wyclef Jean, Kool G Rap, Noreaga and Busta  Rhymes. -- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide



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