A lot of hip-hop artists have hopped on the beat for Meek Mill and Rick Ross’ Tupac tribute, “Tupac Back.” Most recently New York rapper/Slaughterhouse member, Joell Ortiz, recorded his own version, calling it “Big Pun Back.”
While it is definitely nice to see an artist like Ortiz pay tribute to a late rap legend such as Pun — who doesn’t get his just dues regularly — not everyone was feeling the song.
Pun’s widow, Liza Rios, recently came forward and publicly discredited the song as “disrespectful.”
Though the rapper intros the song as an effort to “keep this man’s memory alive,” Rios posted a few comments on her Facebook page, which is now private, criticizing Ortiz 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,'” Liza 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.”
As she continued, she explained that she should’ve been consulted before Ortiz even recorded the track.
“If Pun’s torch is being passed down, then it will be to his son. It’s his birth right, not Joell’s,” Liza 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.. At the end of the day, only how I feel matters ’cause that’s my husband, my name, my torch to pass!!”
Obviously, Liza’s comments spread, and eventually reached Joell, who responded via Twitter (@JoellOrtiz), 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.”