The hip hop world just lost a very important icon! Richard Stephen Shaw, more commonly known as Bushwick Bill, recently passed away last June 9, 2019. His publicist issued a statement on Instagram confirming his death saying, “Bushwick Bill passed away peacefully today at 9:35 p.m. His family appreciates all of the prayers and support, He will truly be missed.” He was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer last February and succumbed to the illness last Sunday evening.
Bushwick Bill was one of the founding members of the Houston-born hip hop group, Geto Boys. He started out as the dancer of the group but became a rapper when he revived the then-disbanded act with Scarface and Willie D. The trio generated a lot of buzz during their heyday due to their intense graphic raps and grotesque lyrics. They took on political stances with such aggravation; radio stations rarely played their songs on air. They did, however, resonate with a lot of fans, especially those in the African-American community.
Consequently, the Jamaican-American rapper only revealed his health status just last month. “I have been keeping it to myself and I am getting ready to tell Scarface and Willie D. I have only told close family members and that’s about it,” he shared in an interview with TMZ. “But I figured keeping it to myself is not helping anybody. It’s not like I am afraid of dying, because if anyone knows anything about me then they know I died and came back already on June 19, 1991. So, I know what it is like on the other side and that really not what it’s about.”
He was talking about the time he shot himself in the eye back in 1991 following an intense riff with his then-girlfriend. He went on to claim that he saw death after the incident, but then fully recovered with only his affected eye as the only permanently damaged part of his body. In fact, the group even used the rapper’s photo in the hospital as the album cover of their album that year, “We Can’t Be Stopped.” He lived on for 28 more years until his death a few days ago.
Deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.
- Bushwick Bill Featured Image – My Religion is Rap.com
- Rapper Bushwick Bill – The Tech Sensei.com
- Geto Boys – The Grio.com