Bushwick Bill Passes At Age 52 From Pancreatic Cancer
Bushwick Bill, co-founder and rapper in the influential Houston Texas, group Geto Boys, passed on Sunday only two months after announcing he had pancreatic cancer.
According the People, Bill — whose birth name was Richard Stephen Shaw, died at 9:35 p.m. local time at a hospital in Colorado. He was only 52 years old and he was surrounded by family when he died, according to his publicist Dawn P.
Bushwick Bill went public with his health battles back in May when he told TMZ that he’d been undergoing intensive chemotherapy to treat his stage 4 pancreatic cancer. At the time, his prognosis was unclear. He was diagnosed back in February and according to Bill, it came as a surprise. He said his doctors had been tracking a mass on his pancreas, but they told him it was benign:
“[They said], ‘We see a mass on your pancreas and we can’t understand because it’s not alcohol, it’s not sugar, it’s not diabetes’ — they went through all kind of stuff,” Bushwick Bill told TMZ. “Finally, by February they said it was stage four pancreatic cancer. And I’m like, ‘Stage 4? I’ve been getting tested and they said it was just a mass but it was benign.’ And I’m like, ‘Does benign mean it could be cancer?’ And they were like, ‘It’s just a mass with no purpose.’ So it was crazy to find out that pancreatic cancer is undetected until it’s in the fourth or fifth state.”
Bill said he kept quite about his diagnosis, not even telling fellow Geto Boys co-founders Scarface and Willie D, but he decided to open up about it because “keeping it to myself is not really helping anybody.”
Since the TMZ interview, Bushwick Bill has been keeping people updated via Instagram about his health in the hospital where he was admitted on May 24.
He was hoping to return to the stage before passing away, even planning a “Fu** Cancer Tour” to launch on June 8 in Dallas. But despite things not working out, Bill said he wasn’t afraid of dying, noting that on June 19, 1991 he was shot in the head and survived (an experience he described on the song “Ever So Clear”).
“It’s not like I’m afraid of dying,” he told TMZ. “I know what it’s like on the other side.”
“That’s not what it’s really about. It’s about life and loving life,” he said. “I just want people to be aware so that when they set dreams or goals, they’re healthy enough to fulfill and live.”
R.I.P. Bushwick Bill