The late Big Pun recently had a Bronx street renamed in his honor, with the corner of East Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse becoming Big Pun Plaza. The unveiling of the new street sign was met with an outpouring of support, as many — including Big Pun’s family members — came together to celebrate.
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It didn’t take long for some to notice that Pun’s longtime collaborator and close friend Fat Joe was not in attendance, as he was during the unveiling of Fred The Godson’s street sign. It didn’t take long for Joe to provide a bit of context regarding his absence, speaking on the situation during an Instagram Live session. “First thing is, God bless my brother, the one and only Big Pun,” begins Joe. “He got a block named after him today. If you never been to the Bronx, that’s a hell of an accomplishment. Big Pun Plaza on Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse.”
“I was watching, I was tuned in,” he continues. “Everyone on this side of Terror Squad, prayers is up for Big Pun. I seen Khaled on the notes. All of us praying for him. If you don’t have good things to say about somebody, I prefer to not say it. So me, I could not go over there, because there were people over there I just ain’t feeling. And I ain’t never going to feel. So when everybody DMs me, or says little things, yo bro — I will never stand beside these people ever in life.”
“In my life, all I have is my word,” he affirms. “My word is my bond. I never broke my word for nobody. If I shook your hand and told you it’s peace, then it’s peace. If I have a problem with you, I let you know. I’m not standing beside nobody. Talking about ‘let’s do it for Pun.’ No I’m not. When you slander me and my word and make me look crazy for two decades in the hood. I can not stand next to you. My kids ain’t standing next to you. We just ain’t doing that. We’re talking about the legacy of Big Pun, we’re talking about uplifting him for twenty-years…All we do is uplift Pun.”
“I know I might get some of you people mad, but that’s on you,” he adds, mentioning that he previously launched a Big Pun celebration event wiith The LOX, Busta Rhymes, The Beatnuts, and more. “I invited his son, who raps, to come and do Big Pun’s parts. He declines. I invited him when we big-upped Pun at Radio City Music Hall, where every rapper was there — but they declined. That’s cool. I was the bigger guy, and often. I know he was a kid when Pun passed, and he knows what’s told to him. I respect that it’s all good. Big we gotta salute the one and only Big Pun.”
Check out Fat Joe’s reflection on his decision to skip the unveiling ceremony below.