Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill confirmed dead
Bushwick Bill of veteran Houston rap group Bushwick Bill has sadly passed away, following a battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was 52.
His publicist confirmed to The Associated Press that Bill died Sunday (6/9) at 9:35 PM local time at a Colorado hospital. It followed a false report of Bill's death earlier that day from TMZ that Bill's son rebuked.
Bushwick Bill broke the news of his diagnosis in early May, saying that he had been diagnosed in February but kept the news private at first. Geto Boys had planned a farewell tour following the news, but then cancelled the tour after sources close to Bill reportedly told TMZ that he felt exploited for his cancer diagnosis, and that the tour's name made it sound "like he was on his deathbed." Geto Boys were then announced for Gathering of the Juggalos 2019.
Bill had mentioned along with the news of his diagnosis that he had been working on new music, and possibly a book and a documentary, so he would have more recent income for his children after passing.
Bill joined Geto Boys in 1986 as a dancer under the name Little Billy, but he later transitioned to rapping and changed his name to Bushwick Bill. Geto Boys' first album was 1988's Making Trouble, and subsequent albums like 1989's Grip It! On That Other Level and 1991's We Can't Be Stopped went on to become classics and helped pioneer both the distinct sound of Southern rap and horrorcore. The group also got a late-career boost in popularity when their 1992 single "Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta" and "Still" from 1996's The Resurrection were used in the film Office Space.
As immortalized on the album cover of We Can't Be Stopped, Bill lost his right eye after being shot in the early '90s, and in 2014, he told the story of how he was also pronounced dead for over two hours at that time:
I died June 19th 1991. I was in the morgue for two hours and 45 minutes before I came to. My toe was tagged and they were pushing me in the drawer and I looked both ways and I saw frozen people to the left and frozen people to the right. I thought I was dreaming then I saw people in front of me pushing the door closed and I was like, ‘Yo!’ And everybody stopped and I said, ‘I have to pee’ and I jumped up and pulled the catheter out and the security for the morgue stood there and I ended up peeing on his leg and he took off running [and said] ‘He’s alive somebody help!’ They ran back in there and shot me up with a big needle and I woke up handcuffed to a hospital bed.
Several fellow musicians have paid tribute to Bill since the news broke; you can see tributes from Cypress Hill, Bun B, Juicy J, and Biz Markie below.
Rest in peace, Bushwick Bill. You'll be missed and your legacy will live on.