Big Pun’s Widow Angered by Joell Ortiz’ ‘Pun Back’ Tribute
The song, a take on Meek Mill and Rick Ross‘ Tupac tribute ‘Tupac Back,’ was intended as a similar homage to the fallen Bronx rapper, born Christopher Rios, who died of a heart attack in 2000. However, Pun’s widow, Liza Rios has publicly discredited the song as “disrespectful.”
Though Joell introduces the song as an effort to “keep this man’s memory alive,” Rios posted several missives on her Facebook page, which is now private, criticizing Joell for referring to himself as “the new Christopher Rios of rap.”
“A lot of people are asking how I feel about Joell Ortiz’s ‘Big Pun Back,'” Pun’s widow wrote. “[I] found it a bit disrespectful that he would say he’s the next Christopher Lee Rios, to say the least, with no regards to me and my family, especially my son, PUN’S ONLY SON, which should Be the ONLY one to claim that BIG PUN is Back.”
Rios, who has accused Pun of physically abusing her during their relationship, continued to claim that she should have been consulted before the Slaughterhouse member — and most respected MC of Puerto Rican descent to emerge since Pun and Fat Joe made waves back in the ’90s — assumed Pun’s hefty mantle.
“If Pun’s torch is being passed down then it will be to his son. It’s his birth right, not Joell’s,” she wrote. “And, the fact that he didn’t even ask to begin with to see if I was kool [with him] passing the torch is disrespectful!! Point blank [sic].. At the end of the day, only how I feel matters ’cause that’s my husband, my name, my torch to pass!!”
Joell quickly responded to Rios’ comments via Twitter, writing, “Shout to Nicole, Pun’s Sister and MaMa Pun for the kind words. GOD will judge by my intentions. Im good with that. No matter how good your intentions may be there will always be some negativity if you take action. still gotta do what you feel is right.”
Meanwhile, Joell and his Slaughterhouse supergroup, which includes Royce Da 5’9″, Joe Budden and Crooked I, are currently preparing their Eminem-executive produced debut LP for Shady Records.