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Big Punisher

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Bronx, New York NY, United States (1995 – 2000)

Christopher Lee Rios (November 9, 1971 - February 7, 2000), better known as Big Pun or Big Punisher, was a Puerto Rican American per who emerged from the underground rap scene in The Bronx in the late 1990s. He first appeared on albums from The Beatnuts on the track “Off The Books” and on Fat Joe’s second album in 1995, Jealous One’s Envy, on the track “Watch Out”, prior to signing to LOUD RECORDS as a solo artist. Big Pun’s career was cut short in 2000 at age 28 by a fatal heart attack due to his obesity. He is survived by a wife, Liza Rios, and three children. Big Pun was the first solo Latino rapper to sell over one million LPs. His first stage name was Big Moon Dawg. His name comes from the Marvel comic book anti-hero The Punisher.

Born in the Bronx during the early years of hip-hop, Christopher Rios grew up in an athletic tradition, enjoying basketball, boxing, and other sports. At the age of five, he broke his leg in a Manhattan municipal park, which would later (after several minimum wage jobs in New York and Miami, where he briefly relocated) net him a settlement from the city, to the tune of $500,000. At the age of 15, Pun dropped out of Stevenson High School. Sometime during the ’80s, Rios began to write rap lyrics, forming the Full A Clips Crew with Triple Seis, Cuban Link, and Prospect. After meeting fellow Puerto Rican and Bronx rapper Fat Joe, in 1995, Pun became increasingly associated with him, making his commercial debut on Fat Joe’s second album, Jealous Ones Envy (J.O.E.).

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