Christopher Lee Rios
(November 10, 1971 - February 7, 2000), better known by his stage name Big Pun
(short for Big Punisher
), was a Puerto-Rican American rapper 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" in 1997, and on Fat Joe's second album Jealous One's Envy
in 1995, on the track "Watch Out", prior to signing to Loud Records as a solo artist. Pun's lyrics are notable for technical efficiency, having minimal pauses to take a breath, heavy use of alliteration as well as internal and multi-syllabic rhyming schemes. He died from a heart attack at age 28 on February 7, 2000.
About.com ranked him #25 on its list of the 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time (1987-2007), while MTV2 ranked him #11 on its list of the "22 Greatest MCs." In 2012, The Source
ranked him #19 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. An article from The Rolling Stones Magazine states, "Pun embodied all of the traits of a master wordsmith: melody, a unique flow, an unforgettable voice, humor, and lyrics that made other MCs go back to their black and white composition notebooks."
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