Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment

Some rappers die because they get shot. Some die of AIDS-related diseases. But corpulent Latino rapper Big Punisher died of a massive coronary; at the time of death, in February 2000, he weighed over 600lbs. While this made Punisher a suitable poster-boy for the dangers of conspicuous consumption, as much beloved by hip-hop's gold-festooned players, on his double-platinum debut album <I>Capital Punishment</I> he is eager to poke fun at the creed of greed: "I'm not a player", he announces on the Latino-inflected "Not A Player", "I just f*ck a lot".<p>But while <I>Capital Punishment</I> is perfectly adequate gangsta fare, Big Pun doesn't deserve the deification that dead rappers so frequently demand; here, he deviates little from the egomaniacal posturing that Notorious B.I.G. branded his own. "If it doesn't make dollars, then it doesn't make sense", splutters compadre Cuban Link, on "Glamour Life". Suitable, then, that Big Pun died in an industry where rigor mortis is the ultimate unit-shifter. --<I>Louis Pattison</I>