On February 7, 2000, we lost one of Bronx's Finest: Big Pun. And since then, there hasn't been a single rapper from New York City's upper-most borough who could establish the same amount of success-- "physically, lyrically, hypothetically, realistically."
Or in my words: commercially. Memorably. Strategically. And by "strategically," I mean being able to cleverly take a commercial beat that any and everyone can like-- and throwing hard core lyrics on top. Something that is damn near extinct ten years later.
Someone said they didn't understand why so many people liked Pun. "What? Because of that 'one line' he spit on 'Deep Cover '98'? Not convinced."
Some may have become die-hard fans because of that 'one line.' But I think a lot of us who came up in the '80s and '90s -- the generations who came up with "real" rap music-- were effortlessly keen to hip-hop's true image. It was a given. With that said, it can be asserted that hip-hop was deeply embedded in our lives, welded into the airwaves of mainstream radio, and very much apart of our history, thus granting us ears for talent. A lot of us knew just by listening to a rapper what kind of potential he had-- or didn't. So for a bulk of the Pun fans, I think Capital Punishment put in our minds that this was the beginning of something big. Really big. And we were instant Pun supporters, because somehow we knew that his debut was just a sip of the giant pot of gold that had yet to be served.
But then he passed away before he got a chance to prove that. At least, prove that to the skeptics and the unconvinced. For us, all he had to do was confirm our enthusiasm.
Pun wasn't around long enough. He really wasn't.
In the past ten years, a lot has changed in The Bronx. You got these corn ball real estate agents trying to call 138th St. and beyond "SoBro." WTF?! It's South Bronx, f*ckers. And that won't change. Ever.
I wonder what Pun would say if he saw this sh*t going on. In fact, I wonder what Pun would say about a lot of these cornball ass rappers. Or corn ass Fat Joe, who might as well unzip his pants and piss all over Pun's widow. And then laugh and drive off in the car that he probably got from Pun's royalty checks.
It's one thing to hear rumors. But it's another to hear a lot of the borough--and Pun's loved ones-- saying the same thing. Which means there must be some kind of validity to those claims.
But hey-- money is the root of all evil. Beware.
This is not the "official" video, by the way.
R.I.P, Pun. Eleven years later, they still struggle to match or surpass your presence. So far, there hasn't been one that can even meet you half way.