Bushwick Bill, a member of the legendary Houston rap group the Geto Boys, died Sunday night (June 9) after a battle with pancreatic cancer. His publicist confirmed his passing to Rolling Stone. He was 52.
Born in Jamaica and raised in Brooklyn, Bushwick Bill was introduced into the Geto Boys in 1986 as a dancer named Little Billy, eventually transitioning to dropping rhymes on the group’s debut album, Making Trouble, in 1988. The group — consisting of him, Scarface, and Willie D — would grow to become genre stalwarts thanks to their pioneering efforts in horrorcore rap. Their third studio album, We Can’t Be Stopped, would go platinum in 1992. Over the course of seven of the group’s eight albums, Bushwick Bill’s voice can be heard punching in smooth and spicy flows.
He also found infamy appearing on the cover of the group’s We Can’t Be Stopped album in 1991 in a hospital gown after suffering a gunshot wound to the eye. He discussed the incident on his song “Ever So Clear,” rapping, “And I’m glad that I’m here, gee / But it’s fucked up I had to lose an eye to see shit clearly.”
Away from Geto Boys, Bushwick Bill was equally as tenacious. He dropped his debut solo studio LP, Little Big Man, in 1992, which peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 200. He released six solo albums as well; his last studio LP was 2010’s My Testimony of Redemption. He was currently planning on heading out on a solo trek called the “Phuck Cancer” tour before his death.
Members of the hip-hop community, including longtime icons Juicy J and Bun B, have come forward to pay their respects.