Street renamed to honor late rapper
and south Bronx native Big Pun
BY JASON COHEN
With classic songs like “Twins,”
“You came up” and “Still not a player,”
Big Pun was not only a Bronx legend,
but one of the greatest hip-hop artists
of all time.
On March 22, family, friends and
elected offi cials gathered at Fordham
Road and Grand Concourse where a
joyous ceremony was held as it was renamed
Big Pun Plaza in honor of the
Pun, born Christopher Lee Rios,
was discovered by fellow Bronx rapper
Fat Joe and made waves in the 90s.
He was the fi rst Latino rapper to have
a platinum album and was also nominated
for a Grammy.
In 2000, he died from
a heart attack at the age
of 28, leaving behind
a wife, Liza, and their
three children, Star,
Vanessa and Christopher
“We’ve been trying
to do this for a
long time,” said Pun’s
mother Gail Tirado.
“I’m humbly honored
that this is happening.
It’s an incredible block
and it’s fi t for a legend.”
Among the many
people at the event was
music journalist Riggs
who is credited as the
writer who discovered
Eminem, is a diehard
Big Pun fan.
He noted that before
Pun came onto the hiphop
scene there were
very few Latino rappers.
“With Big Pun Latinos
fi nally found an artist
who represented the
synergy of Blacks and
Latinos collected in the
streets of the Bronx,”
he said. “In the end Pun changed the
perception of Latinos in the music industry
as he did for hip-hop as a whole.
This is one of the proudest moments in
hip-hop history. God bless Pun and his
Joining Morales at the event was
none other than Borough President
Ruben Diaz. Diaz thanked Councilman
Fernando Cabrera and the city council
for making the street renaming happen.
He told the attendees this was long
overdue. The BP noted that while he
still has to look at YouTube to follow
Pun’s lyrics, it is his music of choice
when he works out.
“For those of you who are from the
Bronx, who are Puerto Rican and La-
BRONX TIMES REPORTER, M 16 ARCH 26-APR. 1, 2021 BTR
Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who helped get the street renamed with Pun’s mother Gail
Tirado and his son, Chris Rivers. All photos by Jason Cohen
Big Pun’s sister Nicole Rodriguez
The sign for Big Pun Plaza