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Big Pun, Book of Rhymes, Vol. 1

One of Pun’s original rhyme partners, former member of the Latino rap crew, the Terror Squad, Cuban Link chose this verse from “The Dream Shatterer

“Ay yo, I shatter dreams like Jordan, assault and batter your team/Your squadron’ll be barred from rap like Adam & Eve from the garden/I’m carvin’ my initials on your forehead/So every night before bed you see the ‘BP’ shine off the board head/Reverse that, I curse at the first wack nigga with the worst rap/’Cause he ain’t worth jack/Hit him with a thousand pounds of pressure per slap/Make his whole body jerk back, watch the earth crack/Hand him his purse back/I’m the first Latin rapper to baffle your skull/Master the flow, niggas be swearin’ I’m blacker than coal/Like Nat King, I be rappin’ and tongue’s packin’/The ones, magnums, cannons and Gatling guns/It’s Big Pun!/The one and only son of Tony Montana/You ain’t promised mañana in the rotten manzana/C’mon patna, we be mob rhymers/Feel the marijuana, snake bite, anaconda/A man of honor wouldn’t wanna’ try to match my persona/Sometimes rhymin’ I blow my own mind like Nirvana/Comma, and go the whole nine like Madonna/Go try to find another rhymer with my kinda grammar…” On this song Pun says, “I’m the first Latin rapper to baffle your skull.” How important was Pun to the idea that Latinos could do hip-hop?

Cuban Link: He was the nucleus. Everybody else was chromosomes and shit. He was the one. He was definitely Neo from The Matrix. He was the gap between Black and Spanish. He was this paradox of being so big and kicking this fast flow. It was unbelievable the way he just kept the flow in the air. Pun was four or five hundred pounds, so his breath control was incredible. He wasn’t just spitting regular words. He was kicking encyclopedia words that were making sense. His vocabulary was crazy. He put it together with his format, which was complicated as fuck. “Hit him with a thousand pounds of pressure per slap/Make his whole body jerk back, watch the earth crack/Hand him his purse back…”

Cuban Link: Faggot-ass nigga! Those battle rhymes are crazy. Those are street rhymes that we grew up listening to—the G Raps, the Rakims, the Big Daddy Kanes, the KRS-Ones. Pun could stand on any corner and kick those three rhymes. I don’t give a fuck if you beige, White, Black, niggas just got to give props.

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