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Big Pun: The Legacy (DVD Review)

4 Sep, 2009 By: Angelique Flores

Big Pun

Street 9/15/09
$19.99 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for strong language throughout, and brief suggestive images.

Big Pun: The Legacy gives tribute to hip-hop artist Christopher Rios, known to most as Big Punisher. The documentary shows Pun not only as an artist but also as a family man, as told through interviews with many who knew him best.

It may be a little less controversial than the 2002 doc Still Not a Player, which details more of Pun’s dark side. But it still shows an honest look at both his good and bad sides.

Pun came from the Bronx. He suffered the loss of his father as a child, a bad relationship with his mother and abuse from his stepfather. He dropped out of high school, sold drugs and lived in the streets for a time.

He married his childhood sweetheart, Liza Rios, with whom he had three children.

The Grammy-nominated artist rose to the top of the hip-hop music scene as a gifted lyricist with flow that blew the minds of other hip-hop artists and legends.

As a Puerto Rican-American, Big Pun broke down doors for Latino artists. While he didn’t promote himself as a Latino artist, his culture was an innate part of him. Some argue that he validated Latinos as hip-hop artists in a black-dominated culture.

Eventually, his depression, eating disorders and addiction to food pushed his weight beyond 500 pounds, causing numerous health problems. Only two years after his first album went platinum, Pun was dead at age 28.

There’s also plenty of footage of Pun throughout his career in interviews as well as pictures of him as a boy and a young man before his weight gain, footage of his childhood home and school in the Bronx, and photos of Pun with his wife and kids.

The film gives a more intimate look at Pun, focusing on the man more than his music and the great legacy he left in hip-hop. Pun’s story and career are told through interviews with numerous hip-hop stars such as Snoop Dogg, DMX, Method Man, Xzibit, Ghostface Killah, Chuck D, B Real, Redman and other members of the hip-hop community and industry. His wife, childhood friends and those who worked closely with him offer personal stories about the artist. Even Puerto-Rican-American actress Rosie Perez weighs in.

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