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N.O.R.E. Reflects on Big Pun’s ‘Capital Punishment’ Album 15 Years Later [Video]

Big Pun‘s debut solo album, ‘Capital Punishment,’ earned the Bronx-born rapper many firsts in his career. Once the critically-acclaimed opus was released on April 28, 1998, the Terror Squad member found himself soaring to the top of the charts. As a result, Pun, born Christopher Lee Rios, was the first Latino lyricist to go platinum and subsequently earn his first Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album at the 1999 Grammy Awards — Jay-Z‘s ‘Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life’ bested him in the category.

Lyrical dexterity, astute storytelling and head-nodding hip-hop beats made Pun’s ‘Capital Punishment’ a favorite LP for many rap fans who favored songs like ‘Still Not a Player,’ ‘Beware,’ ‘The Dream Shatterer’ and the N.O.R.E.-assisted ‘You Came Up,’ among others. A longtime friend and frequent collaborator of Pun, who was 26 at the time his debut premiered, N.O.R.E. witnessed the culmination of the highly regarded project and sat in the studio during many of its recording sessions.

Fresh off the release of his own effort, ‘Student of the Game’ — he sticks by the fact that this is his fourth official album — N.O.R.E. looks back on the making of ‘Capital Punishment,’ 15 years later. Pun, a witty emcee with an unmatched New York attitude, offered him the chance to hear tracks that never even made the final tracklist. As the anniversary of the LP nears, watch as N.O.R.E. reflects on Big Pun’s artistry and why he feels “lucky” to be featured on the classic work.

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