Richard “Bushwick Bill” Shaw, 1/3 of the iconic rap trio Geto Boys, passed away last night (June 9) at the age of 52, following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. The rapper’s publicist, Dawn P., confirmed his death at 9:35pm in Houston, surrounded by family. The news was also confirmed by his son, Javon, who told TMZ that his father’s last words were, “I will love you forever.”
The AP reports:
His Dallas-based business manager, Pete Marrero, said the 52-year-old was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in February. He had been planning to go on tour around the time he was hospitalized.
The Jamaica-born rapper was widely reported to have died earlier Sunday after a bandmate wrote a post on Instagram suggesting so, but his publicist had said Sunday afternoon that those reports were premature.
Born in 1966, Bill (who was born with dwarfism) joined the Geto Boys in 1986 as a dancer (under the moniker “Little Billy). Soon after, he would join fellow members Willie D. and Scarface behind the mic, creating classic Southern Rap hits like “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” and “Damn It Feels Good To Be a Gangsta.” Bill would become the most outrageous member of the group as he utilized his real life struggles in his rhymes and antics. For instance, the group’s cover for 1991’s We Can’t Be Stopped featured Bill on a gurney, with his eye swollen. That was following an incident when his eye was shot as he was drunkenly trying to get his girlfriend to kill him.
Bill’s publicist confirmed on social media that the family will look into a public memorial, to be held at a later date.