By Sandra Rose  | 

Rapper Bushwick Bill passed away Sunday after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 52.

The rapper's death was confirmed by his family late Sunday night, hours after TMZ erroneously reported the rapper had died early Sunday morning.

A statement issued by the rap star's publicist Dawn P. read: "[Bushwick Bill] passed away peacefully this evening at 9:35 p.m.

"We are looking into doing a public memorial at a later date. His family appreciates all of the prayers and support and are asking for privacy at this time."

Bill, whose real name is Richard Stephen Shaw, is best known as one of the founders of the legendary rap group Geto Boys.

The Jamaican-American rapper, who was born with dwarfism and stands 3ft 8in, joined the group in 1986 as a dancer under the stage name Little Billy.

Pete Marrero, Bill's Dallas-based business manager, said the star was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in February.

Stage 4 cancer, also known as metastatic cancer, is a cancer that has spread from the part of the body where it originally started (the primary site) to other parts of the body.

Bill had been planning to go on tour around the time he was hospitalized. He feuded with tour organizers who he said tried to capitalize off of his terminal illness to sell tickets. The promoters dropped the tour, called Phuck Cancer, prior to its kick off date.

Following TMZ's erroneous report that Bill had died earlier on Sunday, Bill's son took to his Instagram page to set the record straight, writing: "Contrary to what has been prematurely, insensitively, and inaccurately posted/reported - My dad IS NOT dead, he's still alive and fighting for his life.

"He needs your continued prayers and support. Certain people have been so quick to write him off as dead so they can capitalize off it, and it's messed up because yall [sic] really think these people care about him. There is no Geto Boys without Bushwick Bill...

"On behalf of the family we're requesting privacy until further notice."

During the summer of 1991, Bill lost an eye when he shot himself during an argument with his girlfriend.

No photo

The graphic aftermath of the shooting was depicted on the cover of the Geto Boys album We Can't Be Stopped (1991), which shows Bill removing his eye bandage while being pushed on a gurney by his bandmates Willie D, left, and Scarface the night he was shot.

Bill explained his addiction to Everclear grain alcohol in his rap song "Ever So Clear". He also revealed his addiction to the street drug PCP, which he blamed for his temporary psychosis.


Photos by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images, Matt Cowan/Getty Images, Chris McKay/FilmMagic, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

  • Seldomseen

    Dead heads and frog legs...... big part of my college years. RIP

  • Kanyade


  • IyanlaVanzantoftheInterWebs


  • Gloria

    Alex Trebek also has stage 4 pancreatic cancer as well. Wonder how he is doing....

  • WutizstillHERE!

    RIP BWB! And to all my other black brothers.. please go get your annual check ups please!

  • Black Dynomiiiite!!!

    Mmmm cake mix! Lol, those were my middle school days!

  • iWasteTime


  • tintin

    cancer is such a strong force it's sad.

    he passed away so quickly. and look Alex Trebek's treatment is going very well. When it's our calling, nothing we can do about it.

  • tia

    Our H-TOWN brother and hip hop legend we will miss you indeed!

    No more pain and rest in eternal peace
    Mr. Richard Stephen Shaw..AKA Bushwick Bill

  • KcoolMuziq

    Alex I'm happy to say is in remission..


  • Carrington

    Why do people always say someone died peacefully? What, exactly, does that mean? He used to try to talk to my sister back in the day and she was scared of him because he was a midget. LOL
    My sincerest condolences to the family.

  • CookieMobster

    Mind's playin tricks on me is my shat. My husband is a little (6yrs) younger than me and had never heard this song until I introduced it to him. My son lol'd at the you tube video last night and couldn't believe the quality of the pic. I was like boy you got no idea how could you youngins got it these days.

  • Yardgirl

    RIP sir

  • DaughterOfaQueen

    This story is conflicting, the headlines read “RIP” yet the story claims TMZ’s story was bogus...

  • Thee Lovelii Ladii Jaye ?

    Fly High Bushwick Bill!!!

  • iWasteTime

    Allegedly when TMZ reported he was dead, he was not.
    Then he died shortly after.

  • Topic Influencer

    You were an absolute LEGEND Bill. Godspeed to you. Rest easy

  • MMM

    You're asking a very spiritual question Carrington.

  • Coffee1st

    When someone transitions it can be tumultuous and agonal. It can be physical, emotional, spiritual or a combination.
    As a hospice nurse I've watched countless people take their last breath - some with such peace it would make one envious, others with such agony it makes one wonder what the hell kind of life did they live here on earth.
    There's a lot I don't know. But I promise you. How you live has a huge impact on the manner in which you'll die.

  • Coffee1st

    Spiritual indeed.

  • candy

    Rip Bushwick! Mind playing tricks on me is one of my all time favorite songs. Sad news!

  • Ni Ni

    RIP Bill! My condolences to the family.

  • MMM

    You're absolutely correct, Coffee1st. When one dies it can go one of two ways. I think it's not even about how you die, rather how your spirit departs. Your explanation reminds me of what Stephen went through when he was being stoned.

  • Ghost

    RIP Bill....?????? For his family

  • Coffee1st

    "HOW your spirit departs".... GOOD STUFF! Never thought about it from that angle.
    Stephen's courage and faith was insane! Although I would attribute his death to acute trauma - he went beautifully nonetheless.

  • Wreckognize Game

    God bless you for the work that you do. The way you explained this tells me that you take pride in your services. My Mother died peacefully although she was in pain.

  • MMM

    Isn't he from Brooklyn?

  • BleuCity

    Yes, our BK brother

  • Meme

    Oh no. Rest in perfect peace my brother and thank you for the music

  • Coffee1st

    My Mother died peacefully although she was in pain..??????????????
    I'm so sorry!!
    I take what I do very, very seriously. It's an honor and a privilege to take care of a person and their family at such a sacred time

  • Renee26


  • oshh16

    God bless his soul and comfort his family/loved ones.

  • Vegas1989

    I have a church member who is paramedic with the fire dept. They received a 911 call of a man having a heart attack. He was out. They revived him and the church member said, the man was screaming, "Help me I don't want to die, I don't want to go to hell, Help me help me please I don't want to go there. He said they kept working on him and he died again and they brought him back. And when they brought him back he was screaming please don't let them torment me. So he was trying to walk the man unto salvation if he believed in Jesus and before he could say yes he died again. And he didn't come back. They said that they worked on this man for an hour.... It was said that the people around didn't believe in God and was like oh well....He went to hell....Scary and shocking story.

  • MMM


  • Wreckognize Game


  • DaughterOfaQueen

    Thanks, comprehensive skills off this morning ?

  • OvertheMississippi

    Love the Geto Boys!! RIP

  • Michelle Peele

    Reminds me of the story of Eartha Kitt. her daughter said she was kicking and screaming saying no she didn't want to die.

  • MMM

    "Reminds me of the story of Eartha Kitt. her daughter said she was kicking and screaming saying no she didn't want to die."

    My God!!!

    Apparently you drift in and out of consciousness, and that's where you get a glimpse of the other side. Good or bad.

  • Alextra Ballard

    RIP...I’m wishing his family peace and strength through this difficult time.

  • Pamela

    I hope your sister has matured and evolved to where she isn't scared of height-challenged human beings.

  • Pamela

    Who's Stephen?

  • Carrington

    Really?!? That has to be the saddest thing ever! I can’t imagine watching someone fighting death like that. Wow!

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    From the Bible . (Acts 7:55-60)

  • Vegas1989

    To hear him explain that story and how the rest of the people (police & Fire Fighters) Still didn't believe it. And the man was like Please Save me I don't want to go there....It was real and just make me think and treat people with kindness no matter what

  • Carrington

    Y’all scaring the literal hell out of me! There was a show a few years ago called, “I Survived: Beyond and Back” a lot of those episodes are on YouTube (ironically, I watched one about this dude named Malachi yesterday)... (weird that we’re talking about this today) anyway - these are people being interviewed who are documented by doctors, etc to have died and come back. The stories of people who went to hell are enough to scare your ass into being a better person!

  • Carrington

    Dear Pamela,
    Having a fear of little people is not a maturity issue - it's a PHOBIA... just like that of people who have a fear of clowns, rabbits, etc. I suffer from megalophobia, which is why I refuse to even look at the Statue of Liberty - should I grow up?
    Hopefully, you'll evolve from judgment as you, hopefully, step outside of that judgmental bubble that you live in.

  • Carrington

    My brother used to tell me that I was stupid for thinking that that show, "I Survived: Beyond and Back" was better than church in terms of changing lives and perspectives. The people who went to "heaven" made you want to live right to get there and the people who went to hell made you want to live right to prevent going there.

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    I remember a preacher told me a similar story too. He used to be a missionary in Colombia and there was a 16 year old boy who drowned. When the family members got to the beach the rescuers had just pulled his body to the shore, but he'd been underwater for about a half hour They prayed him back to life right there on the beach and when he opened his eyes he described being in Hell for the past half hour. He would go around to a bunch of different churches there in Colombia and tell them his story of being brought back from being in Hell. It was pretty fascinating stuff.

  • Dowoop

    Saw one of those episodes and couldn't sleep properly for days.

  • Carrington

    It's scary, but it changes your perspective and makes you want to live right.

  • The Art

    It's fascinating to hear these types of stories. I was raised to believe that death was a deep spiritual sleep until judgement day - when God returns. At which point everyone would either be entered into heaven or banished to hell (the lake of fire) based on the life they lived. But, it's interesting to hear other perspectives on the mystery of death. At one point in life this type of talk would've scared the crap out of me, but not anymore.

  • Carrington

    Jehovah's Witness?

  • onelove

    RIP...Ive met him a couple of times!! he was very cool!!!

  • Dowoop

    It certainly does.

  • Bree

    Pancreatic cancer is no joke. My dad passed from it. During his final days, I asked him was he in pain, he said no. Although I believed him, I wondered if he was just saying that so we wouldn't worry. He passed away peacefully, with my mother at his side. I pray for Alex Trebek's recovery. Pancreatic cancer is usually detected in its final stages.

  • Vonda K

    Love the Ghetto Boys. Mind Playing Tricks On Me all time favorite. The beat, the lyrics and the Flo.
    Today’s mumble rappers could neva!

  • tintin

    sorry to hear that. very very sad.
    it just sucks how cancer can just hit your for no reason at all.

  • Coffee1st

    I had a coworker who was TERRIFIED of midgets.
    Yes, it can be a phobia.

  • Coffee1st

    Sounds like it.

  • Logan Roberts

    52 years old is too young. Cancer sucks. RIP Richard ?

  • Coffee1st

    Bruh.... let me tell you. It's all fun and games.... till it aint. I have so many stories, I could at least least write a memoir.
    Don't let this world drag you to torment with it. Walk the road less traveled. Don't give in to your emotions. Love Him and love people. Forgive and repent daily.
    Get rid of that box in the tree...??

  • The Art

    No, baptist.

  • Coffee1st

    Father God.....smh.
    From what I've seen, this is my theory:
    When you're transitioning, God has a consultation with you. You're life and choices are in review. I think that maybe He even explains some things that grieved you and you truly didn't understand in life. He shows the ones who rejected His son, and thus Him, all of the times He sent people your way, all of the times He tugged at your heart in those quiet moments. He explains that He loves you (no matter where you go) and He also explains where your soul will rest and why.
    Kinda like that talk parents give their children before they receive spankings or whatever consequence is about to go down.
    I've intently watched people go through the process..... that's what I'm getting. Dying people have this thing where, although unconscious, they frequently raise their eyebrows, as if they're being told something amazing or eye opening.
    It's extraordinary to witness.

  • Trace da Ace


  • B.Loveitt

    Damn my mind playing tricks on me.

  • Alextra Ballard

    Damn it looks like the vast majority of the entertainers are leaving us around the age of 50+

  • Sha

    That was the S _ _ t. Today's music is tragic.

  • Sha

    He wasn't in any pain, died peacefully.

  • IamAllnatural

    Wow that story gave me chills.

  • IamAllnatural

    It’s funny but not funny. I’m a little uncomfortable reading these comments.

  • IamAllnatural

    What box in the tree?

  • Thee Jaguar Doll

    Rest in peace, Bushwick Bill! Thank you for all the bomb ass jams and Memories that came along with that sweet music!

  • Lorenzo Chaps

    Does anyone live to tell about their pancreatic cancer experience? My paternal grandmother passed from this in 2009. Condolences to Bushwick's family and friends.

  • http://Beyoncé.com Sexy Ninja

    Rip sad