Big Pun, hip-hop’s famous South Bronx native, sadly passed away on February 7th last year. Pun took the rap world by storm with his single ‘Still Not A Player’ from his 1998 double-platinum debut album ‘Capital Punishment’, which first introduced heads to this Puerto Rican rapper’s lyrical skills. PKA Big Moon Dog, he became the protege of Fat Joe – who he met at Joe’s mother’s place in the Bronx – and was first heard on Joey Crack’s (now Fat Joe) ‘Jealous One’s Envy’ in 1996. Along with Cuban Link, Pun also appeared on The Beatnut’s 1997 party hit ‘Off The Books’, while ‘Yeeeah Baby’ was released by Loud on April 4th 2000.
‘Endangered Species’ is a tribute album that reminds us whose lives Pun came into, put together by his wife Liza and best friend, fellow Terror Squad member Fat Joe. Remembered as an incredible rapper and for all the classic cuts he put down during his short time on earth, Big Pun took his lyrical capability and humour on to a whole other level on ‘Yeeeah Baby’. ‘Endangered Species’ showcases some of his best collaborations and previously unreleased work, with Pun keeping his flow even tighter with the wide range of vibes on the album. ‘How We Roll’, the female-led cut, shows Pun’s Latino roots shine through, while the music spins through styles from the club classic ‘Still Not A Player’ featuring Joe to ‘Mamma’, beautifully sung by Terror Squad member Tony Sunshine, to the ghetto superstar feel of ‘Dream Shatterer’.
With guest appearances from Noreaga, The Beatnuts, female newcomer Remy Martin (lookout for her solo offering on Loud, sometime soon) to Terror Squad members Fat Joe and Cuban Link, this album certainly makes the memory of Pun a happy one. Rest In Peace Pun.