Earlier this year Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill (52) was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. After his family denied reports of his death early Sunday morning, Bushwick Bill’s son fought saying, “My father is still alive and fighting for his life.” Unfortunately, the legendary Houston rapper died Sunday evening after a long battle.
During a 2014 interview, Bill claimed he died and came back to life in a prior incident:
“I died on June 19, 1991. Legal death was 45 minutes. I was in the morgue for two hours and 45 minutes before I came to life. It was going on three hours down there. Yeah, legal death was 45 minutes. 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’m like, ‘I must be dreaming,’ then I looked in front of me and I saw a door about to close and the people are still pushing me and I was like, ‘YO!’
And everybody stopped. I was like, ‘Hey, I have to pee.’ They pulled the drawer out, I sat up, pulled the catheter out, jumped down, and the security for the morgue and the actual mortician ran out, whoever the people are in the morgue part of the hospital, he ran out and dropped his glasses. The security dude stood there and I jumped down and I was like, ‘I have to pee.’ I peed, and I ended up peeing on his leg, and he took off running. He’s like, ‘He’s alive, somebody come help!'”
Bushwick Bill, born Richard Stephen Shaw, was raised in Brooklyn where he was a talented graffiti artist and b-boy. Later moving to Houston, where it prominently changed his life forever, he started off in the late 1980s as a dancer for Geto Boys under the name “Little Billy” – a reference to his 3’9″ stature – and eventually became one of the rappers in the group. The Boys gained recognition with the 1991 album We Can’t Be Stopped. The cover, referencing his near death experience, shows a graphic photo of Bill in the hospital after losing an eye in a gunshot incident.
We thank Bushwick Bill for dedicating his life to the rap game and culture. Our condolences go out his family and friends.