News: RAP ON HEALTH: "Big Pun Would Pay Out Of Pocket For Doctor Visits" -Liza Rios

Tuesday, Oct 13, 2009 11:55AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

According Big Pun's widow, the rapper who suffered a fatal heart attack in 2000 paid full price for medical services until he was able to negotiate coverage through Sony Music in the 1990's.

According to Pun's widow, Liza Rios, the rapper paid for any medical-related procedures prior to getting put on through Sony around 1998.

"Pun would pay out of pocket for any doctor visits and any health care related appointments," Rios representative Johnathan Hay told SOHH. "After Pun was signed, Sony did provide for a health care plan, but, it was not used for anything, including the weight-loss program in North Carolina." (SOHH)

Skull Gang leader Juelz Santana also told SOHH he had health insurance through Def Jam Records.

"I don't know who it's by, I forgot, I gotta dip in my wallet," Santana laughingly admitted about his health insurance. "I do have health care, you know what I mean, thanks to Def Jam Records. Nah, you gotta have health care. I mean, at the end of the day, you got a lot of artists that are just getting into the game right now, too, you dig what I'm saying? At the end of the day, it depends on what type of artist you are, I guess. I can't say I can get everything, but I may can get more than what some artists can get. Ya dig what I'm saying? And that's all through the [position] you put yourself in. I always like that. So at the same time, the way Jay-Z could probably go in and ask for more, I can probably go in and get more than a new artist that hasn't really done nothing for the label that's just asking for health care. You know what I mean? I asked for all the little things [in my contract], all the little accessories I could get. I need every little accessory and ammenity that comes with this sh*t. I need it all man." (SOHH)

Pun spent a brief amount of time in a North Carolina clinic prior to passing away from health complications in 2000.

At Fat Joe's urging, he checked into a weight-loss clinic in North Carolina, where he lost 80 pounds. However, he returned to the Bronx before finishing the program, and gained back everything he'd lost, plus some extra; reports had his weight fluctuating between 450-700 pounds during his last few years. Tragically, but perhaps not unpredictably, Big Punisher suffered a fatal heart attack on February 7, 2000; he was only 28 years old, and left behind a wife and three children. (All Music)

Pun associate Louis Romain also said the rapper's weight gain was a major issue which led to his unexpected death.

"I was genuinely concerned about his health last summer as soon as he walked through the studio door," he said in 2000. "Unconfirmed reports of his attempts to lose weight eased my fears somewhat." (Rolling Stone)

Be sure to stay tuned as SOHH Presents: Hip-Hop & Health Care is featured this month.

Check out Big Pun's health problems being discussed below:

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