The legacy of Big Pun will certainly live on as the late rapper receives Bronx road named after him.
Bronx-born Christopher Lee Rios, known as his stage name Big Pun, became one of Hip Hop’s most celebrated emcees. Discovered by fellow New York artist Fat Joe, Big Pun appeared on Joe’s second studio album, Jealous One’s Envy. Two years later, in 1998, he released his debut album Capital Punishment. Helped by single, I’m Not a Player, the album peaked at number one on the Top R&B Albums Chart. In addition, it became the first solo Latin hip hop record to go Platinum. Sadly, it’s his only release before his death. He suffered a heart attack and respiratory failure two years later at the age of twenty-eight.
Big Pun put a marker down for Latin Hip Hop artists to break through into the music industry. On Monday, March 22, in honor of his life, a road in his hometown borough was named after him. As a result, his legacy will now live on eternally with Big Pun Plaza. Fans can find it located on the corner of East Fordham Road and Grand Concourse. In attendance at the ceremony, President of Bronx Borough Ruben Diaz Jr. and members of Big Pun’s family. His wife, Liza Rios, described the unveiling as “Beautiful.” She said: “This is beautiful. I’m so appreciative of this moment. Pun loved the Bronx. He embodied the Bronx, his soul, everything. He loved the Bronx, he loved its people.”
Previously, in 2019, fellow New York rapper, The Notorious B.I.G. received a similar honor in Brooklyn. The corner of Fulton Street and St. James Place changed to Christopher Wallace Way. Big Pun’s youngest son, Chris Rivers who also raps, took to Instagram to share the exciting news. “Today!!! My father gets a street named after him!! Fordham Rd and Grand Concourse. 12-1 pm, pull up if ya wanna be there for history !!! Love!!!!” Furthermore, as news spread about the unveiling, social media showed love and praise for Big Pun. The Universal Hip Hop Museum tweeted: “Today was way overdue. 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.”