Despite Controversy, 'Big Pun Place' Could Still Become A Reality

New York City Committee postpones vote to rename Bronx street after late MC.

Despite resistance from some New York City Council members, who take issue with the rapper's explicit lyrics, the move to get a Bronx street named after late MC Big Punisher still has a fighting chance.

On Wednesday a vote by the New York City Committee on Parks, Recreation, Cultural Affairs and International Intergroup Relations — which could have either stopped the process or pushed it on to the next step — was postponed.

Reasons for the delay were undisclosed.

Pedro G. Espada, 27, one of eight City Council members who represent the Bronx, said he's in support of the Big Pun bill. His enthusiasm is not shared by his peers, however. Espada said some of the older Council members who are not familiar with hip-hop are resisting the idea because they consider the rapper's lyrics to be too racy and violent.

It's probable the vote will happen in two weeks, according to Jordan Borowitz, spokesperson for the Council of the City of New York. The legislation has to receive five of the nine committee members' votes to make it to the New York City Council. From there, 26 of the Council's 51 members have to vote in favor of the proposal. It would then go on to the mayor's office for the green light.

"This whole process could take three to four months," said Borowitz.

Last year, Bronx residents started a campaign to get a street named after the local hero (see "Bronx Natives Rally For Big Pun Avenue") and were backed by Community Board #2 of the Bronx. Their goal is to rename Rogers Place, which lies between 163 Street and Westchester Avenue in the Bronx, to "Big Pun Place." A mural paying tribute to Pun is located on the street (see "New Big Pun Mural To Mark Anniversary Of Rapper's Death").

Over 7,000 people in the Bronx community signed a petition to show support for the street name change.

Born Christopher Rios, Big Pun died February 7, 2000 (see "Big Punisher Suffers Fatal Heart Attack").