Friends Of Big Pun Celebrate Rapper's Life, Album

A number of friends and associates of the late Big Pun turned up at a party Tuesday night in Pun's native Bronx, New York, to celebrate the rapper's life and the release of his new album, "Yeeeah Baby," which hit stores the same day.

Noreaga, Eminem, Gang Starr's Guru, and Donell Jones joined Pun's wife, Liza Rios, at the party, which was thrown at Jimmy's Bronx Café by Pun's label, Loud Records, and "Urban Latino" magazine.

Other people in attendance included the late Notorious B.I.G.'s mother Voletta Wallace, DJ Enuff, R&B crooner L.V., DJ Red Alert, radio personalities Angie Martinez and Miss Jones, and Loud Records execs Steve Rifkind, John Rifkind, and Rich Isaacson.

Fat Joe, the man Pun called his "twin," was also on hand at Jimmy's Bronx Café and offered these words to MTV News about Tuesday's event and his dear, departed friend.

"Well, we're taking [this night] as a celebration [of] the life of Big Pun, and just

celebratin' his music, his career," Joe said during Tuesday's party. "This is more of a happy event than a sad event. We done been mournin' for like the last month and a half. Right now we're gonna rejoice, we're gonna have a bunch of fun in his name and enjoy his music and let the industry, let his fans, everybody just come out and enjoy themselves in honor of Big Pun." [RealVideo]

Several of the folks that appear on Pun's new album were also in the house, including Pun's female protégé Remi Martin, who appears on "Yeeeah Baby" on a song called "Ms. Martin," and producers Knobody and Infinite Arkatechz.

At one point in the evening, partygoers were asked to raise their lighters in honor of their deceased friend, who died of a fatal heart attack on February 7, leaving behind a wife and three children (see "Big Punisher Suffers Fatal Heart Attack").

For a special feature

on Big Pun, including an interview with Fat Joe and Steve Rifkind, check out the MTV News Online feature "Big Punisher: In Memory."