Bronx native Big Punisher crashed this week's "Billboard" album charts at number five with his solo debut, "Capital Punishment," the style of which Pun claims follows a tradition of rappers who have mixed the edgier aspects of hardcore with the more human elements of hip hop.
Big Pun originally described his "sophisticated hardcore" sound when he visited MTV's studios last December, when his single, "I'm Not A Player" [800k QuickTime], was first setting it off on the rap singles charts.
"I do it all," the rapper said, "but being the sophisticated hardcore, it's pure adrenaline right up here comin' at you at 100 mph. But, like I said, you could understand my music when it's still hardcore ... and I'm talking about everyday life, losing your job, losing a loved one, stress, happiness, whatever."
More recently, in an interview with the MTV Radio Network, Big Punisher traced the lineage of sophisticated hardcore back to certain
rappers that had gone before him.
"Like Pac and Biggie," Pun said, "that's what made them so special. They could bring it to you hardcore, and then on another one, it'd be 'Dear Mama,' you know what I'm saying? And I have those same capabilities, that's easy for me [725k QuickTime] and that's what I'm trying to show the world."
Big Punisher's current single is "Still Not a Player," [500k QuickTime] a remix of "I'm Not a Player" featuring R&B singer Joe.