The Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill Passes Away At 52

The Geto Boys rapper was 52.

Bushwick Bill, 1/3 of the Houston rap collective, the Geto Boys, passed away over the weekend after a long battle with cancer.

It was incorrectly reported by news outlets that Bill passed Sunday, June 9 morning, but his publicist confirmed that he died at 9:35 pm that evening to Rolling Stone.

Born Richard Stephen Shaw, Bushwick Bill’s battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer was made public in February 2019, with sporadic updates saying that there was progress.

Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. When news broke of Bushwick Bill‘s passing, long time Texas collaborators and hip-hop in its entirety paid their respects to the H-Town legend.

The Geto Boys and Bushwick Bill represented a lot of firsts for hip-hop. Bill was the first mainstream little person to have success on its biggest stage.

And at a time where Southern hip-hop was unfairly portrayed to lack depth in their storytelling, the Geto Boys were among the firsts to spin tales of paranoia, depression, and suicide. They unapologetically showed that there were layers to a black man’s psyche.

The Geto Boys laid some of the foundation that has allowed this current generation hip-hop to talk about mental health openly, honestly and candidly without stigma.

And speaking of candid, just google Bushwick Bill. Album Cover. Hospital.

Bushwick Bill never ran from his truth and was willing to put his scars on display for all hip-hop fans to see.

And for that we are thankful. Rest In Paradise to Bushwick Bill.

Kyle Harvey is a writer, producer and the current managing editor of The Shadow League. Host of the Points On The Board podcast, and a proudly washed college athlete, Harvey had previous stints at Slant News, The Bleacher Report, NBC News, and theGrio. Originally from Wilmington, DE, Harvey graduated from North Carolina A&T State University.