“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 [the 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,” said rapper Bushwick Bill to TMZ when revealing his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer last month.
The veteran member of Houston’s rap trio Geto Boys succumbed to the disease on Sunday, June 9th at 9:35 p.m. CST, confirmed his rep.
Reports began circling Sunday afternoon that Bushwick Bill, whose legal name was Richard Shaw, had died after Geto Boys member Scarface captioned a pair Instagram posts with “RIP Bushwick Bill You will be missed big fella.” However, Bill’s rep and sister insisted at that time that he had not died. Later in the night, the same rep confirmed his death, reports Yahoo.
Bushwick Bill was born with dwarfism in Jamaica, and originally performed under the moniker Little Billy. In 1986, he joined the Geto Boys after performing as the group’s dancer. In June 1991, Bill accidentally shot himself in the eye while fighting with his girlfriend over a gun. The cover of the Geto Boys’ biggest album, We Can’t Be Stopped, featured Bill on a hospital gurney, alongside Willie D and Scarface, after the shooting incident. The album also featured the group’s biggest hit song, “Mind Playing Tricks on Me.”
Their popularity eventually fell off and the group released a final collection, The Foundation, in 2005. However, their influence on Southern rap remains to this day. Bushwick Bill is survived by his son Javon Boutte.