Posts Tagged ‘Loud Records’

Christopher Rios (November 9, 1971 – February 7, 2000), better known as Big Punisher or Big Pun, was a Puerto Rican-American rapper who emerged from the underground rap scene in The Bronx in the late 1990s. He first appeared on albums from The Beatnuts on the track “Off the Books” and on Fat Joe’s second album Jealous One’s Envy, on the track “Watch Out”, prior to signing to Loud Records as a solo artist.

Sometime during the 1980s, he formed the Full a Clips Crew with Triple Seis, Prospect and Cuban Link who was at the time named “Lyrical Assassin”. At this point Big Pun was operating under the alias Big Moon Dawg. Rios met fellow Puerto Rican and Bronx rapper Fat Joe in 1995 and made his commercial debut on Joe’s second album, Jealous Ones Envy, in addition to appearing on a b-side to Joe’s “Envy” single, “Fire Water” and “Watch Out.”
Later, “I’m Not a Player” (featuring an O’Jays sample) was supported by a significant advertising campaign and became an underground hit. The song’s remix, “Still Not a Player” (featuring Joe) produced by Knobody, became Big Pun’s first major mainstream hit. His full-length debut Capital Punishment followed in 1998, and was the first album by a solo Latino rapper to go platinum, peaking at #5 on the Billboard 200. Capital Punishment was also nominated for a Grammy, but lost out on the award to Jay-Z’s Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life. He became a member of Terror Squad, a New York-based group of rappers founded by Fat Joe, with most of the roster supplied by the now-defunct Full a Clips Crew who released their debut album The Album in 1999. In 1999 he co-starred in the Albert Pyun-directed ghetto-movie Urban Menace, alongside his frequent collaborator Fat Joe.

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Xzibit is a member of the Likwit Crew, a loose collective of West Coast rappers including Tha Alkaholiks and King Tee. After touring with them in 1995, Loud Records released the young rapper’s debut album, At the Speed of Life in 1996. He expanded his following with a series of albums beginning in the late 1990s, ultimately aligning himself with hip hop kingpin Dr. Dre. Xzibit’s big breakthrough came when he joined Snoop Dogg for the Dr. Dre-produced hit, “Bitch Please.” What followed were some high profile guest appearances on Dr. Dre’s 6x platinum album 2001, on songs like “What’s the Difference?” and “Some L.A. Niggaz”. By this time, Dre had invited the young rapper to criss-cross America during summer 2000 with the “Up in Smoke” tour which featured Snoop, Eminem, and Ice Cube, among many others. That winter, Loud released Xzibit’s Restless with Dr. Dre as executive producer, which boasted the single X. The song became the rapper’s biggest hit yet since “What U See Is What U Get”.

“Paparazzi” is a song by rapper Xzibit and appears on his debut album At the Speed of Life. The track became the rapper’s breakout single, and is often seen as his trademark song. The track was produced by Thayod Ausar, who provides a classical sample from Gabriel Fauré’s “Pavane”. It details his dislike of many faux rappers who don’t care about the music but rather do it only for the flash and being a rich celebrity. The song is referenced to by E.D.I. Mean on 2pac’s “Bomb First” where he disses Xzibit with the line “got a little question for that nigga that made ‘Paparazzi’ / if you ain’t in this rap game for the ma fuckin’ cash, man / then what is your mother fuckin’ purpose?”. An instrumental version of “Paparazzi” was featured on The Sopranos episode “Pax Soprana”.

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