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Meaning of the song ‘Beware’ by ‘Big Pun’

Released: 1998

“Beware” by Big Pun is a raw manifestation of his fierce persona and artistry within the 90s hip-hop scene. In no uncertain terms, the song serves as a stark warning to his rivals, boasting about his physical prowess, lyrical skills, and his loyalty to his crew, Terror Squad.

First and foremost, Big Pun begins the song by stating, “I gave you fair warning, beware”, signaling his aggression and dominance. He presents himself as a force to be reckoned with, as formidable as a “beast with a warrant”, and far removed from the legal framework. His self-assured boasting suggests his disregard for authority, a staple element in hip-hop of the time. He further ante-ups by challenging any doubtful rappers, daring to confront and defeat them through his lyrical prowess.

With references to his fellow artist Benny Blanc and ‘Freddie Foxxx files,’ he nods to his network and roots in hip-hop. The lines, “Sleep with the fish-dips for yappin’ too loud” and “Niggas is hard as hell, but they Gargamels”, Pun employs typical gangster imagery and cultural references (Gargamel being the villain from The Smurfs who picks on the weak) to paint a picture of his path to dominance and dissolution for those who cross him.

In the chorus, the repetition of “I gave you fair warning, beware” emphasizes this cautionary message. Dodging any misconceptions, the next verse asserts his readiness for battle. He expounds his warrior persona and confirms that he is not to be underestimated. His references to being ‘hazardous for your health,’ and his allusion to the famous boxing match between Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe, further enhance this rhetoric of strength and invincibility.

As the song draws to its conclusion, Pun affirms his place in the hip-hop community, asserting his connection to his crew, Terror Squad, and his place in the Bronx, referred to as “The Boogie Down”. The verse, “The foundation, you’re facin’ a whole army”, expresses Pun’s solidarity with his fellows, his local pride, and his sense of invulnerability.

Big Pun ends the track with a reassertion of his dominance in the rap game. The fierce expression of commitment to his craft and his crew serves as a testament to his fierceness both as a rapper and as part of the larger hip-hop landscape.

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