When Big Pun came to prominence, the world took notice of a talent at no time seen again in music. He was truly one of a kind. Even with his life cut short, the impact he made on hip-hop was monumental. So ranking the Best Big Pun songs was a must. He is arguably one of the greatest lyricist of all time. His wordplay was masterful and unorthodox, with a cadence and rhyme scheme unmatched by his contemporaries. You pair that with his ability to make outstanding records and impressive lyrical gymnastics gave him his own identity.
So today, we’ve decided to curate an editorial of the Top 10 Best Big Pun Songs of all-time. We thought about doing a Big Pun Greatest Hits but changed our direction. Now we understand that music is subjective. You may or may not not agree with this list, and we honestly don’t really care if you do. If you find it in accordance with your own views, great. If you don’t, that’s great too. Create your own list and share it with us. With no more ado, let’s get started with number 10 of Big Pun’s greatest songs.
Big Pun – It’s So Hard ft. Donell Jones
The reason this track sits at number ten is that it’s our least favorite record on the list (obviously). It’s still an excellent record. I give it its flowers because it was Big Pun being a bit more playful with his rhymes. When he fine tuned his verses, he just didn’t miss. Although we prefer his aggressively tuned bars as they feel far more potent. “It’s So Hard” makes the list solely because of his lyrical versatility. He’s far more lax on this record than others and still gives a solid effort. A complete contrast to the music of today.
Big Pun – The Dream Shatterer
Rap or go to the league, if you rapped during the era of Big Pun you feared this mans versatility and confidence on the microphone. He was your favorite rappers favorite rapper. He could say so much in just 4 bars. A skill only the most elite of emcee’s can say they’ve mastered. Kin to the likes of JAY-Z in how his wordplay would leave you in awe. This same level of respect should’ve applied to Big Pun. His Bars on “The Dream Shatterer” will leave you wondering “How in the world did he put it all that together like that”. For example:
”When you awaken, your manhood’ll be taken, Fakin’ like your satan when I’m the rhymin’ abomination“
Yeah, that’s not someone you want to go bar for bar with. Take a listen, it truly is a great representation of his ability to sculpt the listener’s perspective with his words. The production was also a perfect fit for Pun and is likely one reason he went atomic on the record. I also find the name to be appropriate. So it comes in at number nine.
Big Pun – Tres Leches (Triboro Trilogy) Feat. Prodigy and Inspectah Deck
You gotta love when a song comes bearing gifts. So check it, you have Big Pun, Mobb Deep, and The Wu-Tang Clan all on one track. What more could a hip hop enthusiast ask for? This covers all the bases and oddly is a cut that’s often overlooked. Loyal fans of Big Pun understand its importance in his discography and chop this one up to one of his essential songs. The song features the late Prodigy. It’s one of the better records on the Capital Punishment imprint. We recommend giving it a listen if you haven’t already. Especially if you claim to love Hip Hop.
This track is dark from the lyrics to the production. One staple of his Capital Punishment LP, It’s a constant barrage of lyrical double entendres and similes. This record serves as a warning shot. Nobody wanted it with Big Pun. This record was the personification of that. Coming in at about 700 pounds. You can tell it was truly his gift because he shouldn’t have had the lung capacity to even attempt the verses he demolished.
If you’d like to challenge yourself to rap along with Pun. Be our guest, but you will be out of breath by end of verse 1. So beware. From start to finish, there’s no comparison. Taking no prisoners, Pun spits straight from inception to completion. Although it comes in at number 7, we highly recommend listening to this record.
Big Pun – Glamour Life Feat. Fat Joe and Terror Squad
This is Mike and Pippen, Shaq and Kobe, an unstoppable tag team duo. The production on this record is exceptionally smooth. Big Pun and Joe crack ran the early ’90s. Fat Joe and Big Pun were so great together. Unfortunately, when Big Pun passed. Fat Joe had to find his own sound. It took a while, as Fat Joe looked at Pun as a brother, so his death took a heavy toll on Joe. You couldn’t ask for a better pair, honestly. I truly believe Fat Joe would’ve transitioned into a much better rapper if Big Pun hadn’t passed. Regardless, this song is a favorite of ours and takes the sixth spot on our list of the greatest Big Pun songs ever made.
Big Pun – You Ain’t a Killer
None greater. Representing for the Bronx always. It was so sad to see this man lose his life so soon. This record features one of my favorite hip hop beats. The piano and west coast inspired synth lead give this song a welcomed fusion. Big Pun was a student. He developed his craft and made so he stood out on every record. Even if it required him to take a step back from what people would expect from a New York rapper.
As we stated prior, music is entirely subjective but there’s no reason as a true hip hop fan that Big Pun shouldn’t make it in your top 20 ever to touch a microphone. Dead or alive. He’s made a lot of your favorite rappers top 5. If you’re in doubt just skip ahead and listen to the third verse. So we have this song come in at a cool number five.
Big Pun – Leatherface
With each passing year, continuous comparisons to this generation of hip hop come face to face with classic hip hop from days past. Big Pun’s record “Leatherface” is one that features Big Pun at his grittiest and with no features. For the current generation of rappers. It’s the blueprint for how to get busy on a record.
As the landscape of music transitions, we understand standards change. Regardless, Big Pun on this record goes in. It’s one of our favorite records and is the reason it comes in at number four. It features great, production. Lastly, let us not forget the bone-chilling chainsaw sound effect that plays throughout the track. Legendary.
Big Pun – Twinz (Deep Cover 98) Feat. Fat Joe
There’s little needed to say regarding this record. If you haven’t listened to it yet. I suggest you do so. Big Pun absolutely spazzes on this record. His ability to flex his tone and use multiple rhyme schemes in a single verse is second to none. You can’t make this up. The man was different. If you’re unsure what I’m referring to, check out the excerpt from his verse below:
“Dead in the middle of Little Italy, little did we know that we riddled some middlemen who didn’t do diddly”
Big Pun – Off Wit His Head Feat. Prospect
This record goes down as a pure Bronx anthem. Speak to residence of the Bronx and they’ll clearly express to you that Off Wit His Head is an official Bronx anthem. Coming off Big Pun’s sophomore album, Yeeeah Baby. Although the record saw little commercial success, the album contained a lot of great individual records and showcased Big Pun’s and put his talents as a wordsmith on full display. He was ahead of his time, lyrically and a joy to listen to. How Pun put things together was amazing, and it’s a shame could never reach supreme status. The featured verse from Prospect is also respectable and likely one of his best verses to date.
Big Pun – Still Not A Player Feat. Joe
This was Big Pun’s biggest record to date. It marked that Big Pun not only could be successful in the mix tape circuit, but he also could cross over. With the release of Still Not A Player the world saw that Big Pun could not only appeal to the streets but could put out a hit record. We’d like to provide a disclaimer.
This is not to be mistaken with the original record I’m Not A Player which Still Not A Player pulled inspiration from. As the record ignites, you instantly recognize the refreshingly stark piano-laden beat that any New Yorker would recognize in an instant. You pair that with the vocal angsts of Joe. Who at the time was one of the hottest up-in-coming singers of that time. The rest is history, giving Big Pun his most successful record to date and would be the number one track on a Big Pun Greatest Hits album.
We hope you enjoyed our list of these great songs by Big Pun. You can listen to our Essential – Big Pun playlist in the player below.