Review Summary: Pun crushed a lot more cheesesteaks than b*tches, but his talent was undeniable.
It’s no secret that Biggie Smalls is often lauded as arguably the greatest lyrical MC of all time, and more commonly, is associated with having a stellar flow that is nothing short of legendary. That flow was strong and distinct, often fluid yet brandished with a disjointed jerkiness that was almost a certainty a direct by-product of the man checking in at well over 3 bills. It’s really no secret as to why, when you are a self-proclaimed “fat mother*cker,” it’s damn easy to wind up sufficiently breathless when pumping rhymes. What is utterly fascinating about Big Pun is the dude checked in at a cool 698 pounds when he bought the farm in 2000. Being that his near classic “Capital Punishment” was released in 1998, it is relatively safe to assume Pun was carrying a minimum of 5 bills on his Puerto Rican frame at the time, and if you’ve ever been around someone who checks in at a deuce and a half times two, you would know that most people of this size can barely squeeze out two consecutive sentences before desperately reaching for an oxygen tank or the sweet release of their 18th burrito of the day. Long story short, Big Pun had absolutely no business being a rapper in the first place, let alone one that could flow like a f*cking machine.
Pun is almost sadly forgotten, a miniscule shadow of the legendary Biggie Smalls, despite having a similar sized discography. Although Pun wasn’t at the same level lyrically, he flowed a hell of a lot faster and often more smoothly than B.I.G., and “Capital Punishment” is positively bursting with ridiculously strong rhymes and an impossible delivery, almost like someone injected Krayzie Bone with approximately 400 pounds of gelatinous lard and threw him down in Brooklyn to hang out with Fat Joe, Wyclef, Black Thought, and Inspectah Deck. “Capital Punishment” is a clinic of Hip-Hop execution, an insanely long album that is almost devoid of filler which is a near impossibility in the genre. Puns flow is diverse, deftly maneuvering between melodic catchy hooks to ridiculously fast rhymes that were often genius in their complexity. We can all throw on “Still Not a Player” and amuse ourselves at the thought of some dude who would need a powered wheel chair to get around the local swap meet laying down miles of c*ck, but the songs hallowed hook still rings true today, and its arguably not even one of the album’s top ten cuts. "Fast Money,” “You Aint a Killer,” “Glamour Life,” “Dream Shatterer,” and “Boomerang” all show Pun flowing at an absurdly high level and backed by sufficient beats that are strong in their own right, but are usually overshadowed by the smooth braggadocio of the vocal deliveries themselves.
The strength of “Capital Punishment” is more than quality flows, rhymes, and beats; it’s alarmingly consistent in a genre that is anything but, and stands as an utter achievement of rap art. It weighs strong lyrically and accessibility wise, and is an overwhelmingly well executed Hip-Hop album from a vocal delivery standpoint. It’s probably more likely that Pun crushed a lot more cheesesteaks than b*tches, but his talent was undeniable, and almost impossible to conceive given his physical state. It really is a shame that he ate himself into the grave, because if “Capital Punishment” was any indication, Pun had the potential to be a top ten all-time MC.