Though Big Pun passed away in February of 2000 at the age of 28, Fat Joe has been keeping his longtime collaborator’s memory alive throughout the years. With today marking the late rapper’s birthday — it would have been his forty-ninth — Fat Joe took to Instagram to share one of the most endearing throwback pictures we’ve ever seen, and by a wide margin at that.
“Happy bday my brother Big Pun rest in paradise,” captions Fat Joe, alongside a picture of he and Pun catching a brotherly snooze. “Just know we still giving them hell down here. I love you my brother our bond is unbreakable TS4LIFE.”
Immediately, many fellow rappers proceeded to flood the comments with praise and well-wishes, with Jim Jones leading the charge. “Pic so fire real brotherly love hood love get no better happy bday big fella,” writes the Dipset emcee, showing his appreciation for the candid picture. Fabolous slid through to offer some birthday love as well, writing “Pun was a Scorpio. Happy Gday to the Legend.” Ja Rule opted to go with emojis, but his twin crowns speak volumes.
It’s clear that emcees still hold Big Punisher in high regard, and looking back on his legacy, it hurts to fathom all the missed opportunities that arose. Consider the collaborations that might have ensued had Pun been able to continue his rise throughout the early millennium. Remy Ma recently revealed that Pun was eying a collaboration with Eminem, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Rest in peace and happy birthday to one of rap’s fallen soldiers, and much respect to Fat Joe for sharing this amazing throwback.