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BUSHWICK BILL,
1966-2019

Bushwick Bill, the one-eyed rapper in the Geto Boys known for his brashness and storytelling skills, died on Sunday at a hospital in Colorado. He was 52.

The diminutive rapper had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February.

Born Richard Shaw in Kingston, Jamaica, he moved to the Bushwick section of  Brooklyn as a youth before relocating to Houston where he joined Geto Boys as a breakdancer and hype man, eventually joining Scarface and Willie D as a rapper.

With songs such as “Mind of a Lunatic” and “Six Feet Deep,” Geto Boys was the groundbreaking Southern rap group of the late '80s and early '90s. Their style was dubbed  horrorcore as they created grisly pictures of violence and psychological terror in their raps. Beyond establishing a city outside New York and Los Angeles as a breeding ground for hip-hop, their music would later influence Lil Wayne, Juice WRLD, 21 Savage and others.

Language on their self-titled 1990 album led to Def American leaving Geffen as a distributor and going to Warner Bros.  They followed that album with their biggest-seller, 1991’s We Can't Be Stopped, which went platinum, and their highest-charting album, Till Death Do Us Part, which went to #11 in 1993..

Geto Boys released six albums between 1988 to 1998—they were on hiatus from 1993 to 1996—while Bill released six solo albums between 1992 and 2010. A reunion tour had been planned for this year but was cancelled after Bill could not perform.

 

 

 

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