R.I.P. Bushwick Bill.
Bushwick Bill, a member of pioneering hip-hop group Geto Boys, has passed away at the age of 52.
Earlier in the weekend, premature reports of the rapper's death were debunked by his family, but Sunday evening, the family's publicist confirmed that Bill, born Richard Shaw, had died peacefully that night.
“Bushwick Bill passed away peacefully this evening at 9:35 p.m. He was surrounded by his immediate family,” publicist Dawn P. confirmed with Rolling Stone. “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.”
It was pancreatic cancer that ultimately took Bushwick Bill's life, a battle he came forward with when speaking with TMZ earlier in the year. He would tell the publication that doctors told him, "We see a mass on your pancreas and we can’t understand it. It’s not alcohol, it’s not sugar, it’s not diabetes. They went through all kinds of stuff. And finally, by February 8th, they said it was stage 4 [pancreatic] cancer.”
“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 ‘Ever So Clear,’ I died and came back already in June 1991, so I know what it’s like on the other side."
Bushwick Bill had plans to embark on a solo "Phuck Cancer" tour prior to his death. Sunday morning, reports suggested the rapper had already passed away especially after fellow Geto Boys member Scarface seemed to announce the news.
“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," wrote Shaw's son in a post. "He needs your continued prayers and support. Certain people have been so quick to write him off as dead so they can capitalize off it, and it’s messed up because y'all really think these people care about him. There is no Geto Boys without Bushwick Bill.”