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Big Pun Wife Allegedly Living in Shelter – Fat Joe Responds

Posted by Mr. Put On on August 11, 2009

It’s a classic tale, man gets incarcerated or dies, friends are left to take care of his family. Time and time again we see a man gone too soon, and his best friend (not his pittbull) left to take care of the legacy he leaves on earth; his family. Diddy recently posted a video on PTwittyTV with himself, his son, and Biggie’s son. A quintessential example of how society points to a persons closest confidants while alive to tend to the things they leave behind. In the case of Fat Joe and Big Pun– What’s right and what’s wrong?

With Joseph Cartegena’s 9th studio album, Jealous Ones Still Envy 2 (J.O.S.E 2) set for realease on October 9th of this year, Fat Joe has been seeing alot of airtime. His single “One” ft. Akon was released at the end of February, and has been doing well since. According to an MTV News article by Shaheem Reid the song was inspired by his wife, and their relationship:

“One” is all about finding that special soul mate, and Joe said he looked to his happy marriage for inspiration[…..]

[….]Joe said the key to marriage is working with your spouse to grow.

“A lot of work,” he said. “Anybody who’s successful a long number of years, it took a lot of work, perseverance to not quit, to not give up on each other and say, ‘Yo, we love each other. We’re going to be together forever.’ Everybody that gets married hopes to be in love and be together forever, but you gotta work. It’s real work. It’s great, though.”

In light of Fat Joe’s recent single which has hit radios, televisions, mp3 players and whatever else is used to play music worldwide (with a little assist from international icon Akon of course) and the anticipation by many of his upcoming album, it is impossible to forget his friend Christopher Rios BKA Big Pun who died of a heart attack in February of 2000.

Big Pun, who went by Big Moon Dog had been rapping in a group called The Full-A-Clips Crew, alongside Cuban Link and Triple Seis. In 1995, the Bronx producer/rapper Fat Joe “found” Big Pun, singled him out and began to work with him. Fat Joe (who also acted as Pun’s producer/manager) and Big Pun grew very close over those 5 years and as we all know often called each other ‘twin’. “Big Moon Dog” had also changed his alias to Big Punisher and joined Fat Joe’s Terror Squad team.

In the Fall of ’97 Big Pun’s “I’m Not a Player” single was released and was well received. In April of 1998 his first solo album Capital Punishment hit stores and took the Latino/NuyoRican market by storm. Led by the single “Still Not a Player” Big Punisher’s debut album was able to reach platinum status within a few months. Big Pun had finally arrived and indeed made his mark in a BIG way.

Unfortunately, just before the release of his second album Yeeeah Baby Christopher Rios suffered a fatal heart attack which was reportedly caused by weight issues that he continuously struggled with. In his absence and with the help of his Terror Squad family, Yeeeah Baby was able to go Gold. From all of this you would assume the Rios family was singing Jay-Z’s “Money Ain’t a Thing”. Nope.

According to Fat Joe, Big Pun was a lavish spender and the Rios family hadn’t been using their money wisely:

“…After Pun passed, we put together an album. She told me that she was broke. Now mind you Big Pun made millions and millions of dollars while he was alive. He spent lot of money, 10 Mercedes Benz’s, 10 Motorcycles… Whatever the case may be, I had no clue that he was broke.”

Due to these unwise spending habits, Liza Rios (Big Pun’s wife) was left with “no money”. When she approached Fat Joe with her issue, Joe was willing to help her and gave her some money. He instructed her to go back to school “for doin hair” and she could then open up some Beauty Salons, from which she would be able to generate income. He released the album Endangered Species and gave her money to pursue the aforementioned endeavors:

“We do the album “Endangered Species”. No one got paid on this album after Pun’s death. No producer, no studio, no rapper, not me, no one. The full advance, which was hundreds of thousands of dollars went to Liza Rios and the family. So after he passed she had hundreds of thousand of dollars. I thought I did the right thing Cipha….”

After this Liza Rios apparently “spent the money unwisely”, and did not do as she had discussed previously with Joe. She returned to Joe and once again he is able to give her money, this time out of his own pocket. Now returning to the original topic; this is your friends family, they are the living memory of your friend and you would like to do what is in your power to see that they are a good reflection of the person you called your ‘twin’.

So what do you do, when you feel you’ve done enough– more than enough, yet the family of your late compadre is unable to become self-sufficient and is beginning to in effect, suck you dry (pause). In addition, the dilemma for Fat Joe came when Liza Rios and her family/friends, began slandering the name of Big Pun, releasing footage of the late Rios pistol whipping and abusing his wife. Although Fat Joe denounces domestic abuse, he states that he wasn’t aware of it and that it did not occur in his presence. Also, it seemed as though Liza would spring up, begin slandering even Fat Joe’s name, and then turning around and asking him for money once again.

Cipha Sounds asks a very feasible question of Joe:

“Well, but Joe, here’s the thing, this is the tough part. What do we do now because the story is… is that his kids, your man’s kids, are in a shelter?”

At this point, what do you do? In my eyes, just as he says himself, Fat Joe “did the right thing”. With the actions of Liza Rios it comes as no surprise that her children would take an approach to the situation as though Fat Joe has abandoned them, stolen their money, and all other sorts of ideas that she may have given them. What she tells her children in the privacy of her own home is unkown. But it is clear through Joe that they are indeed resistant to him and his efforts.

All in all, I think Fat Joe says it best in the interview, and no words that I have expressed through this article can explain it better. Although we would all like to have sympathy, provide support, consolation, and assistance there comes a time when enough becomes too much. After nearly ten years since the death of  her husband, I think we’ve arrived at ‘too much’. It is simple, and understandably hard to come to terms with when you’ve been force fed large amounts of money and given help in the memory of a man who possessed alot of potential and a unique talent:

“She has to find a job… SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY, she has to find a JOB

Hit the link to listen to Fat Joe’s full interview on Hot 97 with Cipha Sounds: Interview

Bonus: Interview with Liza Rios

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