Bushwick Bill, a member of the iconic Houston rap group Geto Boys, died on Sunday, succumbing to pancreatic cancer. He was 52.
“Bushwick Bill passed away peacefully this evening at 9:35 p.m. He was surrounded by his immediate family,” the rapper’s publicist confirmed to Rolling Stone. “His family appreciates all of the prayers and support and are asking for privacy at this time.”
Bill, born Richard Shaw, recently shared that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer this past May.
“I figure keeping it to 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,” the rapper told TMZ, referring to the 1991 incident in which he accidentally shot himself in the eye during an argument with his girlfriend.
Bill’s publicist also confirmed that there would likely be a public memorial for the southern rapper, who was a founding member of the Geto Boys’ classic lineup that included Willie D and Scarface. The trio went onto influence both southern rap with songs such as “Mind Playing Tricks on Me,” “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta” and “The World Is a Ghetto.”
His publicist’s confirmation comes after much confusion surrounding his death when Scarface prematurely confirmed Bill’s death. Later that day, Bill’s son pushed back on reports of his father’s death on Instagram.
“Contrary to what has been prematurely, insensitively, and inaccurately posted/reported–My dad IS NOT dead, he’s still alive and fighting for his life. He needs your continued prayers and support,” he wrote. “Certain people have been so quick to write him off as dead so they can capitalize off it, and it’s messed up because yall really think these people care about him. There is no Geto Boys without Bushwick Bill.”
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.