The Big Punisher has finally been properly honored in his hometown.
A Bronx street has been named after one of the borough’s most famed rappers.
On Monday (March 22), Big Pun was honored in a street dedication ceremony that saw the unveiling of Big Pun Plaza, which is located on the corner of East Fordham Road and Grand Concourse. The clips of the ceremony were posted on Big Pun’s official Instagram page.
“In his short life, Big Pun was a tremendous contributor to the vibrant cultural life of the Bronx,” City Councilman Fernando Cabrera said at the ceremony. “I am proud to memorialize and honor Big Pun by co-naming this intersection Big Pun Plaza.”
“You guys are champions, you made it happen,” he told Pun’s family. “You came to us, and you said, ‘This has to happen in the Bronx,’ and it had to happen in the most famous, the most important intersection in the entire Bronx.”
Pun — Christopher Lee Rios — was born in the Bronx on Nov. 10, 1971. He started rapping and writing songs in the 80s, but his career took off after he met protegé Fat Joe in 1995 and appeared on his second studio album, Jealous One’s Envy. In 1998, the Big Punisher released his debut project Capital Punishment, which included “Still Not A Player,” his first mainstream single. The highly-acclaimed album earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album, and he became the first Latino emcee to have a platinum-selling record.
“This is beautiful…I am so appreciative of this moment,” Rios said during the ceremony. “Pun loved the Bronx. He embodied the Bronx, his soul, everything. He loved the Bronx, he loved its people.”
In the words of Ice Cube, “Today was a good day” ?????
Today was way over due and we, The Universal Hip Hop Museum, are so glad that we were apart of history and were able to celebrate the Icon Big Pun with his lovely family ??? pic.twitter.com/n8AQspAjjA
— The Universal Hip Hop Museum (@uhhmuseum) March 22, 2021
Unfortunately, Big Pun struggled with his weight which created health problems. In 2000, Pun suffered a heart attack and started experiencing respiratory failure. He was taken to a hospital where he died at the age of 28.