16 July 2011 | FrankDamage
The Legacy of a Legend
This film could have very easily been titled "Big Pun - The Rise and Fall of Rap Royalty" because in his day and even now, Christoper Rios, a.k.a. "Big Punisher," was regarded as a king. Not only by his loyal fans and the Puerto Rican community of the South Bronx, but by renowned and established artists, both inside and outside of the hip hop music scene.
Now don't think for a minute that in order to appreciate this documentary it requires that you be a fan of the music that permeates throughout it, or even a fan of the man whose life and rapid rise to stardom is its focus. Vlad Yudin has done an excellent job here in creating a film that allows even "outsiders" to see the very real and humanistic side to a music culture we may know little about and even allow us to feel as if their loss was ours as well.
Through archival clips and contemporary interviews with such high profile artists like Xzibit, Snoop Dog, Method Man, Redman, Chuck D, DMX and even actress Rosie Perez, Yudin invites us to not only view how one man seemingly became a legend overnight, but how that man lived after he did and how little (if at all) he changed to the people who knew him best.
In an industry rife with struggles to simply gain recognition as well as the insurmountable odds against ever coming close to the status that Big Pun did AND maintaining that notoriety well beyond the narrow space of his life, Yudin presents us with the details of how Rios did just that and overcame a host of prejudices he never even acknowledged, by simply being a master at his craft.
On February 7, 2000 a legend left us with his musical legacy and though I commented initially that this documentary could have been titled "Big Pun - Rise and Fall of (Rap) Royalty," I have to concede that to be an error on my part. If anything this film shows that while Big Pun did in fact rise like a rocket to incredible heights, even now long after death, he has never truly fallen in the eyes of those he inspired, impressed and influenced. If you take a look at this insightful biographical documentary you may end up becoming one of them as well.