Bushwick Bill’s rep confirmed to TMZ and media outlets that the rapper passed away Sunday night around 9:30 PM.
“Bushwick Bill passed away peacefully this evening at 9:35 p.m. He was surrounded by his immediate family. There were incorrect previous reports that he had passed away this morning. We are looking into doing a public memorial at a later date. His family appreciates all of the prayers and support and are asking for privacy at this time.”
Bushwick Bill, the giant-size figure who, along with fellow Geto Boys Scarface and Willie D kicked down the door for Houston rap to be noticed nationally, was 52. Tributes have begun pouring in from Scarface to Bun B, Slim Thug, Questlove and more.
In May, Bill revealed he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He told TMZ and others that he was prepared to fight and ultimately beat the disease. He announced a F*ck Cancer tour that was supposed to kick off Saturday in Dallas, Texas.
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Born in Jamacia in 1966, Richard Stephen Shaw eventually found his way into the hearts and minds of rap fans under the moniker Bushwick Bill when he joined forces with Scarface and Willie D to form the third and most popular version of the Geto Boys. Bill, having been a Geto Boy since 1984 when J. Prince first started Rap-A-Lot Records, was there for the original incarnation of Raheem, Slim Jukebox, and Sir Rap-A-Lot and then Prince Johnny C, Slim Jukebox, Bushwick Bill, and DJ Ready Red in 1985.
A self-proclaimed introvert, Bill often said in interviews that he “never had a big personality” but it came out on stage, often. In June 1991, before the group’s most famous album came one of the more fascinating stories in rap history. After shooting himself in the eye on accident, the incident turned into the landmark album cover for We Can’t Be Stopped. Thus, the legend of Bushwick Bill was born.
“I figure keeping it myself is not really helping nobody, and I’m not really afraid of dying because if anyone knows anything about me from [his 1992 song] ‘Ever So Clear,’ I died and came back already in June 1991, so I know what it’s like on the other side,” Bill told TMZ in May.
He had planned to release three albums to set his children up in lieu of his untimely demise.
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