Fat Joe says that he and Big Pun once left the Grammy Awards in the middle of the show after losing out on a trophy he was nominated for. The Bronx bomber recently spoke with XXL and recalled he and the late rap legend’s reaction to coming up short at the 1999 Grammy Awards, in which Pun earned a nod for Best Rap Album.
“Big Pun was nominated for two Grammys,” Joe recalls. “He went and got the finger waves like Dru Down. It’s that iconic picture where we look like the kingpin. The big-a** suits. I remember when we went to the Grammys, they had told us that they do the Hip Hop awards before, and we lost. Ricky Martin was doing the ‘Living La Vida Loca’ and I’m looking around. It’s Aretha Franklin. It’s Kirk Franklin. I waited my whole life to get there.”
However, due to feeling cheated out of a victory, Pun convinced his Terror Squad crewmate to skip out on the rest of the awards. “Pun was like, ‘Yo, f**k these people, man. They jerked us.’ I was like, ‘What?’ and he was like ‘Let’s go.’ I was like, ‘Yo, Pun, are you serious?’ He was like, ‘Yo, let’s go. F**k that, you my brother, let’s go.’ I was like, ‘Aight, f**k it. We gotta go.’ That was a big moment for us. We left. We left the Grammys. And we were strapped, like the cover, at the Grammys.”
According to the official Grammy website, Big Pun was only nominated for one Grammy Award during his career. In 1999, his debut album Capital Punishment was included in the Best Rap Album category, but ultimately lost out to Jay-Z’s third studio album Vol 2… Hard Knock Life. Other albums nominated for Best Rap Album that year were Life In 1472 – The Original Soundtrack by Jermaine Dupri, Harlem World by Ma$e, and The Love Movement by A Tribe Called Quest.
Released in 1998, Capital Punishment was a massive commercial and critical success, selling over a million copies, making Pun the first Latin rapper in Hip-Hop history to have a platinum solo album. Unfortunately, Pun passed away in February 2000 due to health complications, cutting what appeared to be a monumental career tragically short. That same year, Loud Records released Pun’s sophomore album Yeeeah Baby, which garnered a gold plaque and spawned the hit singles “It’s So Hard” featuring Donell Jones and “100%” featuring Tony Sunshine.