During the late 1980s, a young Puerto Rican kid named Christopher Lee Rios wrote rap lyrics in the Bronx, New York. Growing up in a South Bronx neighborhood, Christopher Lee Rios lived inside the mecca of hip-hop and instantly became attached to hip-hop. Moving out on his own at 15 became a flashpoint moment in his life. Living without a roof over his head tested Christopher’s character and faith in himself. Being raised in the South Bronx includes escaping gang violence, drug-infested street corners, police brutality, and poverty.
Creation of Big Pun
During the mid-1990s, Christopher Lee Rios’s love for hip-hop motivated him to pursue it full-time. He created the start-up rap group Full-A-Clips with four of his close friends. Full-A-Clips recorded multiple unreleased records and highlighted the raw talent of Christopher Lee Rios. Creating the rap alias “Big Moon Dawg,” his journey to rap stardom officially began. Living the dream as a full-fledged rapper included excitement, high risk, and rap immortality.
However, Christopher was following his God-given purpose and representing the country of Puerto Rico. Developing his confidence in rapping, Christopher changed his stage name to “Big Punisher, aka Big Pun.” The change in his name to “Big Pun” would be one of the best marketing moves of his career, certainly one of the smartest.
Read his bio here.
In 1995, Big Pun met a young rising rap star named Fat Joe, and they would form a brotherhood that would never die. Finding your destiny is a beautiful moment, and you never forget the feeling. Big Pun joined Fat Joe on his second album, Jealous One’s Envy, besides appearing on the song, “Watch Out.” Big Pun’s rap flight of destiny left the ground and never landed.
Tasting success from Fat Joe’s album, Big Pun began recording tracks for his debut album Capital Punishment. Capital Punishment provided the soundtrack to Big Pun’s life. Besides illuminating his immensely talented rapping skills. Without a doubt, everyone from New York to Puerto Rico knew Big Pun’s moment had arrived.
The breakout track “Still Not A Player” featuring R&B star Joe skyrocketed Capital Punishment on the Billboard charts. “Still Not A Player” became an instant radio hit and achieved worldwide praise. Besides becoming a “club” anthem, it was a favorite amongst women listeners. Gaining serious momentum, the album sold more than a million copies, and Big Pun became the first platinum Latino artist.
The state of New York grandly honored Big Pun on March 22, 2021. New York created Big Pun Plaza at East Fordham Road and cemented his legacy. Families, friends, hip-hop’s elite, and local politicians took part in the ceremony.
Walking through the South Bronx, you can still hear people booming Big Pun’s music daily. His shadow continues to hover over New York and Puerto Rico. Big Pun’s legend lives in rap immortality.