Published: Tue, June 11, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill Dead at 52

Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill Dead at 52

He rose to fame as a founding member of the Geto Boys.

"Bushwick Bill passed away peacefully this evening at 9:35 PM". Born in 1966, Bill joined the pioneering Texas rap group in 1986 as a dancer, before transitioning to rapping.

Bill's publicist, Dawn P, told the AP the rapper was on a ventilator at a Colorado hospital.

Reuters was unable to reach a representative for Bill to confirm the report.

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The hip-hop community is hurting right now. Bill's stark worldview and a fearless attitude toward death stemmed from a 1991 in which he shot himself in the eye during an argument with his girlfriend while high on PCP. Yesterday, Richard "Bushwick Bill" Shaw was confirmed to have lost the battle with stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer, a battle during which he fought valiantly.

After the news broke, one member of the Houston-based Geto Boys, Willie D., shared to Instagram pictures of the group at a previous performance with a caption, "This is Geto Boys for life". Later that same month, Bill was hospitalized with pneumonia and was forced to cancel the remaining shows on the Geto Boys reunion tour.

"I been keeping it to myself, but I'm getting ready to tell Scarface and Willie D", Bill explained to the outlet. "So, I am like could it be cancer?" While Scarface was hailed as the lyricist of the group, Bushwick Bill's appeal lied in his erratic, say-anything verses. Bill was also beloved by many metalheads and metal bands, including the Deftones, who invited him onstage at SXSW in 2016; you can see video of that performance below, as well as tributes from Ben Weinman (Dillinger Escape Plan, Suicidal Tendencies) and Toxic Holocaust's Joel Grind.

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