Richard “Bushwick Bill” Shaw, one-third of iconic 80’s Houston rap group Geto Boys, passed away on June 9th after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. The rapper was 52 years old.
Shaw fell ill and was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer last February. Just last month, he underwent intensive chemotherapy treatment and fighting a case of pneumonia, but there was hope for a speedy recovery in order to get back on the road. The rapper was trying to stage a Geto Boys reunion tour with Scarface and Willy D. The tour fell apart after Bushwick Bill felt that the promoters were exploiting his cancer diagnosis, according to TMZ.
Scareface and Willy D broke the sad news on Instagram. “RIP Bushwick Bill,” the caption read.
Other rappers such as Juicy J and Slim Thug are mourning Bushwick Bill’s passing.
“Prayers up for his family,” Juicy J wrote.
“April 7. The last time I saw him. He was, is and will always be a legend,” wrote rapper Bun B. “There will never be another.”
Bushwick Bill originally joined Geto Boys as a dancer under the moniker “Little Billy.” Geto Boys’s breakout was in 1991 after they dropped their album We Can’t Be Stopped, which featured a graphic photo of Bill in the hospital after his eye was shot out.
UPDATE: According to TMZ, a representative of Bushwick Bill says he’s “still alive and fighting cancer” in the hospital. Bushwick’s family members are at his side. Bushwick’s representative says the rumors of his death likely started when the rapper was absent from a show in Dallas Saturday night. His absence was due to his emergency hospitalization.
UPDATE 2: Bushwick Bill has been confirmed to have died this evening in a statement to Rolling Stone. “Bushwick Bill passed away peacefully this evening at 9:35 p.m. He was surrounded by his immediate family,” the rapper’s publicist Dawn P. said. “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.”