Christopher Rios, whose rap name was “Big Punisher” or Big Pun for short, was born November 10, 1971 om Bronx, New York. He caught his big break in 1995 when he met Fat Joe and appeared on his song “Watch Out.” His first hit was “I’m Not A Player” in 1997 and peaked at No. 3. He produced two albums during his short career, and after struggling with his weight for most of his life, he died tragically at the age of 28, weighing almost 700 pounds. Here are 10 little known facts about Big Pun’s life and career.
1. As a child, Big Pun grew up being fairly athletic playing basketball and boxing.
2. Big Pun left home at age 15 and eventually dropped out of high school after enduring a rough home life that included witnessing his mother’s drug abuse and his father’s death.
3. At one point, he was homeless and forced to stay in abandoned buildings, but Big Pun took control of his own education and was an avid reader.
4. Big Pun began writing rap lyrics in the 1990s after having a child with and marrying his girlfriend Liza who he had dated in junior high school. The couple eventually had two more children.
5. Big Pun’s first rap name was Big Moon Dog which he used when he formed the group Full a Clips Crew. Just before forming the group, Big Pun received a settlement worth an estimated half million dollars from a lawsuit his mother had filed against the city of Manhattan for a broken leg he had received while playing in a municipal park as a young boy.
6. After meeting Fat Joe and appearing on his song “Watch Out,” Big Pun joined the Terror Squad with Fat Joe. The group was made up of Latino rappers, and Fat Joe eventually helped Big Pun negotiate a contract with Loud Records.
7. Big Pun’s first album was “Capital Punishment,” which was released in 1998 and eventually rose to the No. 1 spot on the R&B/hip-hop album charts.
8. Selling more than 2 million copies of “Capital Punishment,” Big Pun was the first Latino rapper to go platinum, and he became a hero to many Puerto Ricans.
9. Big Pun’s second album, “Yeeah Baby,” was completed before he died but was released posthumously. The album peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard charts and earned gold record status within three months of being released.
10. Big Pun’s final album was the posthumous compilation of his work entitled, “Endangered Species.” The album peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200.
Big Pun often stated that his overreating was driven by depression and concerns about providing for his family.