Let’s get a couple things straight.
First, Pun is one of the greatest ever. If you don’t agree, there’s lots of traffic for you to run in.
Second, any list that proclaims the ‘greatest’ verses of all-time is bullshit, including this one–it’s all subjective. We’d rather aim to hit you with some shit you may have never heard before instead of just regurgitating the same songs that most heads are aware of. We believe these are his illest guest features.
Third, Pun was certified in the streets. A lot of rappers like to run around claiming gats for fun, but Pun was, as Cuban Link once put it, like a fire hydrant to the street, whatever he meant there.
Now that that’s out of the way, here are the 20 Greatest Big Pun guest verses of all time. @ us if you disagree. We won’t get back to you.
20. Uncle Luke, “Slippery When It’s Wet’” feat. Big Pun (2000)
A rare Big Pun appearance where he talks about soaking glands and giving girls oral exams. Romantic, he’s not.
19. Miss Jones, “2 Way Street (Remix)” (1998)
Then again, he tries to be sheepish here as he apologizes to his girl for cheating, but instead he says he crushed an ugly chick just because he was horny. It didn’t mean nothing. Raise your hand if you relate to this song a little too much.
18. Paradise, “Turn Your Love Around” feat. Prospect (2001)
Pun’s primary verse is the first half of his feature on “Piña Colada,” but his second verse references Goldschläger and butter knives, so you know it’s tight.
17. Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz, “Cross Bronx Expressway” feat. Fat Joe (1998)
The 1998 album that contained the classic track “Déjà Vu (Uptown Baby)” also had guest verses from Cam’ron, Kurupt and Sticky Fingaz. But Pun demolishes everyone over vintage Ski Beatz production.
16. Funkmaster Flex, “Thug Brothers feat. Noreaga & Jesse West (1998)
Pun is reminiscent of Ghost here as he talks about apples and computer chips. He’s fluid and seems lucid but it doesn’t appear to make much sense. Who gives a shit though, it sounds crazy.
15. D.I.T.C., “Drop It Heavy” feat. KRS-One & AG (1998)
Subject wise, Pun and KRS seem like complete opposites–one is ludicrous, the other is righteous, but both rock mics harder than most. To hear them both over a Showbiz beat is like getting head on the beach.
14 (tie). Mr. Serv-On, “From N.O. To N.Y.” (1999)
Lord only knows how Mr. Serv-On secured a verse from the Punisher, but thankfully he did. Especially notable is Pun telling rivals to pillage their medicine cabinet and swallow all the shit in there.
14 (tie). Fat Joe, “John Blaze” feat. Nas, Raekwon & Jadakiss (1998)
“Even if I stuttered I would still SH-SH-SHIT ON YOU” would probably be the illest trick to pull out during a battle.
13. Beatnuts, “Off The Books” feat. Cuban Link (1997)
One of the most memorable Beatnuts productions ever, it was always a treat when these guys got together, and it always spoke to the strength of Latinos in hip-hop.
12. Pete Rock, “Verbal Murder 2” feat. Noreaga & Common (1998)
Adding to the canon of rappers telling listeners to play their shit backwards for all the hidden Satanic messages is “Verbal Murder 2.” Noreaga killed this, too.
11. Cam’ron, “Horse and Carriage (Remix)” feat. Big Pun, Charli Baltimore, Wyclef & Silkk The Shocker (1998)
What the fuck was going on here? I want to know how much dust this A&R was smoking–who puts Silkk the Shocker and Wyclef on a remix with Pun and Cam’ron? I can’t even decide if it’s a horrible decision or genius.
10. Delinquent Habits, “Western Ways 2” feat. Beatnuts (1998)
Way too many quotables to choose a line or two.
9. Truck Turner, “Symphony 2000” feat. Kool G Rap & KRS-One (1999)
You’ll remember the Isaac Hayes movie of the same name before you remember Truck Turner, but “Symphony 2000” is essential not only for the killer verses from three of the greatest ever, but also for a quick study on how Pun took G Rap’s style and evolved it. That he was able to make it crossover into popularity speaks not only to G Rap’s legacy, but to Pun’s broad appeal. He made a dense technique become accessible.
8. Shaquille O’Neal, “The Bigger They R” feat. Fat Joe (1995)
Shaq was pulling crazy features and producers for his albums back in the day. Also known as “Shaq, Crack and Pun” (clearly the better title), this is one of the first singles that Pun appeared on around ’95.
7. Ruff Ryders, “Piña Colada” (1999)
Anytime Pun uses Spanglish or invokes Biblical figures, it’s sure to boost the quality of his verse. Both are present here, only leaving you to wish Pun had worked with Swizz more when he was making beats like this.
6. N.O.R.E., “Banned From T.V.” feat. Nature, Cam’ron, Jadakiss & Styles P (1998)
Is this the greatest posse cut ever? Probably not, but it’s up there. Pro tip: recite Cam’s line about the “Keys of life” to one of your friends in a relationship. See how they react. Judge accordingly.
5. Fat Joe, “Fire Water” feat. Raekwon & Armaggedon (1996)
Rae opens by talking about Napoleon and half-Mongolians, so you’d imagine it’s hard to top, but in his first four bars Pun wipes all that away. Talking about this verse is useless. The variety of rhythm, cadence and multisyllabic rhymes is impeccable.
4. Onyx, “Shut ‘Em Down (Remix)” feat. Noreaga & DMX (1998)
Everybody kills this one.
3. Digital Underground, “The Mission” feat. BINC (1998)
Pun over this classic Barry White sample? Thank you, Lord.
2. N.O.R.E., “Oh No (Remix)” feat. Capone, Jadakiss, Musaliny & Maze (1999)
Short but potent, Pun’s verse makes you realize how few bars it should take to make an impact. Fuck all that 500 bars bullshit.
1. Kid Capri, “Block Party” feat. N.O.R.E. (1998)
Study Kid Capri’s ‘Soundtrack To The Streets.’ Pun sounds too laidback to be talking about clapping heat and being hungry, but that juxtaposition is what makes this verse so nice.