After reports circulated claiming that rapper Bushwick Bill had died after a battle with cancer, family members have come forward to say that the Geto Boys rapper is still alive and fighting.
The reports had circulated early on Sunday, claiming that the Houston rapper had died at the age of 52. As Pitchfork reported, the news was pushed along in part due to a post from fellow Geto Boys rapper Scarface that claimed Bushwick Bill had died. That Instagram post sparked a series of stories from celebrity news outlets, but it was later deleted by Scarface. Bushwick Bill’s son released a statement on Instagram confirming that he was still alive.
“My dad IS NOT dead, he’s still alive and fighting for his life,” he wrote on the rapper’s official page. “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.”
Bushwick Bill, whose real name is Richard Stephen Shaw, has been battling stage four pancreatic cancer. He continued to perform with Geto Boys but backed out of what was described as a farewell tour, which he believed was exploiting his difficult prognosis. As TMZ reported, the tour was titled “The Beginning of a Long Goodbye: The Final Farewell.” The name caused some tension, as Bushwick Bill was upset that it made it seem as if he was on his deathbed.
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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. 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. Please repost to help combat the fake news. Thank you @tmz_tv & @realdawn_p for the updated report. On behalf of the family we’re requesting privacy until further notice. #news #bushwickbill #chuckwick #getoboys #tmz
Bushwick Bill helped propel Geto Boys to national significance in the 1990s with his gritty lyrics and unusual appearance. He was born with dwarfism and is approximately 3 feet, 8 inches tall.
The rapper survived a near-death incident before, shooting himself in the eye during an argument with his girlfriend. Bushwick Bill would lose his eye, and a picture of the wound would end up on the cover of the rap group’s 1991 album, We Can’t Be Stopped.
The Geto Boys already suffered another recent death. As Pitchfork reported, rapper DJ Ready Red died last August after suffering a heart attack at his home in New Jersey. He served as the DJ and producer for the first iteration of the group, joining at its founding back in 1986.
Family members of Bushwick Bill asked that people share the message posted on Instagram to combat the so-called “fake news” about his death. They also asked for privacy.