- What’s the Best Song Intro of All-Time?
- Mac Miller’s “Watching Movies With the Sound Off” Will Outsell Kanye & Cole on June 18
- The Black Hippy “U.O.E.N.O. (Remix)” is the Only “U.O.E.N.O. (Remix)” I Care About
- J. Cole’s Puts “Born Sinner” vs. Kanye West’s “Yeezus”: Stupid, or Stupid Like a Fox?
- Fails: Nicki Minaj Takes The Lap Dance To New Levels Of Awkwardness (Video)
Classic Album: Big Pun’s “Capital Punishment” (Review & Video)Posted by Matt Juss on 12/15/10 | Filed under Top Stories, Features, Big Pun, Classic Albums
But through all this Christopher Rios, better known as Big Pun, came out stronger for it, pushing past adversity to achieve great success in the industry, although it wasn't an easy road. Throughout the 1980's and early '90's Big Pun began laying the groundwork for what was to come in the future, forming his own crew and refining his rapping skills.
The most significant moment of his early career came when he met rapper Fat Joe, who gave him his first chance to be a star, a move that paid off in ways neither of the two could have imagined. Although he passed away only two years after releasing his debut, Big Pun left a huge impact on the industry, becoming the first solo Latino rapper to have his album go platinum.
That album was the 1998 release "Capital Punishment", which was Big Pun's studio debut and the album that emphatically put him on the map. The album is filled with some amazing hardcore tracks, including "You Came Up", "I'm Not a Player", "Punish Me", "Still Not A Player" and "Beware". Although there are a bit too many skits and interludes on the album (seven), the rest of the track list outweighs that negative aspect.
"Beware" is the first full track on the album and is arguably one of Pun's best. It's a perfect way to kick start his debut, setting the tone right away with a haunting beat and a sweet Mobb Deep sample. Pun starts off with one of his best verses as he raps: "Yo...what you thought punk, shit was sweet, now you can't sleep/Gotta keep ya eyes open wide and hide ya face from the streets/I'm like the beast with a warrant, far from alarmin'/Gave you fair warnin' now you on the stairs swallin'/I'm callin' out any rapper that I doubt, smack 'em in the mouth/Throw 'em in the yoke, BOOM!, then I knock 'em out."
Many tracks on the album feature guest appearances including "You Came Up" which features Norega. The track is an excellent example of how Pun can swiftly and seamlessly change up styles, from some truly hardcore tracks on the album to this one, which has more of a laid back, R&B tone to it. Pun spits some fantastic lines on this track and references Tupac multiple times including at the edn of his firs verse when he raps: "I had to pay my due, lay a few/But I ain't saying who, stayin' true to da game/No names, playin' it cool just me and da crew/Holdin' it down long as we round/We gonna keep sockin' it to you like Homey the Clown/Going down like Pac ready to ride or die nigga/La da le la la la la la."
Two of the most well known and popular tracks on the album are "I'm Not a Player", and the remix of that track, "Still Not A Player". While "I'm Not A Player" was the first of the two to be released and is a very solid track, it's the remix that really helped Big Pun reach the top of the charts. The song is catchy and shows off Pun's lyrical skills, making himself seem arrogant yet self deprecating at the same time. In my opinion the beat is one of the best of the past couple decades, maybe even of all time. Looking back now, the beat is so recognizable paired with Big Pun's fantastic flow on the track.
Throughout each verse he spits some of his best lines, and the appearance of Joe on the track only adds to it. The two team up for one of the best choruses of all time as they spit: "I don't wanna be a player no more…I'm not a player I just fuck a lot/But Big Punisher, still got what you're lookin for/For my thug niggas, for my thug niggas/Uptown baby, uptown/Don't wanna be, don't wanna be - I don't wanna be a player no more/I'm not a player I just fuck a lot/But you know Big Punisher still down by law/Who's down to crush a lot."
Pun spits one of the best verses on the entire album on this track as he raps so smoothly: "I love from butter pecan to blackberry molass'/I don't discriminate, I regulate every shade of the (ass)/Long as you show class, and pass my test/Fat (ass and) breasts, highly intelligent bachlorettes/That's the best, I won't settle for less/I wanna ghetto brunette, with unforgettable sex/I lay your head on my chest, come feel my heartbeat/We can park the Jeep, pump Mobb Deep, and just spark the leaf."
Although I wouldn't say this album is groundbreaking in regards to style or in the evolution of the genre, one thing I would say is that it is one of the purely best produced albums of the entire decade. The beats are fantastic from top to bottom, and Pun's lyrics and flow are nearly second to none in regards to quality and delivery. Just listen to hip-hop classic "Twinz (Deep Cover '98)":
Many more of the album's cuts are considered the best tracks from the '90s without a doubt, and due to the sad fact that he passed away before his time was up, Big Pun will as well. Skits aside, this album is Big Pun's definitive album and is definitely a classic.