Big Pun and Fat Joe are two of the most influential and successful rappers in the history of hip hop. They were both members of the Terror Squad, a rap group that dominated the charts in the late 90s and early 2000s. They were also close friends and collaborators, who often referred to each other as “twins” due to their similar appearance and style. But were they actually related by blood? And what caused their relationship to sour after Big Pun’s death in 2000? In this article, we will explore the facts and myths behind their friendship and feud, and how they impacted the rap industry and culture.
How Did Big Pun and Fat Joe Meet?
Big Pun, whose real name was Christopher Rios, was born in 1971 in the Bronx, New York. He grew up in a poor and violent neighborhood, where he witnessed drug abuse, crime, and domestic violence. He dropped out of high school at 15, and became involved in street life, selling drugs and committing robberies. He also developed a passion for rap music, and started writing his own lyrics and freestyling.
Fat Joe, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena, was born in 1970 in the Bronx, New York. He also grew up in a rough environment, where he was exposed to drugs, gangs, and violence. He was a graffiti artist and a breakdancer, before he decided to pursue a career in rap music. He released his debut album Represent in 1993, which featured the hit single “Flow Joe”.
Fat Joe met Big Pun in the early 90s, when he heard him rap at a local club. He was impressed by his skills and charisma, and invited him to feature on his song “Watch Out” from his 1995 album Jealous One’s Envy. He also welcomed him to his rap group Terror Squad, where he gave him his stage name Big Punisher. Together, they formed a strong bond and friendship, that would lead to many successful collaborations.
How Did Big Pun and Fat Joe Become Stars?
Big Pun made his official debut on Fat Joe’s 1998 album Don Cartagena, where he appeared on four tracks. He also released his own solo album Capital Punishment in 1998, which became the first album by a solo Latino rapper to go platinum. The album featured the hit singles “I’m Not a Player”, “Still Not a Player”, “You Came Up”, and “Twinz (Deep Cover ’98)”, which showcased his remarkable lyrical abilities and flow. He also collaborated with other rap stars such as The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Busta Rhymes, Noreaga, and Wyclef Jean.
Fat Joe also achieved more fame and success with his albums Don Cartagena and Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.) in 1998 and 2001 respectively. He also formed a supergroup called The Murderers with Ja Rule and DMX in 1999, which later became known as Murder Inc. He also worked with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Ashanti, Remy Ma, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, Eminem, and Dre.
Big Pun and Fat Joe were both considered as leaders of the Latino rap movement, as they represented their Puerto Rican heritage and culture proudly. They also influenced many other rappers with their style and skills, such as Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Bad Bunny.
What Happened After Big Pun’s Death?
Big Pun suffered from obesity throughout his life, which caused him many health problems. He weighed over 700 pounds at his heaviest point, and had difficulty breathing, walking, and performing. He tried to lose weight several times, but failed to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. On February 7th, 2000, he died from a heart attack at the age of 28.
His death shocked the rap world and his fans, who mourned his loss and celebrated his legacy. His second album Yeeeah Baby was released posthumously in April 2000, which reached gold status. His third album Endangered Species was released in 2001, which featured unreleased tracks and collaborations with other artists.
Fat Joe was devastated by Big Pun’s death, as he considered him as his brother and best friend. He dedicated his album J.O.S.E. to him, and continued to honor him in his songs and interviews. He also helped launch the careers of Big Pun’s son Chris Rivers and protege Remy Ma.
However, Fat Joe’s relationship with Big Pun’s wife Liza Rios became strained after Big Pun’s death. Liza claimed that Fat Joe owed her money from Big Pun’s royalties and earnings, which he denied. She also accused him of neglecting her and her children, and exploiting Big Pun’s name and image. She filed a lawsuit against him in 2014, seeking over $1 million in damages. The case was settled out of court in 2016, but the details were not disclosed.
Fat Joe and Liza Rios have continued to exchange insults and accusations on social media and in the press, showing no signs of reconciliation. They have also clashed over the recognition and celebration of Big Pun’s legacy, such as his street naming ceremony in the Bronx in 2021, which Fat Joe did not attend.
Is Big Pun Related to Fat Joe?
The answer is no, Big Pun and Fat Joe are not related by blood. They were friends and collaborators, who shared a similar background, culture, and passion for rap music. They also looked alike, due to their large size and appearance, which led them to call each other “twins”. However, they were not biologically related, nor did they have any family ties.
Big Pun and Fat Joe had a complex and controversial relationship, that was marked by love, loyalty, success, betrayal, conflict, and tragedy. They were both rap legends, who left a lasting impact on the hip hop industry and culture. They were also human beings, who had their flaws, mistakes, and struggles. Their story is one of the most fascinating and heartbreaking in rap history.